St. Paul tells us that all things were made by, in, and through Christ. Lakota culture bears the fingerprints of the Second Person of the Trinity. It is important that Lakota Catholics share the unique gifts that God has given them with the larger Church community. St. Francis Mission encourages Lakota Catholics to claim their rightful place in the Catholic Church by sharing their religious heritage.
Lakota language is an important vehicle for communicating this heritage. Studies show that the Lakota people are in danger of losing their language and St. Francis Mission is dedicated to a cultural and linguistic revival. Under the direction of Deacon Ben Black Bear, Jr., our Lakota Studies Program is dedicated to preserving the language and heritage of the Lakota people.
Deacon Black Bear is working on a project to translate the New Testament into Lakota; he has completed the Gospel of Luke and is now working on the Gospel of John. He also translates prayers and catechism instructions for our religious education classes and for KINI Radio.
The Lakota Studies program was also involved in the development of a new Lakota dictionary published in 2008. It is the most comprehensive, accurately written and consistent dictionary of Lakota language to date. To enhance the use of the dictionary it contains a section on Lakota morphology and phonology.