Celebrating Annual Baccalaureate Mass with Prayers and Reflection

posted on May 29, 2013

Staff, faculty and community members joined Red Cloud Indian School’s senior class on Wednesday, May 22 to celebrate the annual Baccalaureate Mass. The service united traditions from both Catholic and Lakota spiritualties, including a student-led Lakota drum group singing honoring songs and a blessing and bestowing of the St. Ignatius medals.

President of Red Cloud Indian School Fr. George Winzenburg, S.J. spoke of the school’s long-standing history of educating the mind, body and spirit of Lakota youth through the promotion of both Catholic and Lakota values.

Winzenburg spoke of Fr. Pierre-Jean De Smet, a Jesuit and friend to Chief Red Cloud, who, with the support of the Lakota people, helped to establish Red Cloud Indian School in the late 1800’s. Now celebrating its 125th year, Winzenburg shared that Red Cloud has been built upon on the strengths of both Catholic and Lakota traditions. Graduates at Red Cloud are prepared to ‘walk in both worlds’ as the school’s namesake had intended and become the future leaders of their community.

“It's bittersweet, but I am ready to move on,” said senior Tobie Little Finger, who will be starting classes at South Dakota State University this fall to pursue a career in Music Therapy.

Stacy DeWolfe, father of graduate Carlee DeWolfe lamented, “It's going to be lonely and quiet on my morning drive to work. We've made [the trip to Red Cloud] so many times together over the years.” The DeWolfes travel approximately forty miles one way to school. He went on to joke, “getting them to school at 7:45 every day has kept me on time to work. I don't know what I am going to do now!”

“It's a teacher's delight to see how children grow and mature and find their own direction through their years,” said Sr. Connie Schmidt, spiritual formation teacher in the high school.

With the hundreds of thousands of dollars earned in scholarships by the class of 2013, graduates will be attending colleges around the country, including Dartmouth, Stanford and the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, pursuing their dreams with confidence inspired by the school, community and culture.


Photos: All Rights Reserved ©Red Cloud Indian School