Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Though we tried to hold off as long as we could, winter has ‘arrived’ here on the banks of the Missouri River.  We were on the cusp of the recent storm that swept out of the Rockies.  We got an inch or two of snow, and then the storm unloaded on eastern South Dakota. Snow kept right on falling across Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois.  I have a sister living in Janesville, Wisconsin, and they were in the neighborhood of 20 inches!

Looking across the river as the sun rose was a beautiful sight.  The sun reflecting off the windows and the newly fallen snow made it look like the Christmas villages many will be putting under their trees soon.  Our students weren’t able to enjoy the snow for very long before temperatures rose and melted it all.

The biggest excitement last week was on Wednesday night, our annual Family Night at St. Joseph’s.  All students gathered in the Rec Center to take part in a variety of ‘minute to win it’ type games with their siblings and extended family.  It seemed like mass chaos, but it all ran rather smoothly and it was so much fun!


Our students enjoyed Family Night!

After the games, it was off the dining room for a turkey dinner.  As the students waited for the serving to start, they had the chance to reflect on the people and things they were grateful for and create a centerpiece to share with friends and family over the holiday.  Several students have headed home already, but the majority will be going on Wednesday just ahead of the next storm that is predicted to move into the area.

You may recall that I mentioned the elementary students were honored a week or so ago for their academic achievement.  Last week’s local paper published a listing of high school students who made the Honor Roll at Chamberlain High—seniors Martina, William and Trey; juniors Danielle and Liliana; sophomores Reyna, Chandler, Hope and Camron, and freshmen Listella and Nathaniel.  We want to congratulate them on their success!


Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at St. Joseph’s!

These past few days I’ve had the chance to play ‘undercover boss,’ …but my disguise has not been too good since people recognized me!  ‘Undercover Boss’ is a television show where the boss of a company works among his employees to see how things are going.  I had the chance to help out at the Development Office sorting mail.  It was an interesting experience.  As I was sorting and looking around at others doing similar work, I kept offering up quick prayers of thanks to all our many Benefactors for their generosity.

One thing the staff kept mentioning was to check to make sure each envelope was for St. Joseph’s since sometimes our envelopes get used to return other bills—phone, cable TV, house payments, etc., but they come to us due to the bar code on the envelope.  We forward them to the right address as soon as possible so that you will not lose any service.

I want to take a moment and wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving.  I hope you are able to celebrate with family and friends.  Some of our houseparents who work far from home will be gathering together to celebrate the day.  No matter where or with whom you celebrate, may each of us be able to express our thanks to God for all the blessings He sends our way.

Know that we value and cherish you. We are grateful for your interest and support of St. Joseph’s Indian School.


Happy Thanksgiving,

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School! We had another busy weekend filled with a variety of activities for our students to take part in.

The high school students had the opportunity to attend the Sioux Falls’ Diocesan Youth Conference in Brookings, South Dakota. There was a two-fold purpose:  to invite students on the margin of their Faith to have an encounter with Jesus, and to deepen the commitment of those who have had an initial conversion.  There were about 1,500 students and adults in attendance. The keynote address was given by Fr. Leo Patalinghug, star of EWTN’s ‘Grace Before Meals.”  He gave a cooking demonstration as he shared his message with the youth.

Chamberlain High School’s presentation of the “Wizard of Oz” showed on Friday and Saturday night.  It was performed before a literally ‘standing room only’ crowd.  Several of St. Joseph’s high school students were in the cast, choir and the stage crew working behind the scenes.  They did a wonderful job and everyone enjoyed their journey over the rainbow.

Producers visited with Lakota (Sioux) students at St. Joseph's.

Rising Voices visited St. Joseph’s campus!

You may have heard that some indigenous languages are in danger of being lost. The older generations are passing away and the younger are not picking up the language. St. Joseph’s hosted the director and producer of a PBS production, RISING VOICES/Revitalizing the Lakota Language. The two have been taking the film around the state showing it to different schools and groups to show how steps are being taken to encourage people of all ages to deepen their awareness of the Lakota language.  The film is being shown around the nation. Check their website to see if there is a showing near you!

Many of the people interviewed in the film stated it helps them feel more Native American if they can become more fluent in the language. It was an affirmation of the Native American Studies program we offer at St. Joseph’s.

Our girls’ basketball seasons are underway.  Last week, all the grades played their Chamberlain counterparts.  The girls all put forth a great deal of effort!  The City of Chamberlain will be hosting a basketball tournament for fourth, fifth and sixth graders this coming weekend at various spots around town.  St. Joseph’s will be hosting the sixth grade teams.

St. Joseph's Lady Braves are busy playing in the Recreation Center at St. Joseph's!

St. Joseph’s Basketball season is underway!

One of Chamberlain’s weekly papers, THE SUN, came out with an article on how many records were set or tied by this year’s football team.  Three players raising the bar were St. Joseph’s students—Jeremy, Davis and Kyle.  Jeremy was selected All Conference Linebacker and set five records—most assisted tackles for the season, total tackles for the season, most defensive points in a game, season and career.  Davis was named All Conference Receiver and set a new record for most receiving yards in a game.  Kyle tied the record for most forced turn-overs for the season and was also honored as All Conference Offensive Tackle.  The team had a great season and we are thankful that some of our students were able to help bring about that success!

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, our students will be gathering this evening to take part in the National Family Day Project Night.  They’ll first start in the Rec Center playing various ‘minute to win it’ type games.  Then they’ll move to the dining hall for a turkey dinner while making decorations to take home to their families for Thanksgiving.

Students will also be reminded about the food box they’ll be taking home for Thanksgiving, as well as a voucher for a local grocery store. Thanks to your generosity, St. Joseph’s is able to help  families have enough resources to make sure no one goes to bed hungry over the holiday weekend.

We are grateful to you for your support that enables us to gather the needed supplies.  We hope you have a wonderful week and that God’s blessing may be upon you.


Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ



Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

It’s another lovely day in the neighborhood… although the evil word SNOW has been mentioned on the weather reports! We have yet to see any and are thankful for mild fall weather.

Since the Lakota (Sioux) youth have begun second quarter, we recently held an awards ceremony for quarter one.  The rewards for A and B honor rolls and perfect attendance are a certificate and a WalMart gift card.  If a student is on the honor roll with perfect attendance next quarter, the award may increase in value!  We also have a contest between age groups to see which class can achieve the highest GPA (Grade Point Average).  The one with the highest average gets a pizza party and hangs the award plaque in their classroom.

Lakota (Sioux) students with their teacher.

Ron’s 5th grade class won the award for the highest cumulative GPA for Quarter One!

We honored all veterans and those actively serving our country during Sunday Mass at Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel. THANK YOU just isn’t enough for their sacrifices.

Last Saturday, the Chamberlain Science Club hosted the 1st Annual Hot Chocolate 5K Walk/Run, and it began here on St. Joseph’s campus.  It was a way to celebrate Native American Month and learn about the importance of exercise all year long.  Sanford Hospital set up an informational booth and there were baked goodies and warm drinks for all those taking part.

Students are in the process of learning to sing two Christmas carols in the Lakota language — Silent Night and Hark the Herald Angels Sing.  Aside from what they are learning in class, singing songs is a nice way to keep developing the Lakota language skills of our students.

This week, St. Joseph’s is honored to welcome Mr. Lawrence Diggs, our current Artist in Residence. He is helping our students express themselves through poetry!

St. Joseph’s was honored to have one of our Native American Studies teachers, Allen, give a presentation on historical trauma in American Indian History to a college class at Dakota Wesleyan University.  He shared how early boarding schools tried to negate Native American culture and heritage and ‘mold’ them into the white culture by cutting their hair and not letting them speak their native languages.  He also spoke about high rates of unemployment, suicide and sexual assaults currently present on the reservations.

Tree in Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel

St. Joseph’s Indian School’s Tree of Remembrance

He also shared positive notes about how the reservations are working hard to combat suicides and offer resources to those who are struggling.  Change will not happen overnight, but he is happy that steps are being taken to get things headed in the right direction and he is proud to be part of that process. Read more in the article that appeared in the Mitchell Daily Republic!

We hope you have a wonderful week.  Say pilamayathank you – to a veteran and let them know you are grateful for their service to our country.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


PS:  The picture shows our tree of remembrance in Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel with the names of our Beloved Dead whom we are keeping in prayer this month.

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

What a weekend to be a child!  Our students made the rounds trick-or-treating on campus Friday and then had the chance to dress up again on Halloween itself and make the rounds in Chamberlain.  There were a wide variety of costumes and I had a hard time judging my favorites!  The weather cooperated as well.

Several of the high school homes made the trip to Sioux Falls, South Dakota to take part in haunted houses and scary corn mazes. On Friday, the National Honor Society students sponsored a dance for the 7th and 8th graders from St. Joseph’s and the Chamberlain community.  The price of admission was a non-perishable food item to be donated to the local food pantry.

Lakota (Sioux) students walk around St. Joseph's campus.

Our Lakota students enjoyed dressing up!

St. Joseph’s National Honor Society has been busy helping local Special Olympics athletes during bowling practices and will be traveling with them this Friday to Aberdeen, South Dakota for the final bowling tournament of their season.

Each of our St. Joseph’s homes are asked to do some sort of outreach every year. The Ambrose Home (boys in grades 1-3) decided to go to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Fort Thompson and help pass out coffee and treats after the Mass. They enjoyed the fellowship, as did the parishioners!

As the year continues to roll by, new sports and activities commence for the Lakota students to enjoy.  The girls’ basketball season opens this week as we host PILC (Pierre Indian Learning Center) and then travel to Crow Creek later in the week.

The intercity basketball program for 6th, 7th and 8th grade boys is also underway. St. Joseph’s students combine with Chamberlain area kids to learn the basics of basketball and get some experience on the court. Coaches from both St. Joseph’s and the Chamberlain school district are assisting.

Lakota (Sioux) students at St. Joseph's Indian School

Our students participated in a costume contest!

Other activities for our Lakota (Sioux) youth include martial arts, wrestling, archery and swimming lessons.  Several of our older students are practicing their skills in Lakota Hand Games. You might remember that our hand games team took first place at the annual Lakota Nation Invitational last year.  They are practicing twice a week for this year’s competition. We’ll keep you informed about how they do this year!

At our Mass on All Saints Day at Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel, we had a tree at the front of the chapel decked out with red ribbons. These ribbons bear the names of family and friends who have passed away and are now walking the Red Road.  It is our way of keeping them in prayer, asking the Great Spirit to have mercy on them and welcome them into the Heavenly Kingdom.  We’ll have the tree up all month as we keep the dearly departed in mind.

Hope you’ll have a wonderful month and that you did not overdo it on any Halloween candy you gathered.  May God’s blessings continue to be with you, and thank you for your ongoing support of St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

The weather has gifted us with several sunny, beautiful fall days.  This past weekend was an exciting time for the Chamberlain area.

On Saturday, I went to Sioux Falls to watch the State Cross Country races because Ella, a Chamberlain High School freshman and daughter of one of our grade school teachers, was a favorite in Class A and the Lower Brule boys’ team had great success in their Region to qualify for State. Ella dominated from the start and won by 20 seconds, becoming Chamberlain’s first girls’ cross country champion.  The Lower Brule boys came in 5 out of 16 teams.

On Sunday, 21 young people received the Sacrament of Confirmation at St. James Parish, the Catholic Church in Chamberlain, from Bishop Paul Swain.

Here on St. Joseph’s campus, the students have all been preparing for Halloween! Several homes went to a local pumpkin patch and picked out pumpkins—some of which will be decorated and entered into a contest! To celebrate Halloween, St. Joseph’s students participate in a Grand March of costumes on Friday after the local trick or treating around campus and a trip through the haunted hallway in school.

Wendy, the lady in charge of our distribution center, is the most popular person on campus during Halloween! She has access to the room where all the necessary ingredients for putting the perfect costume together can be found.

Lakota (Sioux) students dressed up.

The Dennis home is dressed for halloween at school today!

A few weeks ago, two of our senior girls, Mia and Katie, attended the Siena 8th Annual Take Charge Conference in Tucson, Arizona, which is a program for Native American youth. The featured speaker was Matene Jerome from Littleton, Colorado who stood up to elected officials and fought to keep the topics of slavery and treatment of Native Americans in school curriculum.

St. Joseph’s students are taking part in Red Ribbon Week, the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country. The program serves as a vehicle for communities and individuals to take a stand for the well-being of children through drug prevention programs, education and personal commitments to live drug free.  The program commemorates the ultimate sacrifice made by DEA Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who died at the hands of Mexican drug traffickers while fighting against illegal drugs.

Each day of the week has a different theme. Students wore pajamas to class, tie red ribbons around campus and wore crazy caps and mismatched or loud socks while also taking part in trivia contests. St. Joseph’s kicked off Red Ribbon Week last Friday with a Sobriety Carnival complete with inflatables and obstacle courses.

I hope you and yours have had a great week and a wonderful and exciting weekend.  Know we are praying for you and your special intentions as our way of saying pilamayathank you— for your support of St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


Hello from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Odis, Houseparent

Odis, Houseparent

My name is Odis. Theresa and I currently serve as houseparents in the Cyr Home, working with boys in grades 4-6.

We want to tell you about the trip we took to the South Dakota State Fair this year! The bus trip to Huron, South Dakota took about an hour and a half. Upon our arrival, the boys ran to the carnival rides! The Zipper and the Ring of Fire were the most popular rides– we were surprised to see how brave our fourth graders were as they all went on the scary rides.

After several hours of enjoying the carnival, it was time to see the livestock barns and petting zoo.

The Lakota(Sioux) students enjoyed feeding the camel.

One of St. Joseph’s students in front of a camel!

At the petting zoo the boys fed camels, lamas and other exotic animals. Some of them had never seen a cow being milked and the dairy farmers were more than willing to show us how it worked and where our milk comes from.

We also went through the swine, horse, goat and rabbit barns. The rabbit barn is always a favorite.  We then took the boys to Farm Implement Row!  Even though they are always anxious to get back to the rides, we had to pull them away from trying to climb on and sit in every tractor and combine.

After walking through some of the exhibit tents, we went back to the rides and the fair food.  One courageous soul even gave the mechanical bull a try!  All the other boys were impressed, but did not want to brave it themselves.

South Dakota State Fair day is one of the highlights of the year for our home! The Cyr Home would like to thank you all for your support. Know that we and the Cyr boys pray for you every day.

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Greetings from St. Joseph’s Indian School.

As I was driving home from the Chamberlain High School football game last Friday, I noticed several of the local motels had ‘no vacancy’ signs lit. I couldn’t figure out why so many people were in town …and then it hit me—pheasants.

The South Dakota pheasant season opened Saturday at noon and the color of the day is now blaze orange. This is a very big source of income for the State of South Dakota and local guides.  We offered a prayer at Sunday Mass asking the Great Spirit to keep all hunters safe.

Saturday evening, St. Joseph’s sponsored a concert by Mr. Shane Heilman of The Psalms Project at the Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel on St. Joseph’s campus. The Psalms Project is a group of forty musicians who are working to put all 150 Psalms to music with artistic excellence, Scriptural integrity, and cultural relevance—a marriage of King David’s vision with modern music.

Thus far, they have recorded the first 20 Psalms and are preparing to release their third album with Psalms 21-30. During the concert, Mr. Heilman talked about the project and explained the meaning of the Psalms he performed. Mr. Heilman also helped out with the music at our Sunday liturgy.  To find out more about the project, you can visit their website,

Last week saw the end of the football and volleyball seasons here on campus. There is no downtime, however, for the Lakota students at St. Joseph’s! Our girls and boys began basketball, martial arts, gymnastics and archery practices this week.

Lakota (Sioux) students with German students

Our Lakota (Sioux) students enjoyed learning from our visitors through the German Exchange program.

Our four German exchange students and their chaperone finished their visit to St. Joseph’s Indian School last week after attending a few days of school at Chamberlain High and then touring the Black Hills, the Badlands, Wall Drug and Mount Rushmore. They were also able to take part in a powwow in Rapid City on Native American Day (observed as Columbus Day elsewhere).

They ended their stay with a presentation to our high school students about their hometowns, their families, their hobbies, what sports they like and their favorite foods. Our students hosted a farewell party at the end of the presentation complete with a cake shaped like a piece of luggage.  Our guests stopped in Chicago for a few days to visit the SCJ’s college program for our seminarians before heading home.  The visit was enjoyed by all.

May each of you have a wonderful week as we see the beauty of nature continue to unfold with the changing of the leaves. May we be grateful for the beauty and continue to do our part in protecting Mother Earth.  May God’s blessings be with you now and always.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,196 other followers