St. Francis, SD 57572-0499
WHAT DOES SAPA UN MEAN IN LAKOTA?
June 20, 2013
I am very happy to announce that Sapa Un Catholic Academy will open in the fall with a class of 16 third graders. The Nativity Academy model of education--a proven effective educational model—is the basis of the academic program and will vastly improve the quality of life of many Lakota children. It will give them access to a better future, professionally and personally.
I firmly believe that eventually Sapa Un Catholic Academy will improve life for everyone on Rosebud Reservation here in south-central South Dakota. I want to share my enthusiasm with you, because I also believe you may want the pleasure of joining me in making this happen in a powerful way. I believe God wants to use both of us in this wonderful work of mercy.
Why start a private academy on Rosebud Reservation? Because this is not just any educational model—it’s a Nativity Model, a Jesuit-developed model of education that has proven effective with at-risk children in the toughest urban and rural environments. This educational model provides a way out of ignorance, poverty, violence, and addiction. Why the name Sapa Un Catholic Academy? Sapa Un is Lakota for Black Robes, a reference to the first Jesuits who came here from Germany to live the Gospel among the Lakota, just as we are doing today. Over a hundred years ago, the Lakota asked the Jesuits to stay among them and teach. Ten years ago they reaffirmed their request to me in an independent survey—they still want us here, most importantly to teach their children that there is hope for their future. That is still our call: to instill hope, and to give Lakota children the tools to overcome despair. For the Lakota, Sapa Un also means Catholic, so Sapa Un Catholic Academy is a bit redundant, I admit. But the name reflects how deep and long the Jesuits have been committed to loving and serving this magnificent people.
The facilities of Sapa Un Catholic Academy are ready for the first class of 12-16 third-graders starting in the fall.
(Cut or tear on the perforation and return this slip with your gift.) Dear Fr. Hatcher, please accept my gift of $_________ on behalf of the children who will be attending Sapa Un Catholic Academy.
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What is special about a Nativity educational model? Nativity educational models put it all together—students, teachers, curriculum, family, character, and faith. These models have all successfully educated hundreds of children in inner cities who have gone on to college and professional careers. They enable students to succeed in the face of overwhelming odds. Young and old alike rely onThe KINIsecret for to success is that everyone is fully committed. Not only do the students achieve their but also their parents, who so deeply want for their children announcements of funerals anddreams, wakes, very a better life than they have had. The academic day is an extended day of focused studies, close important here. They hear about upcoming student-teacher contact, and challenging subject matter that classes preparing for baptism and marriage. will prepare students of post high school studies either in They stay tuned for daily meditations in college or trades. The model provides for regular interaction both Lakota and English and, later, for among the the principal, teachers and parents. In the case of Sap Un the evening Rosary. This month we are airing a model will provide for weekly classes for the parents provided by trained counselors to help them better handle the special series of talks centered on the spiritual commitment to a demanding educational model. The Jesuits at exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola. St. Francis Mission will provide pastoral care for each child and And everybody loves the comic skits created their families. At Sapa Un Academy ministry is to the whole by our production manager Roger Crowfamily. Eagle. Each skit is a take on a topic, such as Halloween, recovery, church-going, or How the will educating some of the children lead to positive change on Rosebud? tribal powwow. Nowhere in America, I believe, is thereExperience shows from studies of these educational models that children after graduating from post secondary programs a radio station that serves its community return to change their communities for the better. I expect that better thanfrom KINI does.Volunteer Virtually Volunteers the Jesuit children of the Rosebud will return to the reservation as wellCorps lead the girls in songs. everyone on Rosebud Reservation listens integrated professionals who want to return to their people Since we’ve been broadcasting to our radio station. They play it all day some of the blessings they have enjoyed. They will come back Sunday Mass live from here entrepreneurs, engineers,and teachers, artists, healthcare professionals, counselors, and much long forasentertainment, information, St. Charles Borromeo Church more—allEven of them role models the next generation. (above), attendance has grown inspiration. more, KINI bringsfor the steadily. The staff of KINI FM whole expressing Howcommunity can I be atogether, part of this, Fr. Hatcher? (left to right): Mary Lee Fast and multiplying the caring of one person Horse, Roger Crow Eagle, Jerod Mendoza,to andmake Johnna Gueru. Thank you for opening your heart to the Lakota and for recognizing the opportunity for another. Our radio station works a a huge difference. needproud to renovate the space for classrooms, pay the teachers, and buy continuing wonder. IWe am very the computers, books, and other materials. We ask the families to pay tuition, but some simply of our radio staff and you, dear friend, cannot afford much tuition, so we also need money for scholarships. That’s where you come in. for making all this happen in one of the very poorest in the land. Think of itplaces this way. The Sapa Un staff, teachers, principal, and I are your hands and feet on location. We do what you wouldpeople do if you could. You work through us from a distance More than ever in these hard times, on Rosebud Reservation are leaning on their faith. by St. sending Francis us the resources we need, namely funds to operate as Jesus Christ wants us to operate, bringing Mission relies on the radio station to feed this people’s hunger for God and to lift up all things useful, good, true and practical hope to the Lakota of Rosebud. I know there are many needs out there in the and true. so The truth isappreciate that we’d have stationinto without I deeply your Mission generous gift to world, I deeply that no youradio are tuned the you. serious needsappreciate of St. Francis KINI, the Voice of St. Francis Mission. May God bless you. Among the Lakota. Thank you for supporting our commitment to the Rosebud Lakota. You make everything we do possible. You are in my prayers at every Mass. Thank you.
Your Partner in Loving Service to the Lakota,
In the Risen Lord,
Fr. John Hatcher, SJ President Fr. John Hatcher, SJ President P.S.: The radio station is expensive to operate. But the goodthis it does is your priceless. Thank you! (Cut or tear on the perforation and return slip with gift.) Please charge my gift to my credit card (circle type): My gift amount: $_______
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