Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Let me blow on my fingers first so I can type the blog today… brrr!  It has been damp, cold and windy in Chamberlain. Despite the unseasonable weather, everyone seems up-beat since this is the last week of the school year.

While St. Joseph’s students in grades 1-8 have a week to go, our high school students have begun summer break. Last week, Chamberlain High School (where our students attend), held their athletic awards banquet.  Eleven St. Joseph’s students won varsity letters!

  • Irene was Rookie of the Year for the girls’ golf team
  • Danny was the Most Dedicated in boys’ golf
  • Jacob was the Most Inspirational in track
  • Adrian was honored as being Captain, MVP and winner of the Hustler award in boys’ basketball.

The last day of school was Friday. Sunday brought the graduation of the Chamberlain High School Class of 2015 with six St. Joseph’s students among the proud graduates. The armory was jammed with family and friends to wish the class well as they stepped into their futures. Congratulations!

Meanwhile, the Explorers group traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota to take in some baseball. They attended a Friday night game, spent the night and attended an afternoon game the next day before heading home.  It seems the Twins need them as good luck charms – the team won both games the boys attended but lost when the Explorers went home, dropping the Sunday game 11-3.


When students are back, they’ll put together presentations on their cultural trip.

Students camp throughout the seventh grade cultural trip, visiting places like Wind Cave, Bear Butte and Fort Laramie.

Today, St. Joseph’s students are having Field Day activities. Grades 4-6 did their events in the morning and grades 1-3 are doing theirs in the afternoon. When they are not participating in field activities, they will be at the local theater for a movie. All this is sandwiched around a picnic lunch at American Creek Park for everyone. Pray that the rain holds off!

This evening St. Joseph’s seventh graders will return from their annual cultural trip, which took them out to the Badlands, the Wounded Knee Massacre site and Wind Cave. They hiked Bear Butte and then visited the Crazy Horse monument being carved into a mountain in South Dakota’s Black Hills.

From there, it was on to Fort Laramie in Wyoming where a treaty was signed in 1868 between the United States and various bands of Lakota people along with Yanktonai Dakota and Arapaho Nation which guaranteed Lakota ownership of the Black Hills.  The discovery of gold led to incursions by miners and defense of their lands by the Native Americans which led to war and the seizing of the Black Hills by the government in 1877.

Next on the list were Greasy Grass, the Native American name for the Little Big Horn battle between the Native Americans and Custer’s 7th Calvary and Mato Tipila, more commonly known as Devil’s Tower and finally the Vore Buffalo Jump. Tomorrow, when students are back, they’ll put together presentations on what the journey meant to them which they’ll present them to the students and staff on Thursday morning.

This week will end with our eighth grade graduation. We ask you to keep our graduates in your prayers, that they may use the knowledge and skills they have developed here at St. Joseph’s to have a positive impact in the lives of those they’ll cross paths with in the future.

Have a great week! I hope everyone have a safe, relaxing and enjoyable Memorial Day next Monday as we honor and remember those who gave their tomorrows that we might have freedom today.

God bless,

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


Six St. Joseph’s seniors graduated with the Chamberlain High School Class of 2015.

Congratulations class of 2015!

What a mess!!!  Mother Nature needs to be reminded this is spring. On Sunday, South Dakota experienced a tornado to the east that damaged the town of Delmont and

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

blizzards to the west which dumped over 12” of snow in the Black Hills.  This unexpected blizzard trapped three of St. Joseph’s homes who were on their end-of-the-year family trip.  Here in Chamberlain we had rain, wind and blustery weather which had everyone searching for packed-away sweaters.

The bad weather also played havoc with a soccer tournament over in Mitchell in which the boys from Ambrose Home and the local Chamberlain community were taking part.  The team had won their first two games and spent the night in Mitchell to see if they could continue their success on Sunday.  The tornado put an end to that and caused them to take shelter in a basement for nearly an hour before the all clear was given.  They are not sure if the game will be re-scheduled, but they’ll have something to talk about for a while!

The rain also forced the Chamberlain High School girls’ golf team to miss out on advancing to regional play in their quest to move on to the state golf meet.  The meet will probably be made up and we wish St. Joseph’s student Irene success as she carries the colors for Chamberlain High School and St. Joseph’s.

Artist in Residence Jenny Menzel spent last week with St. Joseph’s seventh and eighth grade students, teaching them to design and produce invitation cards and thank you notes.  Tipi Press Printing, our print shop, will be helping the students get them printed.

St. Joseph’s is proud to have six Lakota students graduating from high school.

Last Wednesday, we had a prayer service honoring our six high school graduates.

This past Wednesday, we had a prayer service honoring our six high school graduates.  During the ceremony a video was shown in which our graduates gave advice to our younger students, shared what they see their future holding and what schools they’ll be attending in the fall.  Tonight, the Baccalaureate service will be held at St. James Catholic Church for all of the Chamberlain High School 2015 graduating class.  Friday will be their last day of school and graduation is scheduled for Sunday.

Chamberlain High School recently held a ceremony honoring the academic achievements of various class members and awarded scholarships.  Angela, a St. Joseph’s student, was named a Regent’s Scholar and won the Ruth Potter Memorial/Dakota Indian Foundation Scholarship. Congratulations Angela!

On Mother’s Day we remembered our moms at Mass and then passed out flowers to all the mothers.  It was also a Mass to honor our eighth grade graduates.  Those attending were asked to take part in the blessing offered for the moms and the graduates.

I hope you have a wonderful week.  You are remembered in our prayers as we ask God’s blessings on you for your generosity and interest in the welfare and education of the Lakota boys and girls attending St. Joseph’s Indian School.

God bless,

Fr. Anthony

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Our Lakota students have been busy lately, working hard to make their communities better places!

This past weekend, Chamberlain High School hosted its annual powwow.  The Native American Club – including many of St. Joseph’s high school students – worked behind the scenes to get things ready. Lots of St. Joseph’s staff and younger students also contributed their time and effort to set up, take part in the dancing and drum groups, help out with the food, judging and just be present to participate in this aspect of their culture and heritage.  One of our seventh grade students, Iyung, was crowned Junior Miss Chamberlain High School.  The powwow was held at the Chamberlain Community Center.

Also on Saturday, the Explorers group held a car wash to raise funds to help cover the cost of improvements to the community swimming pool. The boys washed and vacuumed 105 cars in only six hours!

St. Joseph’s boys are members of Explorers and participate in a variety of helpful projects in the community.

The Explorers washed and vacuumed 105 cars to raise money for the community pool.

The high school boys in the Sheehy Home helped out with a community-wide clean up recently. They worked around town wherever they were needed. They did such a good job, Chamberlain’s City Engineer made a point of letting the school know how impressed he and others were with the boys’ hard work.

We are honored to have our students represent our school recognized in such diverse ways and be recognized for their hard work. It reflects how our students share in the value of helping others since they are helped by the commitment of St. Joseph’s many donors.

Another example of how your generosity bears fruit is seen in the good news from Mary Jane, our Director of Alumni.  She sent out word that five St. Joseph’s alumni would be graduating from college between now and August:

  • LaSheena will graduate from United Tribes in Bismarck, ND with a two year degree in Business Management;
  • Janice will graduate from National American University in Rapid City, SD with her AA Paralegal degree and plans on attending law school;
  • Charity and Daisy will both graduate from Sinte Gleska University at Lower Brule, SD with AA Early Childhood degrees and plan on working toward teaching certification;
  • Steve will graduate from Sinte Gleska University in Mission, SD with his BA in counseling with an emphasis on Drug and Alcohol Counseling.

Six other Native American students are being helped through St. Joseph’s scholarship program:

  • Faith from Lower Brule, South Dakota, will be graduating from Duke University with her Masters of Arts/Public Safety;
  • Christopher from Springfield, South Dakota, is graduating from the University of Minnesota-Morris with a BA in Business Management;
  • Sandy from Lower Brule, South Dakota, is graduating with  her AA in Business Management from Sinte Gleska University in Lower Brule;
  • Kebra from Omaha, Nebraska, is also graduating from the University of Minnesota-Morris with her BA in Psychology;
  • Tamara from Alliance, Nebraska, is graduating from Oglala Lakota College with a nursing degree.

Thanks to your support, prayers and encouragement these 11 graduates will use their newly acquired skills to help others! Read more about St. Joseph’s alumni at

I hope you have great week!

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

It has been an interesting and eventful week at St. Joseph’s.  Weather is getting warmer, but we do need rain.  We did our 20th Annual Sobriety Walk this past Friday. The students gathered in front of the rec center and then headed out for their walk into the community. There was a small group of students that had enough energy to run the distance.

Everyone has supper together in the dining hall and then the older grades attended the presentation on avoiding alcohol and drugs. Everyone had a great time!

St. Joseph’s holds three sobriety celebrations each year.

St. Joseph’s Sobriety Walk was held last Friday.

On Monday, the eighth graders shadowed our high school students at Chamberlain High School to get a feel of what school is going to be like for them next year.  They follow our current students around to learn the layout of the high school and meet some of the teachers and staff.

Last Monday evening, members of Dave’s Government class attended the local Chamberlain City Commissioners meeting. It was a good opportunity to see local government in action and ask questions about what motivates the commissioners to serve.

Some of the students’ questions included:

  • What are some of the key issues the city is facing now and in the future?
  • What are the requirements for running for a seat on the city council?
  • Has there ever been a woman commissioner?
  • Can a Native American or other minority run?

They learned that there has been a female commissioner in the past and anyone can run for a seat as long as they live within the city limits, are at least 18 years old and do not have a felony on their record.

St. Joseph’s students and staff just completed a month-long food drive.  The food was gathered up today and taken to the local women’s shelter. St. Joseph’s students had the opportunity to make a donation with their home, or to make a purchase on their own for the food drive.

The Lakota (Sioux) children are so grateful to be able to help others and give back to the community! It is an important way for the students to show their appreciation for your generosity to each of them, and to recognize the need to help others.


In high school sports, junior Adrian was selected to the Big Dakota All

Adrian, a St. Joseph’s junior, has earned top basketball honors.

Adrian earned a spot on the Big Dakota All Conference basketball team as well as the SESD All Conference team.

Conference basketball team as well as the SESD All Conference team.  We look forward to a great year next year and a possible trip to cheer him and the Cubs on at the State Boys Basketball Tournament!

Sophomore Danny recently won the Lakota National Invitation (LNI) golf tournament!

Sophomore Danny recently won the Lakota National Invitation (LNI) golf tournament!

Sophomore Danny recently went to Pierre, South Dakota last week to participate in the Lakota National Invitation (LNI) golf tournament with 20-30 other golfers. We are happy to announce that he won!  Chris, one of our staff and the Chamberlain High School golf coach, shared that Danny had a tough putt on his last shot, but sank it with no trouble.

Congratulations Adrian and Danny!

Have a great week. Be assured of our prayers for your generosity which enables the Lakota boys and girls to take part in all these activities. Also, please join us in keeping the people of Nepal in prayer as they recover from the recent earthquake.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


Greetings from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Weekends are getting quiet around here as it seems more students are away lately than on campus.  When the school year is winding down, our homes take the opportunity to visit various South Dakota attractions. They search out a hotel in Sioux Falls or Rapid City with an indoor pool or head for a shopping mall.  This is part of each home’s annual budget to take a “family trip.”

This past Sunday we held another Lakota Mass on campus. Our drum group was present to provide music.  We were honored to have several dancers take part and various parts of the Mass were recited in Lakota.

The big excitement this week is the circus! The Shrine Circus was in Chamberlain on Monday and Tuesday with four performances.  The younger students (first through third grades) attended the performance on Monday afternoon and really enjoyed themselves.  They loved seeing elephants and tigers, they were amazed by the skill of the acrobats and giggled at the clowns. Everyone had a wonderful time!

The Lakota children are excited to spend more time outside now that spring has arrived at St. Joseph’s.

Spring means home trips and playing outside at St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Medical students from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion visited St. Joseph’s campus and talked with our nurses.  Several of them also made a presentation to our seventh and eighth graders encouraging them to give the medical field some consideration for their future plans.

The college students shared their backgrounds and gave St. Joseph’s students tips on preparing now for the future.  As they answered questions from the students, they played a medical version of Jeopardy where students could pick a question from six categories covered in their presentation.

Tomorrow, everyone will participate in our Spring Sobriety Walk.  There will be a presentation to for all our students, elementary through high school, on why it is important to stay strong and avoid drugs and alcohol.  Staff and students will do a walk around town and then enjoy a meal together. Watch our Facebook page for photos!

Our high school students have an early dismissal on Friday and St. Joseph’s will be hosting a job fair for them sharing what job possibilities will exist this summer, both on campus and off. Several students will be on campus for drivers’ education and other programs. Some simply want to make some extra money for the next school year. Pilamayathank you – for making it possible for our Lakota (Sioux) students to take advantage of these opportunities!

The Chamberlain High School Native American Club is preparing for their annual powwow on May 2. Eight of St. Joseph’s high school students are involved, as well as other students. Please keep them in your prayers as they plan and execute the event, asking for help with concessions, cleaning and food, along with general supervision and guidance.

I hope you had a great week and that all continues to go well for you and yours!

God bless,

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


Hi, my name is Odis. My houseparent partner Theresa and I work in the Cyr Home at St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, South Dakota.

Odis, St. Joseph's Houseparent

Odis, St. Joseph’s Houseparent

We have 11 boys in grades 4-6 in the home, and I want to share with you how we keep the boys active in both body and mind.

One of our mottos at Cyr Home is “work hard, play hard.” On the work side of the equation, cold and snowy Friday afternoons are a great time to cut and sort Box Tops for Education and Campbell’s soup labels after school. We use labels and box tops to

Every year, houseparents Odis and Theresa take the Cyr Home boys to Farm Island for a hike.

The Cyr Home boys and houseparent Theresa on their 2015 Farm Island hike.

buy fun, extra things for the home, like i-Pads and other electronics, which are great to have around on long, cold winter days. The boys usually don’t get to play video games on school days, but on those days when the weather is too bad to go outside, we fire up the Xbox 360, and they use the Kinect to play games that are interactive such as dancing, bowling and baseball games.

A couple of weekends ago, we took a trip to Pierre to do our annual hike on Farm Island, which is around six-and-one-half miles round trip. We take a picture on the same log every year. As you can

Farm Island sits in the Missouri River near Pierre, South Dakota.

The Cyr Home boys on their 2014 Farm Island hike.

see, the log and the boys are getting older and older. I don’t know how many more years our picture log will last…

The island we hike on once had a Civilian Conservation Corps camp operating on it in the 1930’s and was the only one open in South Dakota for the full nine years of the program. Afterwards, it was home to a golf course and children’s camps, among other things. Needless to say, the overgrown island is now home to a lot of ruins and trails that the boys enjoy exploring.

The whole round trip got us very hungry, so we went to the Wonderful House of Jell-O a.k.a. The Chinese Buffet. We call it the Wonderful House of Jell-O because there are always a few boys who have never eaten at a Chinese restaurant and end up with nothing but Jell-O on their plates. The

Each year on their hike, the boys stop at the same tree for a picture.

The Cyr Home boys on their 2013 Farm Island hike.

joke in our home is that the buffet has the world’s best Jell-O because that is all some boys want to eat. The boys were more daring this year, however, and not one of them got Jell-O until they went for seconds.

We want all our readers and donors to know we appreciate your good thoughts and support. The boys at Cyr Home always have you on their minds and in our nightly prayers. Theresa and I thank you for your support of our work with the Cyr Home boys and St. Joseph’s.




Last weekend, Kathleen, St. Joseph’s Principal, and I took five eighth

Claire, Paraprofessional

Claire, Paraprofessional

grade girls to the Girls in Engineering, Math and Science (GEMS) conference at South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota. GEMS is designed to show girls career options in science, math and technology – fields where girls are underrepresented.

One reason may be that when girls take algebra in eighth or ninth grade, it is the first time they have to really struggle with a subject. As a result, girls may come to the faulty conclusion that “Math is not for me!” or that “Math is for boys.”

At GEMS, they meet a lot of young women who love math and science and who excel at it. Having female role models helps break the stereotype that certain subjects or careers are off limits.

Engineering and math are all about solving problems, so our fearless girls got to try their hand at solving some interesting problems at GEMS. One problem was how to build a bridge that would hold up the maximum amount of weight while using the minimum amount of weight in materials.   Several students of civil engineering were on hand to help with blueprints and construction supplies.   The girls used folded paper, tape and brads to build a girder and beam-type structure that even survived the trip home.

Civil engineering students helped the girls learn about building bridges.

Treyah and Lara doing fingerprinting while Kathleen looks on.

Next, they got to try their hand at forensic science. They had to determine which of two suspects broke into the lab and stole some copper tubing. They took hair samples, dental impressions, fingerprints and footprints. They ran a chemical analysis of some powder that was left at the scene. A scientist from the state crime lab was there to show them how to do hair analysis. Pretty soon they had their culprit.

Finally, they got to program a small robot to run through a maze. They did all of the programming separately on a computer. The maze was laid out on the floor in another room, so they had to walk back and forth between runs. It was a matter of repeated trial and error. Each time they would get the robot to go a little farther and make the turns a little better. Mechanical engineering students were on hand to offer encouragement and suggestions on how to tweak the program. “Maybe you should try this…”

Even we chaperones were offered a challenge. We were given a pile of

Civil engineering students helped the girls learn about building bridges.

Sarah and Aalyiah building a bridge while a GEMS volunteer helps out.

parts and had to make a working robot. We had a battery, two motors, two wheels, a controller and a bunch of wires. With some encouragement, we found that we could follow directions and use the tools we were given. With patience and perseverance we managed to hook everything together. It was very satisfying to drive our little robot around in circles on the floor. Yipppeee!

GEMS was a good opportunity for our eighth graders to see what kinds of career choices were available to them. It was also a good opportunity to start talking about high school curriculum choices. The kinds of classes that they choose to take in high school can affect the college paths open to them. Most of our girls aren’t thinking quite that far into the future.

St. Joseph’s Indian School is a place of possibilities, where we try to expose our students to many options for their futures. Thanks to the staff and volunteers at GEMS for giving our girls such a great learning opportunity and for acting as positive role models. Girls Rock! Thank you also to all our generous benefactors who make trips like these possible. We couldn’t have learning experiences like this without you.




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