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Mission News

Dental Days: An Update

St. Franics Mission

In July 2013, the Mission embarked on a new adventure – Rosebud Dental Days.  A one-week event held in conjunction with the South Dakota Dental Association, Dental Days brought South Dakota dentists to the Rosebud to provide much needed dental care. The week long event was held across the Rosebud, and was considered a success.

But it was just the beginning. Today, Rosebud Dental Days happens multiple times a year, bringing down a core group of dentists (as well as newcomers) to the St. Francis Mission Dental Clinic to provide dental care to both new and returning patients. Marty Jones, Dental Clinic Director, says that the services provided during Dental Days has changed as the Clinic has grown. “Early on, we were handling many new patient cases.  Now, because of our ongoing clinics, Dental Days has allowed us to provide more services – including follow up services to patients whose dental home is the St. Francis Mission Dental Clinic.”

Since the beginning of Rosebud Dental Days, we’ve partnered with the South Dakota Dental Association.  Paul Knecht, Executive Director of the South Dakota Dental Association, notes that “The St. Francis Mission Dental Clinic has helped shift the focus of need during Dental Days.  Early on, we focused on triage care, and now we have the ability to have care and a true ‘dental home’ for patients. From an oral health perspective, it is a bright light in an otherwise dark environment.” 

Thanks to all the dentists and staff who have helped make our ongoing Dental Days programs a success! What does the future hold for the Clinic & Dental Days? Stay tuned on the clinic website at!

Mission Visits Minnesota!

Father Hatcher and Sandra McNeely recently visited St. Pius V parish in Cannon Falls, Minnesota and St. Joseph of Miesville in Hastings, Minnesota. Father Hatcher said saying mass and helped with reconciliation at both parishes this weekend, while Sandra accompanied hi to share information about the Mission with parishioners.  It was so nice to meet with them and share the story of our work on the Mission!


Camp is Fun! A look at Body, Mind & Soul

Body, Mind & Soul 2015 is going on this month, and boy are our kids having fun and learning lots! In this unique take on Vacation Bible School, we do Vacation Bible school activities in the morning and teach Lakota arts & culture in the afternoon!  We’ve been blessed with students and chaperones volunteers from the Xavier Jesuit High School of Cincinnati, Ohio and the Tampa Jesuit High School in Tampa, Florida! Here are some highlights!

June Family Recovery Program

We know that drugs and alcohol are a problem on the Rosebud. However, RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE. Join us for the 12 Hour Family Recovery Program, starting June 29th.

Date: Monday, June 29th and Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

Time: 9:00am to 4:00pm

Place: St. Bridget’s Hall, Rosebud, South Dakota (Near the Post Office)

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 –being.

Any donation will be greatly appreciated to help cover costs

For applications or questions, contact: Geraldine Provencial at (605)747-5547 or Jim at (605)259-3365 or email!

A Call to Action

As pastor of the Roman Catholic parishes on the Rosebud Reservation it is my duty to warn you of a clear and present danger that threatens to overcome our communities with a wave of violence not experienced in recent history on the reservation. That danger is a tidal wave of methamphetamine and alcohol flooding our communities.

Two months ago I presided at the funeral of two brothers who were murdered. The two murderers were captured and put in prison. The cause of this tragedy was meth.

More recently there was a high speed accident in Saint Francis in which a young man was killed. The cause alcohol and drugs.

A few days ago there was a drive by shooting in Mission and a person was shot in the face. The cause attributed to the presence of meth in the complex where he lived.

A young man was killed in a car wreck in the upper cut meat area. Alcohol and drugs were the cause. At his wake in multipurpose center gang members assaulted his body in the casket in the presence of his mother and family members. Again the root cause was alcohol and drugs. An unthinkable inhuman action! An unspeakable horror!

This weekend three more young men are in the hospital after crashing their car. Alcohol again. At the moment we don’t know whether they will make it or not.

Meth and alcohol presently are causing so much death and violence within families that we can fall into the notion that this is the normal way to live. I assure you it is not. I invite all men and women of good will Traditional, Protestant and Catholic to join me in a vigorous effort to rid the reservation of these two death dealing scourges. If there are members of your family who are taking meth get them to the Meth Treatment Program in Rosebud and if they are drinking get them to the Alcohol Treatment Program. It is the most effective loving action you can take—and it will save their lives.

If you know or see people selling drugs or alcohol illegally turn them in to authorities. The scandal is that we know who these people are and where they live—all you have to do is follow the path worn to their doors by the users.

If you report meth dealers and bootleggers to authorities and are told “we are watching them” that is not good enough. These dealers of death need to be removed from the communities. We can no longer allow them to kill our young people.

I call on government both tribal and federal to take effective action against the meth dealers and bootleggers.

I call for the establishment of a joint tribal and federal taskforce to put an end to the merchants of death that afflict our communities.

People of faith and good will are not powerless in the face of these evils. We can and must confront the rising tide of methamphetamine and alcohol abuse. The danger is clear and present. We must act.

Fr. John Hatcher, S.J.


Saint Francis Mission


Partnering with People: Mission update Spring 2014

The first part of 2015 has been busy, and that has been reflected in changes to our programs, success in our school and the growth of our people.  In our latest video update, Father Hatcher talks about the Mission, the Sapa Un Academy and a number of our other programs – and what to look for in the future!

A Celebration of Learning


The students at Sapa Un Academy have been busy this year. Aided by their teacher Jody Jackson, they have covered reading, writing, math, science, art, religion AND Lakota – sometimes every day. We are so proud in how much they have learned and grown this year!

The event allowed students to showcase what they’ve learned, share projects and artwork with family members and the community, and give prospective students a taste of what its like to go to Sapa Un Academy.

The event was a great way to cap off the school year.  Look for lots of new faces next year – we will be growing our grade levels, and our student base!

Engaging the Word – May 31, 2015

utumnOur faith tells us that we are made in the image and likeness of God. Some years ago on a Trinity Sunday I got to thinking about what it means to be made in the image and likeness of a God who is three but one. Of course every attempt to comprehend the Trinity falls short; that’s the nature of a true mystery. We are, however, made to approach this fundamental mystery, entering more and more deeply into relationship with the eternal source and end of our being. Acknowledging the inadequacy of the thoughts that follow, I nonetheless offer them for consideration.

Years ago I worked at a camp where an array of outdoor and leadership skills was taught to young people. One could choose any of the skills for this example, but let’s consider swimming. A young person in the water learning to swim has in his or her imagination the notion of swimming, a picture of swimming. As they make their attempt to swim and splash around, at some moment what they do matches what they intend, and they swim. In the active realization in time of what they imagine, they are overcome with joy, they experience the mystical spark that connects imagination and action, that connects a concept with its articulation. That mystical spark is the animating power that facilitates the dance between our thoughts and behaviors, and it turns out that this may be the truest statement that we can make about human beings: we are free creatures that have intentions and actions connected by mystical spirits that animate our lives.

In baptism we recognize that we are created in the image of the imagination of God, and the actions of God, and the Spirit of God. In this we also recognize that we are free and created in love to receive and share love. In God there is perfect integrity; God’s Will, God’s Word, and God’s Spirit are always in perfect harmony, perfectly integrated. Our challenge as God’s children is to be open to the grace that allows us to attempt to align our intentions with the will of the Father, allows us to align our actions with the life of the Son, and allows us to align our spirits with the Holy Spirit. In the words of the preparatory prayer with which St. Ignatius begins each of his spiritual exercises, let us pray for the grace that “all our intentions, actions, and operations be directed purely to the service and praise of the Divine Majesty.” In striving to unite our wills, our actions, and our spirits to God may we become ever more grateful and generous.

Readings this week:
1st Reading: Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40
Responsorial: Psalms 33: 4-6, 9, 18-20, 22
2nd Reading: Romans 8: 14-17
Gospel: Matthew 28: 16-20

Engaging the Word: 05/24/2015

My parents live on a lake in northern Minnesota. Burntside Lake is about 10,000 acres and dotted with rocky islands covered in pines.

One of those islands has a small cliff that drops straight into the water. Well, I suppose it’s not really much of a cliff. It’s probably only about 20 feet. But when you’re standing atop that ledge, it looks pretty far down to the water.

Standing there, thinking about jumping into the water, one wonders what finally makes one take the plunge.

Slightly less dramatic — perhaps you know the feeling of waking up on a Saturday morning when you don’t have to go in to work or to school, and you’re lying there in bed thinking about things. Thinking about yesterday, thinking about tomorrow, thinking about the list of things you need to do today. What finally prompts you to make that move to get up and get started?

Now, it’s Pentecost, and no I’m not sure that I’m suggesting that it’s the Holy Spirit that gets you up out of bed in the morning or prompts you to jump from a cliff into a cold lake, but I do think it tells us something about the way are fashioned, fashioned in the image of God, our own little Trinity of imaginations, the actions that fully receive and speak those imaginations, and the mystical animating spark that connects them.

Now the funny thing about it is, that little animating spark in others can animate us as well.  Maybe it’s the memory of a parent’s work ethic that moves us to get the day started, or perhaps it’s a younger sibling’s courage that prompts us to leap from the cliff.

Now, Jesus had that spark too, and the rightness of the good news he was prompted to share convinced his closest followers and others that he was united to God in a special way —  was the Christ.

Jesus’ message in a way was quite simple – repent and believe the good news: the kingdom of God is at hand. The way things ought to be is as close as your next move, and you’ve got the power to make the right next move. Accepting that truth makes the blind see, the lame walk, and sets captives free.  Accepting that good news, that Gospel, radically changes lives for the better. It doesn’t eliminate suffering, but it can transform it and make the good times even richer. As the followers of Jesus lived the good news he preached, they found themselves stepping into eternal life with God in time.

But then Jesus went away, and his disciples froze.

One of my favorite lines in Scripture is in the reading from Acts used on the feast of the Ascension: “Men of Galilee, why are you looking up at the sky?” If you read on, they go from looking at the sky to sitting in a room in Jerusalem looking at one another. In John’s account that he just heard, we find them in that room right away. Frozen in that room, Jesus delivered a spark that hit them. Overcome by the Holy Spirit they realized that the good news of freedom and love was still the good news and that it needed to be proclaimed. They realized too that that spark to proclaim it proceeded from the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of their friend and teacher Jesus and that this Paschal mystery verified the Gospel.

And so they went out, and they preached the good news, a universal gospel of freedom and love that speaks the language of the heart, human and divine.

Now, we humans in time don’t experience disembodied spirits on their own. We know our spark is there when we actually get out of bed or leap from the cliff. It’s in action that we come to know the spark in others.

And so Jesus, in his wisdom, left us with an embodiment of his spark. On the night before he suffered, on the night of the Last Supper, he took bread, blessed it and broke it and said “This is my body.” And he took wine and sharing it with them said, “This is my blood.”

How fitting a way to remain, by means of a community gathered around bread and wine, fruit of the field and work of human hands. Wheat and grapes require sunlight and soil and cultivation. Bread and wine must be made. The human and divine cooperation required to make what nourishes and delights is at the heart of the good news.

When the community of believers in that good news gathers with bread and wine and looks into it and carries on that tradition that was begun the night of the Last Supper, we see no longer bread and wine but Jesus, and in community, together, remember what he taught his friends and are nourished to live it.

Let’s pray that in our Thanksgiving today, in our Eucharist, that we are sparked to believe that the Holy Spirit is alive in us, individually and collectively.  That faith in God’s love for us, that our hope for the kingdom, and our courage to act in love is renewed.

The human and divine spirit of Jesus is alive and among us — if we are stuck looking up into the sky or have locked ourselves in a room hidden away, let’s move, let’s start living the good news of freedom and love and proclaim the Gospel by our lives.

1st Reading: Acts 2: 1-11 ~  Responsorial: Psalms 104: 1, 24, 29-31, 34

2nd Reading: 1 Corinthians 12: 3-7 ~  Gospel: John 20: 19-23




Coming This Summer: Body, Mind & Soul Camps!

We are excited to announce the schedule for the 2015 Body, Mind & Soul camps! This year, the theme is “Everest: Conquering Challenges with God’s Mighty Power” and students aged 6-14 years old will be treated to the COOLEST week of the summer! Featuring amazing experiments, glacier games, lip smacking snacks, surprising adventures and Lakota stories, teachings and games. Lunch and snack provided daily.

If you know a student on the Rosebud between the ages of 6 – 14 would like to attend, check out the schedule below and call Jenny at 747-2436 or stop by the Religious Ed building or SFM Admin bldg. to pick up an application!


Starting at 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. daily
June 1-5 Parmelee (St. Agnes 10 a.m-3 p.m.)
June 8-12 St. Francis (Icimani Bldg)
June 15-19 Rosebud (St. Bridget’s hall)
June 22-26 Mission (Fr. Paul Hall)
June 29-July 3 Spring Creek (blue religious ed. bldg.)

The Body, Mind, and Soul camps are sponsored by the St. Francis Mission Religious Education Program. The St. Francis Mission and SFM Religious Ed. Program is not responsible for accidents, thefts, or injuries.