Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Students are receiving honors for academics and attendance during assemblies this week.

Fr. Anthony presents Aurelia with her award.

March is living up to its reputation of going back and forth between lion and lamb weather.  The initial plan for our Palm Sunday liturgy was to start with the blessing of the palms outside, but the 30-40 mph winds took care of that idea.  Students and staff received their palms and exited the chapel which then had palm fronds placed on the carpet to parallel what the people of Jerusalem did when Jesus entered the city.  The students held their palms high as the altar servers and I entered to start the Mass.

The return of the sun has brought a lot of fishermen to the Chamberlain area.  When the ice melted on the Missouri River, it seemed that fishermen appeared overnight.  The local marina is filled with license plates are from all over. We hope their presence is a sign that winter is over. We’re grateful for warmer weather, although we are badly in need of moisture.

Last week, we held the annual Service Awards Banquet to honor staff who have been with St. Joseph’s in five year increments.  We had 31 staff honored for a combined 530 years of service.  The longest serving member has been with us for 40 years! The most recent was a class of five who have been here for 5 years.  We are grateful for their devotion and dedication to St. Joseph’s Indian School, and our Lakota students and families.

Nancy’s third graders are tied with Katie’s second graders for best GPA.

Nancy’s third grade class.

Over the last few days we have been honoring students who made academic honor roll and had perfect attendance with assemblies by age group – grades 1-3, grades 4-6 and grades 7-8.  We are always happy to be able to reward students for their hard work. The class with the best grade point average wins a little plaque they can put up in their room and are treated to a pizza party.  For third quarter, Katie’s second grade classes tied with Nancy’s third grade class with a score of 3.6475. Now, THAT’S a tie!

Our principal, Kathleen, took our Acalympics Team to White River, South Dakota, for another academic contest.  There were ten schools represented and St. Joseph’s came in sixth with our highest score ever!  The team enjoys the competition and realizes the

Katie’s second graders have a collective GPA of 3.6475.

Katie’s second grade class.

necessity to be widely aware of what is happening in our world today.

On Saturday, Kathleen hit the road again. She accompanied several eighth grade girls to South Dakota State University in Brookings to take part in the GEMS program (Girls in Engineering, Math and Science).  The program introduces girls to careers in math and science and encourages them to consider these majors in college.

The best news I can share with you this week is that we are increasing our high school home capacity, so will be able to offer some new aspects of getting ready for college.  Pilamaya thank you – for your generous support of our students!

May your Holy Week be filled with many blessings. The Lakota (Sioux) children wish you and your loved ones a very Happy Easter!!!

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


Holy Week began yesterday morning here at St. Joseph’s Indian School. Outside, the South Dakota wind gusted across the prairie at 20-30 miles per hour. The cool

Mike, St. Joseph's President

Mike, St. Joseph’s President

nature of the wind and the sound of its force against the walls and windows of the chapel provided the setting for our morning. The Spirit was moving!


As students, staff and a few visitors gathered in the Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel, our Palm Sunday Service began with Fr. Anthony blessing the palms. Deacon Bud proclaimed the Gospel of our Lord’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The assembly dispersed to the hallways on either side of the chapel to re-enact the procession along the road that Jesus traveled.


Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel ready for Palm Sunday.

Palm Sunday in Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel at St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Banner carriers holding the colors of the Four Directions led the assembly back into the chapel accompanied by our student drum group singing and playing a traditional song. Everyone found their places and held their palms high as our dancers processed forth in traditional regalia down the center aisle. They were followed by the Eagle Staff Bearer, altar servers, Fr. Anthony and Deacon Bud. It was quite the multi-cultural celebration of our traditional Palm Sunday.


The morning’s Lakota liturgy also included the Lord’s Prayer said in Lakota and Amazing Grace sung by our student choir in both Lakota and English. Mass ended with our weekly Happy Birthday announcements and acknowledgement sung in Lakota, “Nita anpetu waste.”


I describe this celebration because I was awed by how our Catholic traditions and elements of the Lakota (Sioux) culture blended at this Palm Sunday Mass.


Not only was it great to see our students involved in dancing, playing the drums, speaking the language and singing, but also the colors, the movement and the language enhanced the meaning of the liturgy.


As we entered into the holiest of weeks in our Church year, one that begins with triumph and endures through crucifixion to Easter glory, the blending of our culture and our common history and humanity spoke powerfully of the mystery we celebrate.

The Eagle Staff leads the procession into Mass at Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel.

Catholic and Lakota traditions meet with the Eagle Staff leading the procession into Mass.


At St. Joseph’s, we provide our students with a holistic array of services, thanks to the generosity of friends like you. Through the support of many, their hands and feet in solidarity with our mission, we are able to carry this important ministry, helping children and families.


Yesterday’s Palm Sunday Service was one of many ways we look to preserve the Lakota culture for our students.


Pilamayathank you – for providing these opportunities!


Mike, St. Joseph’s President

Nearly 40 girls in grades 1-6 recently finished this year’s gymnastics program at St.

Mark, St. Joseph's Rec Center Specialist

Mark, St. Joseph’s Rec Center Specialist

Joseph’s Indian School!

We don’t have any competitions during our season. Instead, we focus on helping the girls have fun while they are being active, learning coordination, body awareness and image, plus persistence and perseverance! After two months of practice I saw lots of improvement and, of course, lots of laughs.

Our gymnastics time concluded with a performance at the Rec Center for the entire community and family members. The girls showcased their skills in tumbling, dance, vault, bar and beam. This was the second

Little by little, the gymnastics program is growing.

Thanks to donated equipment, we were able expand the gymnastics program this year.

year we held a performance for the community. We were very excited to be able to expand the performance this year, thanks to donations of different equipment.

Part of the goal of the program is to prepare the elementary girls to participate in high school gymnastics if they wish.

This week, the girls started a two-week gymnastic

St. Joseph’s gymnastics girls don’t participate in competitions yet, but focus on learning the basics.

St. Joseph’s gymnastics programs is a fun way for the girls to be active and learn body awareness, persistence and perseverance!

camp held by the local high school gymnastics team. I have been working directly with the high school coaches to coordinate programs so St. Joseph’s students get the most benefit possible from the camp. In the future, we hope to provide our students more choices for athletics as they progress through middle and high school.

Thank you for your support of these great opportunities for the Lakota children!

Mark S

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School,

It’s been another crazy week of spring weather in South Dakota! We had one day that broke an all-time record and hit 85 degrees last week, yet we are still having frosty cold mornings.  We are in desperate need of rain since the Chamberlain area is already in the early stages of drought. Today is cold and windy.

The Feast of St. Joseph, March 19, was the first day of the fourth quarter of the school year for the Lakota children. We had a nice prayer service geared toward

honoring St. Joseph in his role as guardian of Mary and Jesus.  March 19 also concluded our monthly Novena of Masses (the 11th through the 19th) for you, our benefactors.  The students keep you in prayer regularly and we include your intentions in our prayer requests at Sunday Mass.

Fr. Anthony sampled the monkey bread the sixth graders were baking in class.

Passing by the Personal Living Skills class, I was invited to sample the monkey bread the sixth grade students were baking. It was delicious!

When the prayer service was over, I jumped into my car and made a bee line east to St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to take part in the Chrism Mass for the diocese.  The oils used in the Sacraments for the up-coming year are blessed by the Bishop and then distributed to all the parishes and schools throughout the East River Diocese.  I brought the oils back and gave them to the religious education teachers who are preparing students to receive the Sacraments.

Last Friday as I was leaving the art room after visiting the second graders, I passed the Personal Living Skills classroom. It must have been my lucky day because I was invited to sample the monkey bread the sixth grade students were baking.  They did a great job – it tasted delicious!

We are in the planning stages for ‘SCJ Schools in Collaboration’ and there was a conference call yesterday. Schools in Collaboration unites the elementary schools ministered to by our Priests of the Sacred Heart (SCJ) community in Texas, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Mississippi. Our sister school in Germany was also part of the phone call.

Each year, one of our activities for Schools in Collaboration is a ‘battle of the books.’ Classes from each school read a number of the same books. Then the schools pair up to have a trivia contest based on what they read.  We are working toward having a joint prayer service in the next several weeks.

With Easter just around the corner, several of our students will receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession this week.  If a student is not Catholic, they can still come in and talk over anything that may be troubling them.  It will also be the opportunity for those receiving Sacraments on April 12, 2015 to make their first confession.  Please keep these young people in your prayers.

I pray your season of Lent is proving to be a rewarding time for you spiritually as we strive to become more and more Christ-like.  Be assured of our continued prayers for you and your intentions.

Have a great week!

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


When the students of Sheehy Home (high school boys) decided they wanted to go snowboarding and skiing for their home trip, I knew we needed to do a fundraiser to help cover the cost. So, we sat down and talked about some ways to make extra money.

The shirt design incorporates symbols from St. Joseph’s and Chamberlain schools, as well as cultural elements like the dreamcatcher and medicine wheel.

Craig brainstormed the t-shirt design in less than two hours.

Previously, another St. Joseph’s home had done a lemonade stand at our annual powwow, and one did a bake sale. We’ve done car washes in the past but, with the weather outside below freezing at the time, we decided to come up with a new idea: create and sell a t-shirt.

I wanted the guys to learn how a company works from idea to completion, so to get started we elected a president, treasurer, designer, sales manager and production manager.

The young man chosen to be the designer – Craig – sat down and got to work. In less than two hours, he had a sketch of what would become our design.

We took his sketch and had it copied into a computer file. My wife, April, helped Craig enhance the digital file of the sketch and came up with our finished design.

The top banner says Chamberlain High, where our high school students attend. The bottom banner says St. Joseph’s Indian School, where we live. The bear cub is the mascot for Chamberlain teams and the paw print is also a school recognized image. The design also incorporates the colors of the Lakota medicine wheel. The dreamcatcher surrounding the school images symbolizes all the possibilities an education brings.

The Sheehy home accepted the design and submitted our idea for a fundraiser to the management team here at St. Joseph’s. They heard our plan and agreed to allow us to sell the shirts on campus and at Chamberlain High School.

The cabin was only a mile from the slopes and had an outdoor hot tub.

Relaxing in the outdoor hot tub at the cabin.

We worked with a local company that makes t-shirts and negotiated prices for various amounts of t-shirts sold. Our goal was to sell 100 shirts to ensure the best price. With that cost in mind, we worked with St. Joseph’s management team and came up with a sale price of $12.00 per t-shirt.

Our sales manager created a sales folder that everyone used, including a picture of the shirt, our design story and an order form. Our guys covered the campus and school for an entire week taking orders. Our Production Manager took all the order forms and totaled all the various sizes and announced that we had sold 192 shirts. Our elected president led the way selling 58 shirts. When we turned in our order we were able to negotiate an even better cost price for the shirts!

Once the shirts were ready we picked them up and, again using the order forms from each student, filled the orders. After delivering the finished product and all expenses were paid, our treasurer announced that we had earned just over $850.00 for our trip.

We had raised enough to stay in a cabin less than a mile from the slopes!

Our guys enjoyed two days of skiing and snowboarding, followed by relaxing in the outdoor hot tub at the cabin. The best part for me was, when all was said and done, one of the boys said “You know, there is a lot of work that goes into making a shirt.”

Thank you for making St. Joseph’s possible, and the life lessons our guys learn here that are making tomorrow brighter.

Mike and April F

Sheehy Home Houseparents

Boys in the Sheehy Home earned some extra money to go skiing on their home trip this winter.

The guys enjoyed two days of skiing and snowboarding.

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

As you read this, our Lakota (Sioux) students are coming back to begin the fourth quarter and I’m at a meeting at our province headquarters in Hales Corners, Wisconsin.  It is a gathering of the superiors of our various communities in the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart. We share insights with Fr. Steve Huffstetter, SCJ, our Provincial, and the members of the Provincial Council.

Fr. Hendrick, SCJ, our superior for South Dakota is away, I get to represent our SCJ community.  Please keep us in your prayers that the Holy Spirit will guide our decisions as we update operations and processes within the Province.

The young men from Carola Home (high school boys) recently spent some time fulfilling what Jesus asks us to do during Lent — pray, fast and give alms.

Art, a former houseparent, is trying to honor a request from his terminally ill brother, who wishes to see as much of the world as he can before his illness takes over.

The boys held a car wash fundraiser for Art’s brother here at St. Joseph’s and raised $272 to help make his dream possible.  In doing so, they ‘fasted’ by giving their time and alms via what they raised. They kept Art’s brother in their prayers that night asking the Great Spirit to enable him to visit various parts of Mother Earth.

The Explorers group made their trip to visit the State Capitol in Pierre, South Dakota and met with several State officials, including Governor Dennis Daugarrd. A

The Explorers met the Governor on their recent trip to Pierre.

St. Joseph’s student Joe, a member of the Explorers, meets South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugarrd.

few days after their trip to Pierre, they hosted a dance for the sixth, seventh and eighth graders in the Chamberlain community.

Late last week the rec center hosted an open house for staff and their families to learn about what resources are available there. The Lakota students are the primary visitors to St. Joseph’s rec center, but it’s also available to our staff. Visitors explored the workout room, shot some hoops in the open gym and a few even hit the pool for some swimming. Information was also available to learn more about health, weight loss and wellness.

Everyone is anxious for spring! The high school homes had a cook out at the Crane Home (high school girls) to celebrate the approach of spring and (hopefully!) the end of snow and cold winter temperatures.

In the week ahead, we’ll be celebrating the Feast of St. Joseph with a prayer service to kick off the fourth quarter of the school year.  That day will also end our Monthly Novena of Masses for you, our benefactors.

Have a great week and may God’s blessings be with you!

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJHappy St. Patrick’s Day!


My name is Brian and I’m St. Joseph’s Major Gifts Officer. Prior to working with donors, I was a houseparent at St. Joseph’s Indian School, working directly with the

Brian was a houseparent before working with Major Gifts

Brian, St. Joseph’s Major Gifts Officer

Lakota children. I also serve on the Junior Achievement Board of Directors and recently taught a 5-week Junior Achievement course for St. Joseph’s fourth grade class with Mike, our President. Mike taught the 4th grade class last year, but this is my first year teaching.

This is the second year the class has been offered in the Chamberlain community and to St. Joseph’s students. Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to economic education for young people in the United States and 122 other countries. Funds for the organization are raised through community donations and fundraisers such as golf tournaments and bowl-a-thons.

I believe financial literacy is just as crucial as academic success for our students. A child can make straight A’s in the classroom, but if they are unable to create and follow a budget, balance a checkbook and make smart consumer decisions, they will have a much harder time in life.

Sponsored by Junior Achievement of South Dakota, the course we taught outlined the basic principles of entrepreneurship, including how to start and run your own business.

We also discussed the basic fundamentals and terms of an economy. Some of those key terms included profit, loss, revenue and expense. The fourth graders mastered the basic capitalistic principles of supply and demand coupled with risk and reward.

During our fifth and final session, students were given a copy of a McDonald’s menu and a $5.00 gift card. The assignment was for the students to navigate their way through the menu and come up with a complete meal for $5.00 or less. For this exercise, tax was not included. After much addition and subtraction – and some erasing – the students came up with a meal under the limit. They also had the option to go in with a partner and stay under $10 with a shared lunch.

The students were prepared and finally, the day came!

Mike and I loaded up two mini-buses and headed to McDonald’s for lunch. With their menus in hand, each student took their turn at ordering their meal and displaying their best manners. They enjoyed the assignment and their food. During our lunch, the students asked if we were going to be teaching the class again next year. I think the answer is yes!

At St. Joseph’s Indian School, financial literacy is just as important as other subjects.

St. Joseph’s fourth graders took a 5-week class on financial literacy.


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