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

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School!


Even though summer officially began on Monday, temperatures are and have been very high around here for a few weeks. I hope everyone is making sure to stay cool and hydrated.


Last week, I was able to attend the ordination for two new priests for the Diocese of Lafayette, Indiana. During the 1st Mass of the newly ordained priest that I had baptized 25 years ago in Houston, Texas, the pastor mentioned that the parish has had 18 priests ordained in the last 11 years and will have another next year.  The parish has also been supportive of those who have entered the Brotherhood or convent.  May we keep the need for more vocations in our prayers.


We hosted our yearly Scranton Prep students from Scranton, Pennsylvania last week. They raise funds every year to bring their upcoming senior class to South Dakota. During their time in-state, they do some sightseeing in the Black Hills and visit several reservations prior to working as counselors for our summer camp. Several of the students mentioned how helping out at St. Joseph’s has really educated them of the Native American Culture. They appreciated the opportunity to bond with the young people at camp.


16002794Today is the last day of the 2016 Rising Eagle Day Camp. We’ve had a great time getting to know over 200 children from the Lower Brule and Crow Creek Reservations and look forward to some of them returning to campus for school this fall!


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

LaRayne, St. Joseph’s Native American Studies teacher

Good morning! My name is LaRayne.

I am so pleased to share that we have recently added a part time seamstress to our staff at St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Bonnie began mending and creating with her talent in October.

We have many outfits that aren’t complete—they might be missing a cape, drops, shawl, or a matching skirt and leggings.

Bonnie puts her talented, magic hands to work and creates full outfits and pieces that make the regalia highly sought after for our powwow dancers! She has been beautifying our outfits for both the boys and the girls.

One of the outfits Bonnie blessed with her talents was a jingle dress that was donated by one of our students, LaShawn, and her grandma. This type of dress includes ornamentation with multiple rows of metal cones that create a jingling sound as the dancer moves.

LaShawn’s grandma made the dress for her when she was a young dancer. Having outgrown it, LaShawn wanted to donate it to our regalia collection so that another energetic girl could continue making music with the dress.

1500324The dress was missing matching leggings, so Bonnie showed LaShawn the steps in making a set to match. LaShawn was amazed at the work that went into a pair of leggings!

Now that the outfit is complete, a young St. Joseph’s Indian School student will be able to dance as her ancestors have done for years.

We look forward to seeing Bonnie’s amazing work showcased at our 40th Annual Powwow on September 17, 2016.

We hope you can join us this year! Visit for more information.


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


Kathryn, St. Joseph’s Houseparent

Hello! My name is Kathryn. I am a houseparent in the Mathias Home at St. Joseph’s Indian School.


On May 14, the Mathias home took their first ever mother-daughter trip in preparation for 8th grade graduation. The girls, their mothers and I enjoyed a day filled with shopping, eating, shopping, pampering, and shopping! We have three eighth graders this year and shopping for graduation attire was so much fun!

When we were done, we took a few pictures of the girls in their graduation dresses and one with all of the moms and daughters together. More than just preparing for graduation, this trip offered the moms and their daughters some much-needed time together.

Since the students are here on campus the majority of the year, opportunities like this are few and far between for our students and their parents. Many 14 year olds try to avoid their parents in public places, but our students relished in their time together.

It was a blessing to see how much love and joy everyone shared. As house parents, we receive those small blessings every day. Sharing a few moments with our students and some very incredible moms was amazing!

Alyssa, Justina, Haesel

Alyssa, Justina and Haesel, 8th Grade Class of 2016

We laughed, we cried and we loved on this very special day.


It was a small way to say ‘thank you’ to our moms for all they do for their daughters and the other students in the home and a farewell to our beautiful 8th graders as they begin the next chapter in their journey.

We are so proud of these young ladies! They have worked hard throughout their middle school years and they finished this year with a cumulative GPA of 3.81 between the three of them.

All three students are excellent role models, are generous with their time by sharing it with younger students and helping peers, and have goals and aspirations that will carry them far in life.

We thank our students’ moms for doing such great jobs raising their daughters and supporting us as house parents. We also thank our students for being such wonderful role models. It has been an honor to have the privilege of being a part of their journey!



St. Joseph’s Houseparent

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Greetings from an active St. Joseph’s Indian School!

It seems the campus has been invaded by all sorts of groups. The 8th grade graduates who are moving into the high school program are back and taking part in an orientation program to prepare them for next year. They are busy meeting their teachers at Chamberlain High, figuring the layout of the school and taking a peek into the Homes they’ll be joining this coming August when school starts up again. They’ll be on campus until June 10th.

Four of our High School Homes are open to accommodate the 36 students who are staying at St. Joseph’s for the summer.   Nine of these students are signed up for Driver’s Education, which lasts for two weeks.  Some students are working on campus at our Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center and as counselors for our Rising Eagle Day Camp.  Others are busy tutoring students in the summer break home and helping with summer custodial work. A few are even working at local stores and car dealerships!

It’s been so nice to see many familiar faces around campus.

Four of our students—Liliana, Melvina, Ashley and Hope—and two advisors recently returned from Germany as part of our student exchange program!  (more…)

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.



Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School.

The number of school days is dwindling down quickly. Most of the classes have already enjoyed their home trips to the Badlands, Pierre, Mitchell, Sioux Falls and other sites around the state.

This coming weekend, the 7th graders will take off on their cultural trip to visit multiple sacred Native American sites in South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana. Once they are back next week, they will make a presentation of what the experience was like and how it strengthened their pride in their culture and heritage.

On April 30, St. Joseph’s hosted our First Annual Hand Games Tournament. Teams from Little Wound, Porcupine, Crow Creek, Todd County and Wolf Creek joined St. Joseph’s in the tournament.  LaRayne and Allen, our Native American Studies teachers, organized the event and did a great job! It is interesting to watch as players hide two ‘bones’—one of which is marked—in their hands and try to prevent the other team from guessing which hand held the ‘marked’ one.  It was a double elimination tournament.  Each team had 8 sticks—or markers—that they try to protect. If a correct guess is made by the opposing team, the stick must be surrendered. The game came be short or lengthy, depending on how well a team can bluff and guess. (more…)

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Mary Jane, our Director of Alumni, recently sent a notice about how your generosity is helping former St. Joseph’s students and other Native Americans continue to further their education, aided with St. Joseph’s Scholarships.
As you read a little about each of these students, take pride in knowing you helped make their higher education goals possible!