Visit to Reservation Leaves Impression on Service Group from Marquette University

posted on April 12, 2013
by Shannon Grooms

The Catholic Churches on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, part of a unified Parish supported by Red Cloud Indian School, have built relationships and partnerships with various colleges and universities around the nation. Through these relationships the School and Churches host various student service groups throughout the year.

Recently, students from Marquette University, a Jesuit Institution in Milwaukee, Wisconsin came to visit the reservation during their spring break to learn about Lakota culture and to volunteer their time.

At Red Cloud, University students helped run an after-school program. They also took the time during their visit to help with maintenance and repairs at Our Lady of the Sioux, and St. Bernard's Churches in nearby communities.

In addition, local residents visited with the students, shared their culture, a community meal, and heard from community Elders before being invited to participate in a sweat ceremony (a traditional Lakota prayer service).

“My week in Pine Ridge has been an incredible blessing.” Says Marquette student, Patricia Zapf. “Working with the children, talking with the elders and getting to know some things about the Lakota culture has been a learning experience I will forever cherish.  Pine Ridge has left quite a mark on me and I couldn't be happier about it.” 

Over the years beautiful friendships have formed through these service groups, cultural bridges have been gapped and lives have been enriched on both sides. If you are interested in learning more about service groups and Red Cloud Indian School, contact our Community Relations Department at