At the core of our work are our lay leaders, who are shining examples of a sustainable model of parish ministry—an approach that addresses the reality that there is a shortage of priests while also empowering Lakota people to develop as leaders in the Church.
This approach also nurtures a sense of belonging in and ownership of the local church among the Lakota, for it is difficult to develop a local church without local leadership. Our ultimate goal is to have Lakota clergy and religious leading the Lakota Catholic church.
There are currently no Lakota priests or seminarians, and we have one Lakota deacon on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Until we have Lakota clergy and religious, the Lakota lay ministers are our best way of promoting local leadership. In addition, we hope that young men and women who see local lay ministers in leadership roles will be inspired to imagine themselves leading a parish community as an ordained minister or a sister.
To learn more how you can become part of our pastoral ministry work, please contact Veronica Valandra, pastoral coordinator, at 605/867-5491 ext. 2604 or firstname.lastname@example.org.