Although the struggles and uncertainty caused by Covid-19 continue to affect us, I want to share some good news with you this month.
The second grant that we needed to open the St. Francis Mission Dental Clinic was approved. We asked the Rosebud Sioux Tribe for $135,000 for new equipment and supplies required by the CDC, as well as for a small building where people can be screened before entering the clinic. The Tribe approved the grant, and we began to order what we need to open the clinic as soon as possible.
During July we celebrated baptisms and confirmations in small groups. Families and young people had been preparing all spring, and we did not want them to wait any longer to receive the grace of these sacraments.
On the first weekend of August, we opened three of our five churches for Sunday Mass. It was amazing how smoothly the celebrations went. The worshipers followed social distancing and mask guidelines as if these were nothing new. Soon we hope to figure out logistics for opening our other two churches.
The other good news I want to share is how touched I’ve been by you, our supporters, and by your response to our last newsletter, which highlighted our struggles. Your prayers, words of encouragement, and financial support mean a lot to us. They are a clear sign that we are a family: that, as the Lakota teach us,
“Mitakuye Oyasin” – “We Are All Related.”
That’s why we send you these monthly newsletters. You are part of our family, and we want you to know what’s going on with us. Because we are family, I promise you that we will never share your name or contact information with any organization. We won’t send you things to “guilt” you into giving. We trust that you want us to use your donations to help the people we serve. I assure you that this is what we do. Recently, I received a request from one of you to add a space for prayer requests on our return card. That made a lot of sense to me. Just as we want you to know our needs, we want to know how we can help you. That’s what a family does. If you have other suggestions, please let me know. Thank you again for all your help.