The Joy of Spring

With the arrival of spring and the effects of the pandemic diminishing, we are all feeling a lot more hopeful these days.

Unlike last year, we celebrated Holy Week and Easter in all of our five churches. The Youth Group made Easter baskets, and an Easter Egg hunt was held at St. Charles Church. Seventeen young people ages 11 to 18 meet regularly to have fun, to support one another in their faith, and to serve the people of the reservation in various ways.

One member of the group, Ashaun Roach-Valandra, went away to finish high school at St. Mary’s in Dell Rapids. He was a stand-out football and basketball player who won the 2021 Kernit Grimshaw/Sacred Hoops Athlete of Character Award.

Since January, St. Charles Church has been celebrating birthdays on the last Sunday of the month. Recently the celebration included traditional fry bread and blueberry and blackberry wojapi made by Winnie Hairy Shirt.

We’ve also been able to host some visitors. Students from Norris Elementary School visited our museum and main church. “Leadership South Dakota,” a group of professionals from around the state, visited Sapa Un, the museum, and the church.

Brothers Pio and John Mary of the Franciscan Brothers of Peace in St. Paul, Minnesota, drove a vanload of food for distribution on the reservation. Those of us who helped unload the van were amazed at the quality of the food, which included almost 300 lbs. of ground turkey. Good thing we had enough freezer space! Thank you, Brothers!

With warmer days and some much-needed rain, the grass is turning green and will soon need mowing. Unfortunately, one of our mowers bit the dust. A generous benefactor gave us $5,000 to cover half the cost of a new one. If you could send us an extra donation this month to cover this unexpected expense, we would certainly appreciate it. Thank you!

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