Parishioner's Annual Christmas mission brings gifts and stories to RCES students

posted on December 13, 2012,
by Christopher Ives

Jacyntha Shaw arrived Tuesday morning for her 12th annual Christmas mission to the Red Cloud Indian School. During her two-day visit, Shaw met with students at Mackert Elementary School to read stories, give Christmas gifts, and spread holiday cheer.

The seamstress from southeast Wisconsin first visited Pine Ridge Reservation with her Husband in the mid 1990's. However it wasn't until 2001 when, during a Novena to the Blessed Mother, she was called to start a teen mission at her local parish, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta in North Lake, WI. This led her to start accompanying teens on service missions to the Reservation and through the country.

Over the next 12 years, Shaw has brought medical supplies for local clinics, supplies for new and expecting mothers, school supplies, warm clothing and Christmas gifts for children, which are 'sold' through Sacred Heart Church during their Santa's Secret Workshop to empower the people of Pine Ridge, SD.

“The Blessed Mother came to me in a dream and asked to continue to help her children,” says Shaw. “Giving gifts is what Christ calls us to.” She realized that without adequate education, sustainable change is unlikely to occur. This led her to Red Cloud Indian School and her Christmas mission was born.

“I love seeing the children growing, the teachers, and all the wonderful people I meet. Fr. Peter is also distant cousin and sharing family stories is something I particularly enjoy.”