To all our supporters: thank you for your prayers; for your letters, messages, and calls asking how we are doing; and for your continued gifts during this difficult time. While it’s true our rural setting and smaller population mean the spread of COVID-19 has been slower than in cities, it is still a grave threat.
Our governor predicts that the pandemic will peak here in May and June with an estimated 30% of our population affected. What makes this especially difficult for us is that we have a very vulnerable population of people—elders and many who suffer from the various health issues that accompany poverty—and the health care system on Rosebud is very poor. Our local Indian Health Service hospital doesn’t even have an ICU.
Here at St. Francis Mission we are following the ever-growing set of restrictions issued by the state, the tribe, and the diocese. Our grade school is closed and parents swing by to pick up homework for their children. The dental clinic is closed. Masses and gatherings at our five churches have been suspended.
All of my talks, mission appeals, and meetings with benefactors around the country have been cancelled through May.
As we weather this crisis together, be assured that you are in our thoughts and prayers.