Mike, St. Joseph's President

Mike, St. Joseph’s President

Time and time again, it has been shown that it is the little things we do every day at St. Joseph’s that have the greatest impact on our students.

Here’s a simple, yet wonderful example.

Today is the fourth day of school for our 1-8 grade Lakota students. After driving across campus, I parked in a spot next to the playground. As I looked over, I noticed that the first grade students were taking advantage of the playground and the sunny weather. In the center of the playground I spotted Abby, our first grade teacher, twirling around on the merry-go-round with one of her students. Both had big smiles.

I commented, “Now that is real learning!”

Abby laughed and replied, “It is good exercise.”

In that simple moment on the playground, I was bolstered in one of the most basic tenets that I have come to know over the years—the understanding that our staff are truly dedicated to the mission of our organization. Each and every day our staff ‘go that extra mile’ to make our students feel safe, welcomed and loved at St. Joseph’s Indian School.

The second tenant—we are truly blessed by the support we receive—is bolstered every time I take a few moments to remember how fortunate we are to have many people who provide St. Joseph’s with prayers, encouragement and resources. One of the reflections we try to ask ourselves regularly is “What would our supporters think about this?”

While our supporters provide us with resources, it is our staff who are the ‘hands and feet’ of the mission.

In the case of Abby and her 1st grade student on the merry-go-round, I have to believe that a supporter would smile, knowing that Abby’s actions made this child feel special and loved.

Two young girls play on the playground

Our staff go above and beyond to make sure our students feel safe and loved.

Our staff perform many similar supportive actions every day here at St. Joseph’s Indian School. Though they are not mentioned in this blog, they are truly part of the cumulative effort to develop meaningful relationships with the children we serve.

To those who support our efforts here at St. Joseph’s Indian School, we strive to make our mission a reality to our Native American students and their families each and every day. Please know that we truly appreciate your support, thoughts and generosity.

You are an integral part of our mission.

And so it begins!!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Greetings from St. Joseph’s Indian School where the school year is beginning to take shape. New staff orientation began this week and all staff will be next week.  August 9 will see the student homes open and Monday morning, August 10, school will get underway.

I must commend our Human Resources Department for their hard work this summer. They seem to have filled all the slots needed to keep our programs running smoothly and make sure the Lakota (Sioux) children have everything they need when they arrive on campus.  We look forward to the skills and abilities our new staff will bring to enhance the skills of our veteran staff.

As some of you may be aware, I was away to attend my niece’s wedding in Colorado Springs.  It went well and I enjoyed the chance to catch up with my siblings and their families. One of my brothers accompanied me on the drive back and we hit Yellowstone, the Little Bighorn Battlefield and Devil’s Tower. The drive was truly breathtaking; we encountered wide open vistas in Wyoming, towering peaks in Grand Teton National Park, the big splash of Old Faithful going off right on time and the ruggedness of Yellowstone’s terrain.

Join the Lakota children for St. Joseph’s annual powwow September 19!

St. Joseph’s annual powwow will be Sept. 19. We hope you can join us!

The Little Bighorn Battlefield had several informative Rangers who related facts about the battle.  Since my last visit, they have erected a monument to the Native Americans who took part in the engagement.  In coming out of the park we turned East on US Highway 212 and headed to Devil’s Tower which, when you draw near to it, resembles a shark fin above the trees.  It is truly magnificent. In Lakota tradition, this mountain tells the story of several young girls who were saved from bears.

My brother and I ended the trip with a swing through the Badlands, starting at the western entrance near Wall, South Dakota. We came out at Cactus Flats where there is a Minute Man Guided Missile display. We had hoped to be able to tour, but there were no tickets left for admission.

I hope you have been able to take some time off this summer and enjoy exploring our great country! One word of advice if you are over 62 and planning a trip: be sure to get a “$10 senior pass” which is good for life at all National Parks, except Mt. Rushmore.

Sturgis, South Dakota is gearing up to host the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally celebrating the 75th anniversary of the gathering.  Even though the ‘official’ start isn’t until next week, many are coming early.  They are expecting a million people!

We won’t have quite that many at our annual powwow celebration on September 19, but we are looking forward to it nonetheless. All St. Joseph’s powwow events are open to the public – we’d love to have you join us! To learn more about our celebration or to register, call 1-800-584-9200 or visit www.stjo.org/powwow.

May God’s blessings continue to be with you and those you love.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ

Chaplain

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

 

Things are quiet on St. Joseph’s campus; summer programs have ended and there are no Lakota students on campus, if only for a few weeks. Our facilities crew is finishing up a variety of projects, getting the campus in shape for the new school year which starts August 10.

 

This year, we’re very excited to have our seniors in high school participate in a new independent living program. Students will have more responsibilities and more freedom to help prepare them for their next step in life – college, tech school, the military or the workforce.

 

Next week, we’ll be starting to hit the bricks for the upcoming school year. New staff will be on campus to begin their orientation and training. The first week in August, all staff return. Our students will come in on August 9 and classes will begin August 10. Our high school students, who attend Chamberlain Public High School, will begin sports practices. The new school year is almost here!

 

As mentioned last week, I am in Colorado for my niece’s wedding. It all turned out well and most of my family was able to attend. My brothers and I went golfing. I had some good shots and interesting putts, but I know how Tiger feels concerning his British Open experience. The altitude in Colorado Springs, at the base of Pike’s Peak, does affect you. I would tee the ball up and then have to pause a moment to give my head the chance to clear.

 

Leaving Colorado, I am heading across Wyoming to Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park. I will also visit to the Little Big Horn battlefield and then Devil’s Tower. I’m also going to try and work in a trip to a Minuteman Missile Site near Wall, South Dakota before reaching Chamberlain. One of my brothers, now retired, is going to join me.

 

I hope that any of you who are taking vacation trips will also have a great time and safe travels. Perhaps some of you are saving your vacation to come out to our annual powwow on September 19. We would love to have you visit St. Joseph’s Indian School!

 

May God continue to bless and reward you for your generosity towards the ministry taking place at St. Joseph’s Indian School.

 

God bless,

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ

Chaplain

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

The weather has continued to make for an interesting summer in central South Dakota. Last Sunday, several areas around us hit 100+ degrees. Added to the heat was smog from the fires burning in Canada. Though it has been hot, the landscape looks beautiful from all the rain we have been blessed with. Green is still the predominate color. Hopefully, we’ll continue to receive rain so the crops and grass flourish.
The campus is quiet now as the summer programs for our Lakota (Sioux) students are coming to an end. The younger students’ home finished this past Wednesday, and the high school home will end on Friday.
Next on the agenda will be orientation for St. Joseph’s new staff starting July 27. All staff will gather the week of August 3 for various meetings. The students will return August 9 and classes begin on August 10! Where has the summer gone?
Last weekend was special for some of those working in extended ministries supported by St. Joseph’s.
On Sunday, there was a special Mass in Marty, South Dakota to honor the Native American ministry in the Sioux Falls Diocese (which is celebrating its 125th anniversary). At the Mass, Deacon Steven McLaughlin gave an address. St. Joseph’s provided some transportation for parishioners from St. Joseph’s parish in Fort Thompson, South Dakota, which is staffed by members of the Priests of the Sacred Heart. That is the parish Deacon Steven is assigned to, but he also works at the other six parishes on the Crow Creek and Lower Brule Indian Reservations.
On Monday I was at a board meeting in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, where we have the women’s shelter and the youth residence. At the end of the meeting, Mr. John Lemke was honored for his 21 years of service as a board member. He is still active in the ministry as the treasurer.
I’ll be heading out this week to take part in my niece’s wedding in Colorado Springs this coming weekend. Sounds like most of my brothers and sisters are going to make it with their families, so it will be a mini-family reunion as well.
I hope you all have a great week. As a way of saying thanks for your generosity and many kindnesses, you will be remembered in our Monthly Novena of Masses, the 11th through the 19th.
Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ
Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, Fr. Joe and Mike were present when John received his award for years of service.

Fr. Anthony is pictures with Fr. Joseph Dean, SCJ pastor of the SCJ team covering the six parishes, Mr. Lemke, and Mr. Mike Tyrell, St. Joseph’s President.

Greetings! My name is Bette. My husband Mike and I have recently moved to South Dakota to work as houseparents for St. Joseph’s Indian School. It has been a joy working

Bette and her husband Mike recently moved to Chamberlain to be houseparents at St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Bette and one of the summer students at the local library.

here in the summer break home. The students attend school for a few hours each morning and then our afternoons are filled with many fun activities.

We have students in our break home who will be in the second grade through ninth grade next year. Some of the younger students have enjoyed weaving potholders and some of the older students have learned how to make knitted hats using a round loom. Everyone has enjoyed making muffins and sugar cookies from scratch.

One student recently celebrated a birthday, so we had the joy of giving her a party complete with cupcakes and candles and party games. We also made homemade ice cream by shaking cream, sugar and vanilla in a baggie surrounded by ice.

We love celebrating summer birthdays!

Happy birthday Aralyn!

Some of the students guessed we were making cheese, but we kept it a secret to the end. We shook the bags for about 10 minutes – there were a lot of sore arms, but it was worth it when they got to taste the final results!

In the past few weeks, we have gone to the movies, had a picnic, gone bowling and, of course, out to Dairy Queen and McDonald’s for ice cream on a warm day. There are a lot of activities planned for the Fourth of July including a parade, car show and rodeo here in town. Next week, there will be a special party to celebrate the last day of school (I know the students will feel sad and need some cheering up – ha ha!).

The students have also attended our local library’s summer reading program. This year they have a super hero theme. One student was overheard saying this was “way cool”

as he designed his very own super hero shield and decorated it with stickers. They got to perform superhero dances, listen to stories and make special masks as well.

One very busy spot has been our Chamberlain Community Pool. It received a face lift this spring with the addition of a 100 foot curvy slide and a water basketball hoop. It has kept our kids very happy on warm days!

There is a playground right next to the pool, so the students have the best of both worlds. When we are not at the pool, students can often be found riding their bikes around campus or using a scooter or two.

Students created 200 luminary bags for the Relay for Life.

Students worked hard to design luminary bags for the local Relay for Life.

Our students truly have warm, giving hearts and have embraced the idea of helping with our local Relay for Life this year. We are assisting with the decoration of the paper bag luminaires that will light the pathway during the Relay.

The students listened to a story that was written by a young child diagnosed with cancer to gain a better understanding as well as increased empathy for those undergoing treatment.

Mike and I have been proud of the amount of care and attention that each bag has received. The kids really want to do a great job in making these special for the recipients. We have about 200 bags to decorate and are almost finished.

Thank you for allowing me to share some of the activities that have gone on here in the summer! The summer break home has been an eventful place filled with wonderful memories of a summer spent with beautiful kids.

Bette

Houseparent

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

After all the wild weather last weekend, things have calmed down a bit.  Branches keep coming down here and there around campus, but the majority of damage has been cleaned up by our grounds crew along with help of other St. Joseph’s maintenance staff.  It was really a team effort as electric saws, manual trimmers and hand-powered rakes were used to repair what Mother Nature tore apart.  There was some minor structural damage, but nothing of a serious nature.  We are grateful, but it is a shame that so many trees were damaged or lost completely. Several tree stumps still need to be removed and there will be

a lot of replanting to come. We received word from our fellow SCJs (Priests of the Sacred Heart) on the Lower Brule Indian Reservation that they too had high winds which brought down some trees. Thankfully, no buildings or cars were hit and everyone is safe.

Several trees were lost, but we’re thankful that no one was injured in last week’s storms.

Several trees were damaged or destroyed completely in last week’s storms.

You can tell the travel season is well underway by looking at the number of cars, tour buses, campers and RV’s in the parking lot at the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center. I can see the parking lot from my office window and it is interesting to see visitors from all over the country stopping in to learn about the Lakota (Sioux) culture and walk through the new alumni and historical center that gives a brief overlook of St. Joseph’s history. If you would like to about others’ experiences to help you decide if your travel plans include a visit to St. Joseph’s Indian School, you can check us out on TripAdvisor.

The pool in our rec center is undergoing some repair. It is such a blessing and provides so many good things for our students. It is good exercise during the long South Dakota winter, helps fight childhood obesity, enables water safety and swimming lessons

St. Joseph’s pool provides exercise and lots of fun for the Lakota children.

The pool is such a blessing to St. Joseph’s students, and does so many good things for them!

to be conducted; and provides the opportunity for laughter, fun, friendships and fond memories to be established. The pool is also a benefit we can share with our staff and their families, as well as the local community. Stay tuned for details and updates!

A few weeks ago, the Chamberlain Junior Achievement program held its annual golf tournament hosting 16 teams. Participants helped raise over $3,000 which will go toward the various programs sponsored by Junior Achievement.  I’m happy to announce the St. Joseph’s team won the event with an 18 under par score of 54 over 18 holes. Congratulations!!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Independence Day weekend.  If you are using fireworks, please stay safe and enjoy your local festivities.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ

Chaplain

Good afternoon from a noisy St. Joseph’s Indian School! I thought it was going to be a peaceful weekend, but Mother Nature stepped in and changed everyone’s plans. Friday

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

night, we had wind gusts up to 100 mph as a severe thunderstorm came through. The morning light revealed lots of branches down, several trees snapped in half and even some blown over completely — one toppled just outside my office window! Thankfully, there did not seem to be any structural damage, and all our students and staff were safe.  The winds returned once again in the wee hours of Monday morning, which brought down even more trees and branches.

We are very grateful that none of our students or staff were hurt either day. Today, our maintenance crew is busy trimming branches and trees all over campus to clear our streets and sidewalks. We also lost power, which caused a late start for staff this morning. The damage is going to take several days to clean up.

There was lots of damage in Chamberlain with trees being uprooted during both of the storms, tree branches all over and electrical poles broken. One home suffered a tree falling against the house and damaging the porch.

Trees around St. Joseph’s campus were damaged in severe thunderstorms over the weekend.

Two weekend storms uprooted a tree outside my office and caused other damage around St. Joseph’s campus.

The Sunday paper out of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, had a front page article on the impact of the storm in our area.  It seemed several trailers and campers were overturned in the Fort Thompson area which resulted in the tragic death of an individual who was a relative of one of our staff’s family.  The Red Cross moved in quickly to get a shelter open which provided support and food.

Across the Missouri River from Fort Thompson, Lower Brule also suffered some damage as roofs on the courthouse, Boys & Girls Club and several other buildings were severely damaged.  Power was knocked out west of the Missouri River for more than 100 miles, with many people still not having their power restored yet today.

Our prayers are with all those cleaning up and recovering from the storms.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks to all those who attended our most recent donor luncheon in New York and Brooklyn! Camron (a 2015 eighth grade graduate) and Tayvin (an incoming eighth

While in New York for a donor event, the Lakota students got to take in the sites.

Camron and Tayvin at the American Museum of Natural History.

grader) enjoyed their opportunity to meet so many members of their tiyospaye extended family. The boys mentioned they were happy to have the chance to visit the 9/11 museum, the American Museum of Natural History and the Statue of Liberty.

It’s always wonderful to meet so many people who care about the Lakota (Sioux) children, but please remember to RSVP so we know you’re coming. The number on Saturday caught our team off guard with more people showing up than had registered for the event.

We hope you can join us for an upcoming luncheon!

For additional information or to register, please contact us at 1-800-584-9200.

I hope you all have a wonderful week! I’m heading out now to see how the clean-up is going around campus.

God bless,

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ

Chaplain

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