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All Saints Day & All Souls Day

We celebrate All Saints Day on November 1st and All Souls Day on November 2nd.  This year, All Saints Day (November 1st) is not a Holy Day of Obligation.  However, here is the Mass schedule for Saturday & Sunday with some special celebrations included:

Solemnity of All Saints – November 1st (not a Holy Day of Obligation this year)
5:00 p.m. – Mass (for Sunday) at St. Agnes
The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls) - November 2nd
8:40 a.m. – Sacrament of Reconciliation at St. Bridget’s
9:00 a.m. — Mass at St. Bridget’s
10:00 a.m. – Birthday and Anniversary Breakfast at St. Bridget’s
11:10 a.m. — Sacrament of Reconciliation at St. Charles
11:30 a.m. – Mass at St. Charles

Join us this weekend!

Engaging the Word: 10/26/14

Before presenting the final contemplation of the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius calls attention to two points:

The first is that love ought to manifest itself in deeds rather than in words.  The second is that love consists in a mutual sharing of goods, for example, the lover gives and shares with the beloved what he or she possesses, or something of that which he or she  has or is able to give; and vice versa, the beloved shares with the lover. Hence, if one has knowledge, he or she shares it with the one who does not possess it; and so also if one has honors, or riches. Thus, one always gives to the other.

The fundamental possession of each person is the love of God.  Each one of us has been loved into being and has been graced with the freedom to     respond to this circumstance.  In sharing life and granting freedom God’s love includes perfect mercy.  As free but limited creatures made in the image of God we can be tempted and fall victim to pride, which manifests itself as a failure to love as we have been loved, a failure to love with mercy, a failure to love with forgiveness.

The failure to love separates the creature who has been loved into being from the Creator.  This separation from the Source of life diminishes life, and the creature experiences a living death and becoming distanced from others, with, as the reading this week from Exodus explains, his wife or her husband made a virtual widow and his or her children virtual orphans.

The Good News is that God’s love and mercy never fails.  If we have fallen victim to pride and a failure to love, we can always choose to follow the Lord’s two most important pieces of advice:  love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself.  The beauty of these words is that they testify to our freedom and our capacity to love.  If the love of God and neighbor were automatic the commandments would not need to be offered.  Of course if love were     automatic and not grounded in freedom, it really would not be love.  So we are free and are able to receive and share love, and we find ourselves in a circumstance in which our loving Creator always offers us mercy, always offers the opportunity to return to love.  Let us receive God’s love and mercy and share that same gift with our brothers and sisters.

1st Reading: Exodus 22: 20-26 ~ Responsorial: Psalm 18: 2-4, 47, 51

2nd Reading:1 Thessalonians 1: 5-10~ Gospel: Matthew 22: 34-40


Pumpkin Carving Fun!

The SFM Youth group, in collaboration with the St. Francis community, had a pumpkin carving/game night on Monday, October 20th, and it was a success! 22 kids participated in the pumpkin carving & game night, along with some with their families! It was a great turnout and a fun night.

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Next up? The SFM youth group will be working with the St. Francis community to host a “zombie walk.” Stay tuned for more information!

Engaging the Word: 10/19/2014

In the reading this week from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah we hear how King Cyrus, a king who does not know God, is anointed by God to do God’s work. Taken together with the other readings assigned for this week, perhaps the message is to   remember that there is in truth just one reality, one universe. The believer cannot put on his or her  Christian hat in one moment and live in God’s reality only to take it off in the next to put on a secular hat and live in a world in which God is absent. The counsel is not to abandon the secular reality for God’s reality, but rather to see God present and working in all things.

In Jesus’ counsel to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, Jesus is reminding us that we must acquit ourselves to our times. The world and all that is in it has been given to us that we might know God. As Paul explains, this knowing is not merely intellectual or even spiritual but experiential. Living in this world of materiality and immateriality, we are made to experience the love of God and share it with all creation. To paraphrase Pierre      Teilhard de Chardin, nothing is profane for those with eyes to see. Indeed we meet God in the every day, in the mundane, in the washing of the feet, in the fruit of the field and work of human hands. With the eyes of faith we can meet God in the every day. May we find the grace to seek the love of God in the every day and share it with our brothers and sisters.


1st Reading: Isaiah 45: 1, 4-6 ~ Responsorial: Psalm 96: 1, 3-5, 7-10

2nd Reading:1 Thessalonians 1: 1-5 , 19-20~ Gospel: Matthew 22: 15-21


Pumpkin Carving & Game Night with SFM Youth Group!

The SFM Youth Group in collaboration with the St. Francis Community will be having a Pumpkin Carving/Game Night at the Digmann Hall in St. Francis on Monday, October 20th from 6-8 p.m. All youth ages 10 – 18 years are invited to attend.  If you have any questions or want to sign your youth up for the youth group, please call Jenny at 747-2436 or 828-1082.  The SFM Youth Group will not be responsible for accidents, thefts or injuries.


October 12-Hour Family Recovery Program Dates & Times

The October 12-Hour Family Recovery Program will take place on Monday, October 20th through Thursday October 23rd, 2014 from 10:00am to 1:00pm at Icimani Ya Waste’ Recovery Center, St. Francis, South Dakota.


Icimani Ya Waste’ Recovery Center is hosting the 12-Hour Family Recovery Program this month

The 12-Hour Family program is facilitated by local native people who live on the reservation. The program includes video clips and live role plays and is structured to meet the needs of those family members who are living on the reservation.  Family members will learn:

  • The side effects that drugs and alcohol have on the body and emotions.
  • The process of addiction and relapse.
  • Will learn about twelve step programs and other healthy ways designed for those who are affected by drugs and alcohol.
  • Learn different ways that will help you cope and maintain a less stressful life while coping with a person who is using drugs or alcohol.
  • The how and why alcoholism or drug addiction is a family disease.
  • About Co-dependency and have a greater understanding about the issues that surround the
    Co-dependent family member.
  • How to overcome these family roles and dynamics in a healthy way in order to bring about a healthier family structure.
  • Effective communication, listening and observing skills
  • Co-dependency and enabling conduct and its role in the addiction cycle and in family structure.
  • Including more information related to families and their well –


Administrative Leave will be granted to any Tribal Employee who wishes to attend. The cost to attend the program is $50.00 per person, and must be paid in advance.

For applications or questions, contact:

Geraldine Provencial at (605)747-5547 or Jim at (605)259-3365 or email us at

Engaging the Word: 10/12/14

What if you decided to accept an invitation to a sporting event or a concert or a play and decided to sit backward in your seat or to put on headphones or even go to sleep?  What would  happen is that you would miss the game or the show.  One can bodily show up for a party and still not be there.  If you do not join in with what is happening you miss out.  That is just the way it is.

From the perspective of those who want to watch or participate in the game or put on or see the show or host or enjoy the party, the person who does not join in is wasting an  opportunity.  From the perspective of those who want to join in, the one who excludes himself or herself is throwing himself or herself outside to wail and grind his or her teeth.

God has made a wonderful world to live in and enjoy.  It is a party born out of pure love and the rule of the party is love.  Now, love needs to be free.  So we free creatures who have been invited to the party that is the Kingdom of Heaven can either join in or stand to the side and selfishly call the whole thing stupid.   When one chooses not to join in he or she can ruin the party a bit, but only in time.  When the temporal party is over, when life in time comes to end and one enters into eternity, he or she will live with the eternal fact that he or she has written in time, either one chose love or one rejected love.  Living with that fact in eternity will either be eternally hellish or eternally blissful.

The good news, of course, is that as long as the game or show is still going on we can turn around in our seats, we can take off the headphones, we can wake up.  As long as the party in time is still going on we can choose to join in for now and into eternity.   Our all good Creator continues to offer us the gift of love and invites us to respond to the invitation in love and freely share it with one another.  We can either enter into the party or even in our bodily presence throw ourselves outside.  Let us pray for the grace to receive and share all that our loving God has to offer.

1st Reading:  Isaiah 25: 6-10 ~ Responsorial: Psalm 23: 1-6

2nd Reading:  Philippians 4: 12-14, 19-20~ Gospel: Matthew 22: 1-14



SFM Youth Group Game Nights!

The SFM Youth Group has continued to grow!  For two weeks in a row, we have held Game Nights with our growing Youth Group.  The youth played basketball & volleyball, got snacks and had a lot of fun.

We will be having another Game Night on Monday, October 13th at the Digmann Hall in St. Francis from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.  All youth ages 10-18 are welcome!  For more information, contact Jenny Black Bear at 605-747-2436.

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Engaging the Word: 10/05/2014

If God did such a good job creating things, why is the world such a mess?  If we are made for peace and unity with God and one another, why is there so much violence and division?  Some might say, “What a waste!”

Indeed, in a way it is a waste, but in another way creation might be seen to be a waste if there were no one to freely appreciate it.  Planets revolving around the sun, trees growing, birds singing, and human beings automatically doing everything well and rightly would all be lovely, but it would be a bit like a train set with God at the controls and no one else to watch.

Now, we understand that God in the dance of the Trinity is as happy as can be and has no need of creation to magnify that happiness, but for whatever reason, presumably to share happiness, God freely   creates, sustains, and transforms.  The most interesting feature of God’s train set is that placed in it are creatures that can either play along or complain, can either cooperate or do their own thing, can either say, “Hey God, nice creation; it’s great to be alive,” or outright lie and grumble “This creation isn’t so great; I could have done    better.”

So, the Lord has planted a wonderful garden and given it all that it needs, but the Lord has also placed in it free creatures who can play along or not.  If they all did, their souls would magnify the greatness of the Lord.  As they all do not, they testify to the greatness of God’s love for us but make the world a mess.

So how do we find peace in a world in which free creatures by their selfish choices have let loose evil?  Well, as the psalmist suggests, call on the Lord.  Turning to our loving God is the first step in     coming to act with justice and make the Kingdom of God at least a bit more real.  Another step is to take the advice of St. Paul, who  suggests that in this world so infected with what is evil we need to focus on the good things, “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious,” and whatever is excellent and worthy of praise.  If we do and continue to act on what we have learned and received and heard and seen in faith, then the God of peace will be with us.


1st Reading:  Isaiah 5: 1-7 ~ Responsorial: Psalm 80: 9, 12-16, 19-20

2nd Reading:  Philippians 4: 6-9~ Gospel: Matthew 21: 33-43


Sapa Un Academy: September Update!

School started for the Sapa Un Academy in September, and our students, teachers & staff have been busy working on projects and learning!  We’ve collected some highlights from the first month to share!

Dental Health

Marty Jones from the St. Francis Mission Dental Clinic presented information on dental health to the students. We started a brushing program where the students brush after meals here at the school. The dental clinic provided the materials for us!  Here are some pictures of the students learning to brush correctly!

Dental 1 Dental 2

Art & Painting

Our first art unit was watercolors. As we go through the year, students are submitting choice artwork from each unit to be part of an art show and auction later in the year designed to provide an authentic art experience for students. Funds raised will be donated to a charity of the students’ choice to support art education in underprivileged areas.

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Hands on Science!

This project was from our science unit in the first week of school. We are trying to incorporate writing and interactive notebooks with hands on science activities to help with critical thinking skills and to teach students the way real scientists work in the world.  This activity was called, “Save Fred” and students used gummy worms, gummy lifesavers, paper clips and cups…they were to get the lifesaver from under the “boat” (cup) and place it on Fred, the gummy worm without using their hands. They then took notes and discussed their strategies.

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