Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Good Day from St. Joseph’s!

St. Joseph’s Powwow Weekend has officially begun! We are enjoying welcoming visitors, donors and friends to campus and look forward to Saturday’s powwow.

The sports program here at St. Joseph’s is off to a flying start.

This week, our 6th-8th grade Cross Country team has had three meets—one in White River, another in Pierre and the third here in Chamberlain.

Our 6th-8th grade girls’ volleyball teams hosted Todd County on Tuesday and the 7th-8th grade teams participated in an all-day tournament last Saturday.  The 6th grade team is currently 1-0, the 7th grade team is 3-1 and the 8th grade team is 1-3 after losing some close matches.

The 7th-8th grade football team kicked off their season last night by hosting Todd County.  On Monday evening, there was flag football practice for St. Joseph’s and Chamberlain’s 1st-3rd grade students. Instead of them going the length of the field for 100 yards, coaches have the young teams travel sideline to sideline so several teams can play at once.  The Chamberlain High School football team has an away game this week, which should give them a bit of a test.  They are currently 2-0 and have won both games by the ‘mercy rule’—being ahead by 50 points or more by halftime.

If you read last week’s blog, you are aware that ‘Flat Francis (Pope Francis)’ is visiting campus this semester.  This past week, he spent time in the Dennis Home playing basketball, jumping rope, hula-hooping, visiting the pool, giving Amilia a blessing for her pretend illness and visiting McDonald’s for ice cream.  (more…)

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's ChaplainGood day from St. Joseph’s Indian School.

When walking out of my office the other day, I was almost trampled by a number of young ladies and their mentors who were running, walking, skipping and hopping around Wisdom Circle on central campus!

The 4th and 5th grade girls are currently taking part in Girls on the Run, a 10-week interactive program that strives to educate and prepare girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living.  The running component of the program is used to challenge the girls to reach a goal.  The objective is to keep girls out of the ‘Girl Box’—a place where they are valued more for their outward appearance than their character inside.

The program strives to focus on giving girls the tools to develop a healthy self-image and discover a life free of the ‘girl box’ where they can say, “I belong just the way I am.”

The program offers a three-part character development curriculum:

  1. Getting to know yourself—values, goals, respect, healthy physical and emotional habits and positive behaviors,
  2. Being part of a team—cooperation, listening skills, gossiping, bullying and standing up for yourself, and
  3. Being part of a community—media influence and peer pressure so that they can discern how to make a positive impact in the local community by designing and completing a project to benefit an individual or group in the local community.

gotrThe program will end with a non-competitive 5K run/walk in Sioux Falls mid-November which will give the participants a chance to shine and a sense of accomplishment.  We wish them all well.

Another ‘unique’ visitor has come to spend some time on campus this year!


Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Greetings from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

You may be aware our high school senior students are in a new program to help get them ready for college. They have restructured living arrangements that are similar to what they’ll find in the dorms.

Our Houseparents are working to help them develop a sense of independence so they’ll be able to take care of their own cooking, shopping, budgeting and employment after graduation. Recently, the high school girls in Hogebach Home got busy canning tomatoes!

imageLast weekend, the girls decided it would be a fun activity to learn. They got the hang of washing the tomatoes, blanching them so as to be able to remove the skin, and the value of an apron as tomato juice was all over the place. They discussed sterilizing jars, the different width of jar mouths and the fact that sealing lids needed to be pretreated to ensure a good seal. They measured, mixed and taste-tested salsa to make sure it was good.

As they progressed filling the jars, they discussed the importance of hot jars for hot liquids and how full to fill the jars and why it was important to wipe clean the jars’ necks so as to ensure a good seal.

imageProud of their success, they decided to take some home to show off to family and friends and also send a Care Box with chips and homemade salsa to a recent graduate.

They feel they’ll have enough to last through the winter since they were able to make 10 quarts and 7 pints. They plan to continue canning plain tomatoes to be used in home cooking throughout the year.

In addition to canning, the girls and their houseparents also discussed the value of having a garden which could provide a lot of food for a family to use throughout the winter.

imageAfter enjoying the chance to learn and new skill and realize they were able to provide for future meals, the Hogebach girls were treated to a swim party and picnic at American Creek. They had fun on the water and enjoyed a meal featuring kabobs provided by Maija, one of our high school staff.

The Sheehy Home recently sponsored a BBQ meal for the Chamberlain High football team the evening before their first game.

About 30 young men- along with their coaches- descended upon Sheehy Home. Mike, one of the Sheehy houseparents, said everyone came hungry and had a good time.

This supper is a tradition St. Joseph’s has offered for several years to help the team get to know each other better and show St. Joseph’s support for an athletic program our students are getting involved in. We have four or five young men on the team this year.

Since the 8th graders, who are now freshman, had an undefeated season last year, the coach is giving a lot of the younger players a chance to play, which will help in the years to come. The BBQ dinner paid off as Chamberlain ran away with the game, 70-0. That’s right… 70-0!

Crow Creek, a local reservation public school, had some good players but were overmatched by not having a lot of subs.

The Cubs have some tough teams on the schedule, so the shoe may be on the other foot in the not too distant future. We look forward to watching them play again!

As you may know, St. Joseph’s is building a new two story facility which will house an infirmary on the bottom floor and the offices of our Family Service Counselors who meet with their designated students each week on the second.

imageThe building will be attached to the current school wing. The photo shows how deep they’ve gone to put in a basement and pipe lines for various wires to ensure the building will be habitable.

We’ll be blessing the ground for the new facility on the morning of our up-coming powwow. We’ve had some fun watching the progress, even though our power has been accidentally cut off four times!

A sad note now. You probably have heard of the two religious Sisters who were brutally killed in Mississippi recently. Sr. Paula Murill, SCN and Sr. Margaret Held, OSF had served in a ministry of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, who also sponsor St. Joseph’s, in Holly Springs, Mississippi.

The Sisters served as nurses with Sacred Heart Southern Missions out of Walls, Mississippi and helped provide in-home health care. After becoming nurse practitioners, they moved on to serve at a clinic in Mound Bayou, Mississippi and then on to Durant, Mississippi to work with the poor at a clinic there.

We ask you keep them in your prayers as well as their religious communities and their families as we all struggle to deal with this sudden and tragic loss.

Hope you all have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day Weekend.


Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

The school year is off to a flying start now that everyone is back. The high school students began their classes on Wednesday, but students going out for sports have been on campus for a week or so practicing.

The high school girls volleyball has their first away game Saturday, football plays in Chamberlain tonight against Crow Creek, and the golf team has had several matches already with St. Joseph’s own, Danny, capturing third (behind another Chamberlain golfer coming in second) at a meet in the Rapid City area.

The younger students here at St. Joseph’s have had the chance to sign up for cross country, girls volleyball and 7th & 8th grade football. There will also be youth football for grades 4th through 6th that will include players from the Chamberlain area.

imageThe big event on campus this week has been the 5th graders taking part in the week-long STARBASE program. STARBASE is a program that combines science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) with exciting experiments and hands-on activities to motivate students to explore these subjects as they continue their education.

Throughout the week, there has been a variety of fun activities: crafting a container to protect an egg being dropped from a certain height; designing and shooting straw rockets; combining various ingredients and chemicals to produce elephant toothpaste and seeing how high a container can reach in a tube.

Yesterday, students used a computer program to code their robots’ movements as they traveled around the classroom. Each group of two or three worked together to see who’s robot could travel through the courses the quickest. This session was definitely a class favorite!

imageTo culminate the week, the 5th graders are currently in Rapid City, South Dakota to visit the Air & Space Museum at Ellsworth Air Force Base. We look forward to hearing about their day upon their return.

This Saturday, St. Joseph’s will be hosting the Chamberlain Youth Triathlon. Participants will swim a certain number of laps in our pool, bike for a certain distance and end with a run.

With St. Joseph’s annual powwow just around the corner, there will also be time this weekend for various age groups to get some powwow dance practice in with our drum group. They are all busy practicing and preparing their dances for the powwow festivities on September 17!

I hope you might be able to attend this year’s powwow and see the results of their practices firsthand. For more information, visit or call 800-584-9200.

As the last days of summer vacation pass by, I hope this has been a wonderful summer for you and yours. We are grateful to those of you who helped provide school supplies for our students and took the time to send them some words of encouragement as our school year began.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's ChaplainHello from St. Joseph’s Indian School.


This past Sunday, St. Joseph’s Indian School’s student body for the school year of 2016-2017 arrived on campus. The upcoming year, 2017, marks St. Joseph’s Indian School’s 90th Anniversary!

Once a student arrived, they went to their Home to drop off their clothes and personal items.

Next, they walked to the health center, allowing our nurses to measure height, weight and eye sight, as well as a quick check-up to see if there were any medical needs that needed to be addressed. During this visit, our nurses also had the chance to visit with parents or guardians to see if there was any special medications a student might need.

8-19-16 Fr A Blog 3

Families enjoyed playing Hand Games at St. Joseph’s Welcome Back Picnic!

When the medical visit was over, the students and their families came back outside to take part in a “Welcome” picnic. There was a big inflatable they could climb on and a gift table each student could take a prize from.

There was also a face painting station and a photo booth where the student and their family could have a group picture taken. Once the photo was taken, it was printed and put in a frame for the student to keep on campus or their family to take home with them.

Those who were hungry enjoyed hot dogs, chips, cookies and water! As you can see from the photos, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

We are so happy to have our students back on campus!! (more…)

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School.

The countdown to the start of the new school year is in single digits, as our students arrive on campus this Sunday!

All-Staff Orientation is also coming to a close. We began with a prayer service on Tuesday and had a picnic Wednesday evening. Various groups have been busy going over policy and expectations. Teachers and Houseparents have been preparing their classrooms and homes for the students’ arrival!

This year, God has blessed us with a good group of newcomers whom we welcome to the ministry here at St. Joseph’s, dedicated to meeting the needs of our students ‘heart, mind, body and soul.’ While we welcome them aboard, we will miss the veterans who are no longer with us. We ask the Great Spirit’s blessings upon them all! (more…)

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's ChaplainGood day from St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Two weeks or so ago, the local SCJs were able to gather at St. Catherine’s in Big Bend, South Dakota for the dedication of a new parish hall. The previous hall had ‘given up the ghost’ and was too old and run-down to host parish celebrations.  20160710_133142

The pastoral team of Fr. Vincent, SCJ, Fr. Hendrik, SCJ and Fr. Joseph Dean, SCJ cover both sides of the Missouri River. West River, they serve three parishes – Reliance, Kennebec, and Lower Brule. East River, they are joined by Sr. Charles, OSB and Deacon Steve McLaughlin to cover Ft. Thompson, Stephan and Big Bend.

20160710_131206Ms. Escorn and her grandson, Grey Star Warrior Adam, joined us in the photo to represent the past, present and future of this church community.

We hope the St. Catherine’s parish is able to enjoy their new church hall for many years to come.

You may be aware that St. Joseph’s is building a new facility to combine our medical clinic and provide office and therapy space for our Family Service Counselors. The construction is well underway and we are looking forward to watching the building develop!

A few days ago, the construction crew ran into a little bit of a problem as they were trying to dig a ditch to lay pipes for water, sewage and electrical wiring. All was going well until they hit one of the buried power lines and knocked power out over half the campus! They knew the line was there, but it had been miss-marked and was not where they thought it would be. Fortunately, power was up and running again within a half hour.


As the new school year quickly approaches, St. Joseph’s wanted to take a moment to look back at the past school year. 

Cathy, Houseparent

Hi! My name is Cathy. I am a houseparent in the William Home, one of St. Joseph’s 4th-6th grade girls homes.

Adventure and Way to Go!! are always a couple of the themes interwoven into the William Home’s experiences.


Adventure is defined as ‘an unusual and exciting experience or activity, especially the exploration of unknown territory.’ It also means taking chances. 

Adventure walks were one of our students’ favorite things to do last year! Normally, their favorite activity was the playground, but sometimes an adventure/mystery walk would be offered.

Initially, there were complaints and grumblings because they would want to know exactly where they were going… but we would tell them that knowing doesn’t fit the definition of adventure or mystery!

p2Now, the girls would not hesitate to say ‘YES’ because they know the walk will result in a fun activity! Wondering and guessing where our destination was always added to the excitement.

To be honest, I usually do not have a clue as to where we are headed, but by starting out in any given direction, I know we  will find our destination along the way. It might be a new hill to roll down solo or in tandem, or a really neat place to play hide and seek!

Each time is always a different and fun adventure.

On Valentine’s Day,  a few of the girls said ‘YES’ to a mystery walk. This particular stroll definitely became an adventure with a capital A!


Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School.

As some of you may know, this year has been proclaimed a Holy Year of Mercy by Pope Francis. Part of the celebration calls for people to visit the Cathedral and pass through the Holy Door as part of a pilgrimage. I joined parishioners from St. James Catholic Church in Chamberlain and St. Margaret Catholic Church in Kimball to visit the Cathedral of St. Joseph’s in Sioux Falls.

To meet the requirements for the plenary indulgence, the trip was geared to have the opportunity for Confession, to offer prayer for Pope Francis’ intentions and to receive the Eucharist by joining in the noon Mass. After the Mass, we were given a guided tour of the Cathedral and the renovations that were done in the past few years. The group joined together at a local Perkins for lunch before heading home. We enjoyed sharing reflections of what had impressed people the most about the experience and the tour.

The team at the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center has received some great reviews from recent visitors! You can read some of the reviews for yourself by clicking HERE.


Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School.

It has been an exciting few days at St. Joseph’s Indian School! On Monday, the city of Chamberlain put on a wonderful fireworks display and on Wednesday, a storm with fierce winds and rain moved through town. Luckily, there was not much damage with the storm, other than a few tree branches here and there.

The students in the Summer Break Home all headed home this week. Prior to their departure, they made a trip to Omaha, Nebraska. They seemed to have enjoyed themselves! They swam in a wave pool, rode a roller coaster, raced go-carts, visited an aquarium and made a trip to the zoo to see


A picnic in the park was a cherry on top of the Summer Break Home’s trip to the zoo!

orangutans, polar bears, gorillas and elephants—certainly animals that are not normally seen on the plains of South Dakota! (more…)