Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School,

It’s been another crazy week of spring weather in South Dakota! We had one day that broke an all-time record and hit 85 degrees last week, yet we are still having frosty cold mornings.  We are in desperate need of rain since the Chamberlain area is already in the early stages of drought. Today is cold and windy.

The Feast of St. Joseph, March 19, was the first day of the fourth quarter of the school year for the Lakota children. We had a nice prayer service geared toward

honoring St. Joseph in his role as guardian of Mary and Jesus.  March 19 also concluded our monthly Novena of Masses (the 11th through the 19th) for you, our benefactors.  The students keep you in prayer regularly and we include your intentions in our prayer requests at Sunday Mass.

Fr. Anthony sampled the monkey bread the sixth graders were baking in class.

Passing by the Personal Living Skills class, I was invited to sample the monkey bread the sixth grade students were baking. It was delicious!

When the prayer service was over, I jumped into my car and made a bee line east to St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to take part in the Chrism Mass for the diocese.  The oils used in the Sacraments for the up-coming year are blessed by the Bishop and then distributed to all the parishes and schools throughout the East River Diocese.  I brought the oils back and gave them to the religious education teachers who are preparing students to receive the Sacraments.

Last Friday as I was leaving the art room after visiting the second graders, I passed the Personal Living Skills classroom. It must have been my lucky day because I was invited to sample the monkey bread the sixth grade students were baking.  They did a great job – it tasted delicious!

We are in the planning stages for ‘SCJ Schools in Collaboration’ and there was a conference call yesterday. Schools in Collaboration unites the elementary schools ministered to by our Priests of the Sacred Heart (SCJ) community in Texas, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Mississippi. Our sister school in Germany was also part of the phone call.

Each year, one of our activities for Schools in Collaboration is a ‘battle of the books.’ Classes from each school read a number of the same books. Then the schools pair up to have a trivia contest based on what they read.  We are working toward having a joint prayer service in the next several weeks.

With Easter just around the corner, several of our students will receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession this week.  If a student is not Catholic, they can still come in and talk over anything that may be troubling them.  It will also be the opportunity for those receiving Sacraments on April 12, 2015 to make their first confession.  Please keep these young people in your prayers.

I pray your season of Lent is proving to be a rewarding time for you spiritually as we strive to become more and more Christ-like.  Be assured of our continued prayers for you and your intentions.

Have a great week!

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


Greetings from a quiet St. Joseph’s Indian School campus!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

It is just not the same on campus this week without the Lakota boys and girls; it is Spring Break for the elementary students (grades 1-8) and staff.

They will return Monday, March 16, but in the mean time we have about 10-12 students who are staying in our break home and our high school students who attend Chamberlain High School (they have a slightly different break schedule). Students in the break home will be going to visit some of the local sights and enjoy a fun and relaxing week.

You may recall the old saying ‘March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb’ or the opposite, in like a lamb and out like a lion. Well, in South Dakota, we had that all happen within five days! Last week we had a blizzard with snow, cold and strong winds. Just a few days later, the sun came out, the temperatures were up and the snow was melting.  Today the weather is mild, with cool mornings and warmer days. We are hoping the break in the winter weather lasts!

Last week, St. Joseph’s students celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday. It was pajama day at school and the children spent time reading to one another.

Our seventh and eighth graders also took part in Camp Med last week, which is a hands-on health career learning opportunity.  The students learned about the job duties, educational requirements, rewards and challenges they might encounter in a variety of health careers. They experienced everything from reading x-rays and filling prescriptions to stabilizing a trauma patient and rehabilitating a stroke patient.

And Friday at 2 p.m., school was out!

Staff who have helped at the rec center enjoyed an outing to a basketball game.

St. Joseph’s Rec Director hosted an outing to a basketball game to thank everyone who helped out at the rec center first semester.

That evening, several staff members headed to South Dakota’s largest city, Sioux Falls, to take in a basketball game. As a way of saying thank you to everyone who has helped in the rec center during the first semester, Bryan, our Rec Director, hosted an outing to a D (Developmental) League game between Grand Rapids,

Michigan and the Sioux Falls Skyforce.

Grand Rapids is a developmental team for the Detroit Pistons and Sioux Falls is a similar team for the Miami Heat. The arena is brand new and very fan friendly.  The game was exciting – players were shooting up threes from all over the court.  Offense was king and defense showed up occasionally. Everyone had a great time and a few even went home with a t-shirt and other goodies tossed into the stands.

I hope you have a wonderful week. Pilamaya thank you – for your support, encouragement and prayers!  We’ll be starting our Novena of Masses for you and your special intentions on Wednesday, March 11 and conclude on the Feast of St. Joseph, March 19.


Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


St. Joseph’s students celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday in school.

Happy birthday Dr. Suess!!

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School,

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

We’ve had a relatively mild winter in central South Dakota (we consider any day with sunshine and above zero temperatures “mild”), but that seems to be coming to an end.  The weather started terribly this morning with snow and very strong winds. St. Joseph’s even had a late start for the Lakota children!

Tomorrow’s weather is predicted to be extremely cold – it should be an interesting few days. But, I have also been told we will get a break at the end of the week with temps possibly up in the 40’s by the weekend. We’ll see what happens. I guess it is true that if you do not like the weather, wait a few moments and it will change!

This past Tuesday, we held the Staff Appreciation Breakfast, which is a way for the Priests of the Sacred Heart (SCJs) to say thank you to all the men and women who serve our missions so faithfully in a wide variety of ways.  It also allows the Lakota (Sioux) students to interact with those who work behind the scenes as well as staff members they encounter every day.  We had some trivia about Fr. Leo John Dehon, the founder of our SCJ community, and drew for door prizes.

Spring is right around the corner, which means some of our “winter” activities and programs are coming to an end.  Last Friday was the end of the bowling season.  Congratulations to the Rolling Thunder team and their captain Dave, one of our teachers, who captured First Place.

On our last day of bowling, the various teams were mixed together and we bowled 9 pin tap, which means the lanes were set so if you knocked down 9 pins it counted as a strike.  One of our high school girls, Irene, went crazy rolling scores of 245 and 251.  She even beat the bowling master, Andy, from the rec center who coordinated the league this year.  The students all did well and had fun.

The girls’ inter-city basketball season wrapped up on Sunday. There was a lot of improvement from when the season started. We hope friendships have been made that will continue through the years as these young ladies cross paths on the court or as they attend high school together in Chamberlain.

The Chamberlain High School girls’ basketball team is finished for the season as they lost their second round game in the state play-offs.  The boys’ team is the number 2 seed for their district and will not play until later this week when they’ll host one of the lower seeds.  If they win, they’ll play for the region championship and go on to the state tournament.  They ended their season against Stanley County from Ft. Pierre, South Dakota, this past Friday night and two of our St. Joseph’s players started — Adrian and Davis.

For Davis, it was a reward for how well he has played coming off the bench.  He showed his gratitude by having a double-double, in that he scored 11 points and had 10 rebounds to go along with several steals and assists. Great game, Davis!

Our St. Joseph’s boys’ basketball teams have also completed their season.  We hosted the sixth, seventh and eighth grade teams from Todd County this past Thursday.  The sixth grade won easily, but the seventh and eighth graders came up a bit short due to the Todd County press.  They made a run and got close but just could not get into the lead.  The seventh and eighth graders will finish their season today with a trip to Miller, South Dakota.

Be assured of our prayers for you; pilamaya thank you – for your continued support and interest in the Lakota children!

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


Good day from St. Joseph’s,Fr. Anthony explained the vestments, colors, books, chalices and paten, the altar and tabernacle and sanctuary lamp.

This was a big weekend at St. Joseph’s Indian School with the Rite of Christian Initiation for Children (RCIC) Sacramental Prep Class having a mini-retreat on Saturday. Over 30 students are preparing to receive the sacraments of Baptism, First Communion and Confirmation, which is a decision they make with their families.

Most of the class will be baptized and receive the other two sacraments. Nine are preparing just for First Communion and one, who is already baptized in another denomination, will be making a Profession of Faith and then receive First Communion.  The students have been studying since early October.  They joined with others around the world to take part in the Rite of Election on Sunday by which they again affirm their desire to draw closer to God and sign their names in the Book of the Elect which acknowledges their commitment in front of the whole faith community present at Mass.The students made stoles decorated with symbols relating to the sacraments and will wear them when they are baptized.

As you can see from the pictures, they made stoles decorated with various symbols relating to the sacraments and will wear them when they are baptized. In Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel I explained the vestments, colors, books, chalices and paten, the altar and tabernacle and sanctuary lamp.

They also had the opportunity to practice receiving the host and taking a sip of wine, which brought out some interesting facial expressions! The children preparing for First Communion had a chance to try a sip of wine.

Another session dealt with the seven Gifts of the Spirit, followed by painting a blessing cup. They made bread, which was shared with their individual homes.  It was a wonderful time helping them prepare for their big day in April!

Also on Saturday the fourth, fifth and sixth grade Braves took part in a basketball tournament hosted by Chamberlain. Teams came from surrounding communities in central South Dakota.  Sadly our fourth and sixth grade teams went out early despite keeping their games close. Our fifth grade team lost their first game but came back strong to beat Crow Creek and Mitchell to capture third place. Way to go guys!Students painted their own blessing cup as part of their preparations to receive the Sacraments.

Besides the basketball tournament, there was also a wrestling mini-clinic that some of our younger boys took part in. Thank you for helping us offer the Lakota children a variety of activities to help them cultivate lifelong interests!

I hope you have a great week as the month of February comes to an end.  Know you and your intentions are remembered in our prayers as the children ask the Great Spirit to bless and reward you for your generosity for their education and care.The children made bread which they shared with their homes.


Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


I hope you enjoyed Presidents’ Day yesterday!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

You may recall last week I mentioned the Lakota students participated in a Penny War to raise money for St. Joseph’s staff team – TURTLE POWER – taking part in the Polar Plunge.  We gathered this past Thursday to see who the lucky winner of the Penny War would be, the grand prize being a pie in the face!

Four staff members, myself included, were seated in front of the student body in the rec center nervously smiling as the names were read to see whose name would be called last.  Thankfully I was named first, so I avoided the pie to the face.

Julie, our Residential Director for 1st-5th grades, ended up becoming the target.  One of our third graders, Devon, was selected and he really let the pie fly.  Julie and half the basketball court were covered in whipped cream!

Four staff members competed in a penny war for the Lakota children to help raise money for South Dakota Special Olympics.

The lucky winner of the Penny War earned a pie in the face!

Everyone was pretty excited that the Penny War raised more than $200 for Special Olympics.  Thanks Julie for being a good sport!

Julie, our Residential Director for 1st-5th grades, was the “lucky winner” of the pie in the face!

Thanks Julie for being a good sport!

The Explorers are getting excited about their up-coming trip to the state capital in Pierre, South Dakota.  They’ll have a meeting with Governor Daugaard and tour the Discovery Museum.

The group just wrapped up a fundraiser that involved selling subscriptions for our local paper.  One of our sixth grade boys, Tayeden, sold the second most subscriptions! He won a $25 prize and, according to the boys’ advisor, “a ton of confidence.” Way to go Tayeden!

On Saturday, I accompanied Kathleen, our principal, and nine contestants to the Spelling Bee in Mitchell. Three students took part in the competition for the national championship in Washington, D.C.  Our three gave it their best and one student came in seventh out of 20.  The others were class winners who competed against their own grades. Everyone did well and received a nice certificate congratulating them on qualifying for the contest. We even had some of our students’ families attend to encourage their son or daughter. It was a great day!

This coming weekend we’ll be having a retreat for students taking part in the Sacramental Prep Program.  Participating is a decision students make with their families. Students are not required to

The Explorers sold newspapers subscriptions as a fundraiser. Tayeden won a prize for his sales skills!

Tayeden sold the second most newspaper subscriptions for the Explorers and won a $25 prize!

be Catholic to attend St. Joseph’s Indian School – we welcome children of all faiths. The aim is to help those who have not yet received First Communion prepare and enable other students to take part in the RCIC (Rite of Christian Initiation for Children) so they can receive the initial sacraments of Baptism, First Communion and Confirmation.

One student, who is already baptized, will make their Profession of Faith to join the church.  We have over 30 students taking part.  On Sunday they will be involved in the Rite of Enrollment as they continue preparations for the sacraments on April 12.  We ask that you please keep them in your prayers.

Have a great week.  May God’s blessings continue to be with you.  We keep you and your intentions in our prayers.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Last week was amazing.  The weather was great — no snow and lots of sunshine. It was a busy week for the Lakota (Sioux) students!

We have recently been talking about grades for our elementary students and their induction into the National Honors Society. Now I can report on the high school program! The home with the lowest number of missing assignments for last quarter was the Giles Home (junior boys, plus one sophomore). The home GPA trophy went to Hogebach Home (sophomore, junior and senior girls) with an average of 3.32.  Our five high school homes combined to earn 93 A’s and 18 students earned a GPA of 3.0 or better. Way to go!!

This past Saturday saw the local community take part in the annual Polar Plunge with 28 participants.  Seven of our staff signed up to be St. Joseph’s TURTLE POWER team. The event raised a little over $15,000.00 which will benefit the Special Olympics in South Dakota. St. Joseph’s Turtle Power team contributed $2,100 along with the $200.00 from the Penny War held at St. Joseph’s to give our students a way to participate. Three other staff members and myself ‘volunteered’ to have our pictures put on jars that students and staff could drop pennies in. Next week, the ‘loser’ will be announced and receive a Whip Cream pie in the face in front of the whole student body.  Those who donated were also able to enter a contest to see who gets to ‘throw’ the pie.

St. Joseph’s staff members teamed up to raise money for South Dakota Special Olympics.

St. Joseph’s TURTLE POWER team raised $2,100 for the Special Olympics of South Dakota.

Recently the Knights of Columbus held their annual free throw contest and the Chamberlain-Oacoma Area Chamber of Commerce piggy-backed on that to hold their Hot Shot competition for 9-14 year olds.  St. Joseph’s students racked up several wins, along with the children of staff members. Congratulations everyone!

Campus was bust last Saturday as we hosted our annual 8th grade boys’ basketball

St. Joseph’s hosted a basketball tournament for 8th grade boys’ teams last weekend.

Miller, Pierre Indian Learning Center (PILC) and Chamberlain were invited to take part in St. Joseph’s 8th grade boys’ basketball tournament last weekend.

tournament.  Miller, Pierre Indian Learning Center (PILC) and Chamberlain were invited to take part. St. Joseph’s beat Chamberlain 54-29 in the first game and Miller beat PILC 48-28 in the second.  Chamberlain and PILC then played for 3rd and PILC won 34-31.  In the championship game, St. Joseph’s fell behind early and could never quite catch up, losing to Miller 57-51. We congratulate all those who took part and thank them for some exciting games!

I hope each of you has a relaxing and enjoyable week ahead.  Know that we keep you in our prayers in gratitude for your support and encouragement of the programs we offer our Native American students and their families here at St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


P.S.  The local paper had a recent article that named Adrian, one of St. Joseph’s high school students, as the Chamberlain High School Athlete of the Week.  This is the same young man who earned the attention of an opposing coach, who then called up the local high school to commend Adrian for his sportsmanship. Congratulations and good job to Adrian!

LaRayne imaciyapi ksto hi, my name is LaRayne. I get to live out my passion of sharing Lakota culture in the classroom at St. Joseph’s

LaRayne is St. Joseph's Native American Studies teacher.

LaRayne, St. Joseph’s Native American Studies teacher

Indian School by teaching Native American Studies.

Recently, I was able to take 11 students from grades 2-8 to a gathering of our nations at the Lakota Nation Invitational Conference in Rapid City, South Dakota with my co-teacher, Allen, for a statewide Lakota hand games competition.

You might remember reading about LNI and St. Joseph’s Knowledge Bowl Team.

You are probably wondering what “hand games” are. I am told there are more than 50 different ways to play, but we played “Lakota” style for this tournament.

Two teams of up to 10 players sit directly across from each other. Each team has four wood pieces (called bones) to hide behind their back. One of the “bones” is marked with a line and is called the male. Each team also has eight sticks, which are used to keep score.

Lakota hand games teams have up to 10 players each.

Two teams of up to 10 players sit directly across from each other with four wood pieces (called bones) to hide behind their back.

Each team has a turn to have one of their players guess which hand the male bone is in. If they guess correctly, they take the bone from the other team. If they guess incorrectly, the guessing team gives up a stick.

The team hiding the bones uses movement, drumming and singing to distract the guesser on the opposing team and break his or her concentration. The first team to acquire ALL of the sticks is the winner. There are lots of detailed rules in addition to this, but I will keep it simple here.

There were 20 teams in the competition, and we played six games (the last three via the loser’s bracket) through the day to come out CHAMPIONS!

But wait, that isn’t the end!

We also were asked to be a part of the grand entry during the evening session of the basketball tournament that is held at the same time! We pinched ourselves to make sure we weren’t dreaming! After lunch, we stood on the gym floor in front of many of our oyate (nation) and listened to many honorings, speeches and names of student attendees.

Among the honored guests was Shoni Schimmel, the most popular WNBA player (according jersey purchases). The kids thought it was really neat to see her in person.

But wait!

While searching for some cotton candy, Aurelia and I stumbled upon the opportunity to have our picture taken with Shoni Schimmel! We gathered our team and set out to have our photo taken with the WNBA star!

And just because that wasn’t enough, the kids were presented with new coats designed for the winning team and 15 seconds of fame by being announced on television during the halftime awards ceremonies.

Needless to say, our students are more interested in hand games than ever!

Pilamaya – thank you,


St. Joseph’s hand games team took first place at LNI – congratulations everyone!

With their first place hand games victory, St. Joseph’s team got specially designed jackets, a plaque and were announced at half time.


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