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Help us fund our new dental bus!

We need your help in raising the $35,000 needed to repair the engine on a fully-equipped dental bus donated to us by Delta Dental. Click the link below to visit our Go Fund Me campaign.



June 12-Hour Family Recovery Program

Date: Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Time: 9:00am to 4:00pm
Place: Icimani Ya Waste’ Recovery Center, St. Francis, SD

Family REcovery ProgramThe 12-Hour Family Recovery program supports family members who are living with someone who is drinking or using drugs and is facilitated by local native people.

The family program is structured to support the needs of family members who are living on the reservation. Learn about effective communication skills, co-dependency and many other topics related to the families well-being.

Have you found yourself in these situations?

• Are you stressed out from coping with someone who is drinking or using drugs?
• Are you continuously telling him/her to seek treatment or some type of help?
• Are there times when your anger towards him/her effects your health?
• Do you feel like no one else understands your situation with your loved one who is drinking or using drugs?
• Are you having feelings of loneliness, anger, sadness, fear, of not knowing what to expect in some situations with the person who is drinking or using drugs?

For applications or questions, contact:

Geraldine Provencial at (605)747-5547 or Jim at (605)259-3365 or email icimani@sfmission.org.



An Interview with Father Hatcher

Father John Hatcher S.J., before a portrait of one of his heroes, Italian Jesuit Eusebio Kino (1645–1711), who pioneered missionary work with native peoples in the Americas.

1. WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO ACCEPT THE PRESIDENCY OF ST. FRANCIS MISSION? Before ordination I visited the Mission and fell in love with the Lakota people and their culture. When Cardinal Cupich and Fr. Jim Grummer, SJ, the Jesuit Provincial, asked me to go to St. Francis Mission, I was reluctant. But when I learned our long-standing Mission would be discontinued without leadership, I could not abandon my first love. These people had given new life to my vocation.

2. WHAT WAS THE STATE OF ST. FRANCIS MISSION WHEN YOU ARRIVED? The Mission consisted of three priests, two elderly and one able-bodied, and one elderly brother. It had a radio station, a museum, sixteen children in released-time religious education, and several virtually abandoned parishes. Pastoral ministry had been reduced to a burial society. The life of the church revolved mostly around funerals.

3. WHAT WAS YOUR APPROACH TO RELIGIOUS MINISTRY? From the beginning, I was committed to Native leadership in the Church. I have systematically examined the reasons for the failure of missionary activity among Indian populations and have tried all my priestly life to present solutions that would lead to, in our case, a Lakota-led church.

4. HOW DID YOU PERCEIVE THE PHYSICAL NEEDS OF THE ROSEBUD LAKOTA? The people live in a state of low-grade depression. Everyone is affected by members of their families who are suffering from alcoholism and/or drug addiction. High rates of heart disease and diabetes prevail. Historically there has been a high rate of teen suicide, a rate nine times greater than that of teens in the majority culture. Oral health has also been neglected here, so many Lakota have lost many if not all their teeth.

5. HOW DID YOU RESPOND? We established two recovery centers and partnered with the Betty Ford Center for three years. The Lakota people on the Mission staff were trained to lead the program, redesigning it to fit with the Lakota experience. To counter the teen suicide problem, we created a Suicide and Crisis Hot Line administered by a Lakota person and staffed by seventeen Lakota volunteers 24/7. The Hot Line has saved many lives. To address the problem of oral health, we established a free dental clinic. We partnered with the South Dakota Dental Association, Creighton University Dental School, University of Indiana Dental School, University of Missouri Dental School, and a large number of out-of-state dentists to provide care and preventative education to the people of the reservation, especially the children.

6. DID YOU ADDRESS OTHER NEEDS? Yes. Many of the buildings at the Mission were in very bad shape. We removed several and happily, a tornado demolished another. We renovated several buildings and erected two new ones, one for religious education, now Sapa Un Catholic Academy, and one for the recovery center on our grounds. We set up a double-wide trailer as a recovery center in White River. We completely restored St. Charles Church, the main mission church, repainting it by hand and re-leading the 24 stained glass windows. We enriched our religious education program. Now we see 350 children each week with released time in four public schools. We also sponsor five, week-long, summer programs. Moreover, we revised our sacramental preparation programs asking more of the parents as their children prepare for Baptism, Confirmation, First Confession, and First Communion. As a result, we see more people attending Mass on Sunday in our five churches, and we have more requests for Marriage Preparation. The Mission also enhanced its Lakota Museum. The Lakota director rotates exhibits every three years. We work with the local schools during the school year, conducting guided tours of the museum with students from on and off the reservation. A skilled Lakota linguist, Deacon Ben Black Bear, Jr., directs our Lakota Studies office full time. We improved the religious programming of our KINI FM radio and are now negotiating with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe to give them the station with a guaranty to broadcast at least twenty hours of religious programs each week, as well as public service programs for Sapa Un Catholic Academy, recovery, and suicide prevention. KINI is popular 24/7 throughout Rosebud Reservation.

7. WHAT HAS BEEN THE GREATEST CHALLENGE FOR YOU AT ST. FRANCIS MISSION? Without question, our biggest challenge has been to create an adult-adult relationship with the Lakota people. The Federal government in the past and still today has treated Native peoples as children, and so has the Catholic Church. Breaking the adult-child relationship and establishing an adult-adult relationship is critical to establishing leadership.

8. WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST SUCCESS? Our greatest success has been seeing the Lakota staff at Saint Francis Mission take leadership of the Mission programs. That Lakota people are now the face of the Mission gives me great hope as I leave. These leaders are fully committed to the purpose of the Mission and out-do the president, allowing me essentially to be a teacher, bringing healing and strength to the people here.

9. WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY TO YOUR SUPPORTERS? I am deeply grateful for the many generous benefactors who have supported the new direction that Saint Francis Mission has taken—namely to create Lakota leadership at the Mission, in the Church, and in the Tribe. This is our legacy, yours and mine. It’s a Triumph of Hope that must continue.



Father Hatcher’s Farewell

After fourteen years, I will stand relieved as president of St. Francis Mission, effective July 31, 2017. Fr. Jim Kubicki, S.J., a friend and colleague with whom I worked for six years at the Sioux Spiritual Center, will become president. I am very grateful to all of you who have supported the ministry of St. Francis Mission during my time as president. Our donors from the stewardship mailings bring in over half of our $2.3 million annual budget. The rest is raised by grants, bequests, and major gifts, which have been my responsibility. Since we receive no direct government assistance this has been a challenging task and often not as successful as I would have liked.

Change in leadership generates anxiety in any organization and among its financial supporters. When I came to St.Francis Mission it was in a state of collapse—elderly priests and few programs. Mostly it was a burial society hanging on until someone in authority would decide to close it. Today it is a vibrant Mission led by Lakota people who have been invited by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe to be partners in alcohol recovery, the juvenile and adult jails, the suicide prevention effort, the homeless shelter, training the Community Health Representatives to work with suicide crisis situations, and the public schools to provide religious education to young people on the reservation. Moreover, there has been a robust improvement in the life of the Church due to creative sacramental preparation programs, religious education, and a small school that provides a solid education and teaches children that there is a God who cares about them.

The key to the success of these programs is that they are led by creative Lakota people. Without Rodney Bordeaux, John Swift, Don Gasdia, Geraldine Provencial, Marie Kills in Sight, Mary Lee Fast Horse, Jennifer Black Bear, Deacon Ben Black Bear, Jr, Ben Black Bear, III, Jim Stands, Caroline DeCory, and Stacee Valandra and their staffs, our relationship with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe would have remained dismal, and none of these successful programs would be in place. Because of this leadership, St. Francis Mission at this moment is positioned to make great strides forward. Despite the upcoming transition, the work of the Mission can only grow stronger when Fr. Jim Kubicki, S.J., becomes president.

When I ask you to continue to support the Mission I am asking you to support this team of creative people who care as much about the Church as I do and who passionately care about bringing a brighter future to their people. Because of your past generosity, this is your legacy as much as mine. It is a Triumph of Hope. Two things are needed going forward: prayer and financial support. I ask you to continue to support the legacy of the New Mission you helped build. I am including with this letter an interview I recently granted because I think you’ll be interested to see the big picture and the progress of the work of the Mission over time. Read the full interview here.

In the Risen Lord,

Fr. Hatcher, S.J.

P.S. I also invite you to attend our Benefactors’ Meet & Greet September 21 – 24, 2017. You will spend that weekend with me, the new president of the Mission, Fr. Jim Kubicki, S.J., our Lakota program leaders, and other wonderful benefactors from around the United States. This is an opportunity to explore the Rosebud Reservation, immerse yourself in Catholic Lakota Culture, and see first-hand the many programs at St. Francis Mission. The Mission will provide room and board and, if needed, transportation from and to the Rapid City airport. Please RSVP by September 2, 2017, to Cindy at 605.718.7912 or stewardship@sfmission.org.



May 12-Hour Family Recovery Program

Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Time: 9:00am to 4:00pm
Place: White River Recovery Center, White River, SD

Family REcovery ProgramThe 12-Hour Family Recovery program supports family members who are living with someone who is drinking or using drugs and is facilitated by local native people.

The family program is structured to support the needs of family members who are living on the reservation. Learn about effective communication skills, co-dependency and many other topics related to the families well-being.

Have you found yourself in these situations?

• Are you stressed out from coping with someone who is drinking or using drugs?
• Are you continuously telling him/her to seek treatment or some type of help?
• Are there times when your anger towards him/her effects your health?
• Do you feel like no one else understands your situation with your loved one who is drinking or using drugs?
• Are you having feelings of loneliness, anger, sadness, fear, of not knowing what to expect in some situations with the person who is drinking or using drugs?

For applications or questions, contact:

Geraldine Provencial at (605)747-5547 or Jim at (605)259-3365 or email icimani@sfmission.org.



2017 Body, Mind & Soul Summer Camp

Mark these dates on your calendars! Daily camp from 9 AM-3 PM:

June 5-9, St. Francis (Icimani Bldg.)
June 12-16, Mission (Fr. Paul Hall)
June 19-23, Parmelee (St. Agnes, 10 a.m-3 p.m.)
June 26-30, Spring Creek (School Gym)
July 10-14, Rosebud (St. Bridget’s hall)

Maker Fun Factory is filled with incredible Bible-learning experiences kids see, hear, touch, and even taste! Sciency-Fun Gizmos™, team-building games, cool Bible songs, and tasty treats are just a few of the standout activities that help faith flow into real life. (Since everything is hands-on, kids might get a little messy. Be sure to send them in play clothes and safe shoes.)

Plus, we’ll help kids discover how to see evidence of God in everyday life—something we call God Sightings. Get ready to hear that phrase a lot! We will also hear Lakota stories, teachings & play games! Parents, grandparents, and friends are invited to join us on the last day of camp for lunch and a slideshow of our activities throughout the fun-filled week!

Print this form and send it back with your child to school or bring them to the camp. Forms can also be picked up at the Religious Ed or SFM admin building. If you have any questions or would like more information, please call Jenny at 747-2436.



Unused land returned to Rosebud Reservation

Since 1886, the Jesuits have lived and worked among the Lakota people on the Rosebud Indian Reservation.  On May 2, St. Francis Mission returned 525 acres of unused church land to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe (RST).

Present for the transfer of land were President William Kindle and Vice President Scott Herman of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe; Fr. John Hatcher, S.J., president of St. Francis Mission; and Rodney Bordeaux, COO of St. Francis Mission.

In 1881, Chief Spotted Tail formally invited Jesuit priests, known as “Black Robes,” to educate the Lakota people. The federal government, and in some cases, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe granted to Saint Francis Mission land to support a school, and to build churches and cemeteries throughout the reservation. These arrangements were to remain in place as long as the Mission used the land for such purposes.

Eventually, 23 mission stations were built with some stations encompassing as much as 40-80 acres of land in order to support Native Catechists and their families. As the Native population moved off the prairie and into cluster housing, the churches closed, while the Mission retained possession of the land.

“Saint Francis Mission should not continue to hold land that it is no longer using for Church purposes,” said Father John Hatcher, S.J., president of St. Francis Mission. “The Mission is not in the property business. I am grateful to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe for the use of this land and happy that we can return it for the use of the Lakota people.”

Through the proactive efforts of the St. Francis Mission—in cooperation with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and the Bureau of Indian Affairs—all unused land will now be returned, except for where the Mission has active operations.

“It is time to get the land restored back to the Tribe, the rightful owners,” said Rodney Bordeaux, chief operations officer at St. Francis Mission. “These lands were used in an honorable way, but now that they are no longer needed, this is the appropriate thing to do.”

 



Sapa Un enrollment for 2017-18

Enrollment for the 2017-18 school year is now open for K-7th grades. Fill out a form here.



Museum Summer Hours

The Buechel Memorial Lakota Museum will open May 29, 2017. See the museum page for hours and details.



Lent & Easter 2017 Activities

Saturday, April 8
LENTEN RETREAT AND RECONCILIATION, “TURN TO THE LORD”
St. Bridget’s Church

Retreat
Noon – 2:00 PM

Sacrament of Reconciliation
2:00 – 3:30 PM

Palm Sunday, April 8/9
Regular Mass Times

Wednesday, April 12
6pm – Stations of the Cross, St. Agnes Church. Followed by a simple meal in the hall.

Holy Thursday, April 13
6pm -Mass of the Lord’s Supper, St. Bridget Church.
Followed by a simple meal in the hall.

Good Friday, April 14
3pm Stations and Adoration of the Cross, St. Charles Church
6pm Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion, St. Bridget Church

Holy Saturday, April 15
8pm Easter Vigil, St. Charles Church

Easter Sunday, April 16
9am -St. Bridget Church. Followed by breakfast in the hall.
11 :30am -St. Charles Church. Followed by brunch in Icimani.
5pm -St. Agnes Church. Followed by Easter dinner in the hall.