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 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…)

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…)

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Greetings from St. Joseph’s Indian School!


Things have slowed down quite a bit on campus. The Rising Eagle Day Camp culminated and the free lunch program for the community has also came to an end to give our staff a short break before the students return to campus on August 14.


Several students are staying on campus in our Summer Break Home. They recently spent a few days in Omaha, Nebraska. I will make sure to give a report on what they saw and did in my blog next week.



Summer Camp participants enjoyed the slip-n-slide waterslide!

The most popular activity at this year’s summer camp was a slip-n-slide ‘waterslide’! A tarp was placed on a hill with a hose at the top, allowing the kids to slip and slide all the way to the bottom of the hill! Everyone enjoyed it immensely.


About a week or so ago, the Chamberlain Cubs High School varsity basketball team sponsored a clinic to help future NBA prospects perfect their game.  Several of the young men from the Break Home took advantage of the opportunity, going to the gym each morning to hone their skills.  They seemed to have a lot of fun and we’ll see if the extra training bears fruit when the basketball season opens in November.


Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Greetings from St. Joseph’s Indian School here in Chamberlain, South Dakota!

The weather has been beautiful these last several days. The temperature is predicted to climb over 100 degrees today, but things are still nice and green due to the rain we have received.

You can tell that summer vacations are beginning to pick up speed—the interstate is full of campers and cars heading in all directions. Last week, we had a large caravan of 12 RV travelers visit the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center. They nearly took up the entire parking lot.

Our Dining Hall staff is very busy! The Rising Eagle Day Camp for the children from the Crow Creek Reservation is in full swing and students from the Chamberlain area taking part in the PAWS (P-programs and pupils, A-after/before School, W-winners in School, S-success) Program are enjoying nutritious meals multiple times per day. This free summer lunch program is just one of the ways that St. Joseph’s seeks to use our facilities to meet needs in the local community.

On Tuesday, those taking part in the Rising Eagle Day Camp had the opportunity to learn some water safety from members of the Game, Fish and Parks Department. The instructors explained to the children how important it is to wear your lifejacket and stay seated when the boat is in operation. They also reminded them to be aware of which direction and how strong to current is when swimming, so as not to get swept away from shore. They had a fishing boat the kids could climb around in and life jackets they could practice putting on.



Summer fun and water safety at St. Joseph’s Rising Eagle Day Camp!

We are grateful to the instructors and hope the children put what they’ve learned into action each and every time they are near the water. Lessons like this are very important since Ft. Thompson, Crow Creek, Lower Brule and St. Joseph’s are all located right on the banks of the Missouri River.


This past Saturday, nearly 100 alumni and former staff gathered to celebrate an Alumni Reunion with the purpose of renewing old ties, looking over old pictures to see who could be identified and thanking Mary Jane, our Alumni Liaison who is retiring after 45 years at St. Joseph’s.

The day started at 9:30 AM and went until 2:00 PM. We all gathered in the Medicine Wheel Garden for an opening prayer. Soon after, many former staff and alumni took tours of campus and re-visited the underground tunnels. Some of the alumni visiting campus were here prior to 1970 when St. Joseph’s was still utilizing dorms and an old school building, so they were very surprised to see all of the changes!

After lunch, a group photo was taken and door prizes were distributed. The day ended with an Honor Song for deceased members of St. Joseph’s alumni and their families as well as St. Joseph’s Alumni who have served our country.



I enjoyed visiting with the Summer Break Home! 

This past Sunday, I took some time to visit with the students staying in the Summer Break Home. They have been having a variety of experiences and journeys around the area. They have really enjoyed spending many days swimming at the local Chamberlain pool since a lot of waterslides and other activities were added last year. They have also been to the Black Hills and Pierre. This weekend, the students and their houseparents hope to head to the Twin Cities in Minnesota for some sightseeing.

As you can see from the picture, they were very excited to share what they have been doing. I’ll try to touch base with them upon their return and share with you what they did in Minnesota.

This weekend I’ll be away too as I have been invited to the ordination of a young man in Indiana who I baptized when I was stationed in Houston, Texas. He tracked me down last year and invited me to his Deaconate Ordination and now I have been asked to come again for his priestly ordination and 1st Mass. It will be a very special honor. Please keep Michael in your prayers, that he has a long and fruitful ministry serving God’s people.

I hope all of you have a wonderful week. May God continue to bless and reward you due to your generosity towards St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School.
What a difference a few days makes! Last week, we were caught up in the excitement of graduation from Chamberlain High School and St. Joseph’s Indian School as the graduates of 2016 took their first steps into their futures.
With most of the students and staff now on summer vacation, the campus is rather quiet. In complete contrast, the tipi is up at the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center and the parking lot is filled with cars from all over the United States! Our Museum & Cultural center continues to receive great reviews from visitors.


imageAs the school year wound down, the 8th graders took part in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Camp. Through the camp, they participated in a variety of projects that put into action the skills they have learned over this past year.
The 7th and 8th grade students also had a yearbook signing party during which they could relax, share some goodies and sign each other’s yearbooks. Many teachers, Family Service Counselors and houseparents joined in the fun.


Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Things are ‘normal’ here on campus, meaning we are meeting ourselves coming and going.

The 7th graders returned from their cultural trip a few days ago and shared where they went and what they learned with the younger grades yesterday.

The 6th-8th graders in the Explorers Club have been down in Kansas City watching the Royals play.  They washed over 80 cars and brought in $5,000 in donations and pledges! The money was donated to the City of Chamberlain to help with the construction of a Frisbee golf course.


St. Joseph’s Health and Family Services Center groundbreakers.

On Monday afternoon, we had the blessing and ground breaking for the new Health and Family Services Center. This building will have our healthcare and counseling services all under one roof, better enabling us to care for the whole child—mind, body, heart and spirit. The current health center is located in the old nun convent that was built in 1963 and converted to the Freimann Health Center in 1982. With both students and staff families taking advantage of the nurses and local healthcare providers in attendance, new space was needed.