Archive for the ‘Native Ministries’ Category
Jesuit Father John Paul spent 17 years of his Jesuit life stationed among the Sioux Nation on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.
“The people and the work we’ve done together at Pine Ridge are such an important part of how I have been formed as a Jesuit,” said Fr. Paul, who now serves as the Wisconsin Province’s director of formation, ongoing formation, lay formation and assistant for native ministries.
Recently, Paul returned to Pine Ridge as a facilitator for a South Dakota Native American Ministry/Cultural Immersion trip for lay people interested in learning about the cultural heritage of the Lakota Sioux, the history of their relationship with the Society of Jesus and Native American/Jesuit collaborative ministries.
He said, “It’s hard to be there and not feel an overwhelming sense of the difficulties people face. But there is also a very real voice of hope, growth and excitement in what is happening. When local people start sharing their stories, it begins creating relationships. After all, how can you not be affected by another person’s story?”
For more on Paul’s work at the Pine Ridge Reservation, read this Wisconsin Province Jesuit Spotlight.
Magis Productions, founded by noted photojournalist Jesuit Father Don Doll of Creighton University, will receive the 2010 Chief Standing Bear Organizational Award this Friday, May 14 in the Nebraska State Capitol Rotunda.
Awarded by the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs, the honor recognizes Fr. Doll and his colleague Carol McCabe for their work in the field of photography, particularly portrait photography, which gives “voice to Native American peoples and promotes social justice for all.”
Members of the Kateri Drum Group of St. Augustine Indian Mission, Winnebago, Neb., will perform at the awards event.
“It’s an honor to accept this award,” said Doll who was introduced to photography when he was assigned to the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota as a young Jesuit in the late 1960s. “It’s been a privilege to make photographs that in some small way assist Native Americans in the pride they take in their heritage and their identity.”
During the Regency period of formation, a Jesuit is often assigned to work in a ministry, such as a school or community outreach program. Patrick Gilger is a Jesuit in the Regency stage of formation and he recently spoke with Jesuit.org about his work among the Lakota people and how his time with them has impacted his use of Ignatian Spirituality.
Since its publication in 1932, Black Elk Speaks has moved countless readers to appreciate the American Indian world that it described. John Neihardt’s popular narrative addressed the youth and early adulthood of Black Elk, an Oglala Sioux religious elder. Jesuit Father Michael F. Steltenkamp now provides the first full interpretive biography of Black Elk, distilling in one volume what is known of this American Indian wisdom keeper whose life has helped guide others.
Nicholas Black Elk: Medicine Man, Missionary, Mystic shows that the holy-man was not the dispirited traditionalist commonly depicted in literature, but a religious thinker whose outlook was positive and whose spirituality was not limited solely to traditional Lakota precepts. Combining in-depth biography with its cultural context, the author depicts a more complex Black Elk than has previously been known: a world traveler who participated in the Battle of the Little Bighorn yet lived through the beginning of the atomic age.
Steltenkamp draws on published and unpublished material to examine closely the last fifty years of Black Elk’s life—the period often overlooked by those who write and think of him only as a nineteenth-century figure. In the process, the author details not just Black Elk’s life but also the creation of his life story by earlier writers, and its influence on the Indian revitalization movement of the late twentieth century.
Nicholas Black Elk explores how a holy-man’s diverse life experiences led to his synthesis of Native and Christian religious practice. The first book to follow Black Elk’s lifelong spiritual journey—from medicine man to missionary and mystic—Steltenkamp’s work provides a much-needed corrective to previous interpretations of this special man’s life story. This biography will lead general readers and researchers alike to rediscover both the man and the rich cultural tradition of his people.
Jesuit Father Michael F. Steltenkamp is Professor of Religious Studies at Wheeling Jesuit University, Wheeling, West Virginia. He is the author of Black Elk: Holy Man of the Oglala and The Sacred Vision: Native American Religion and Its Practice Today.Ordained a deacon on the pow-wow grounds of Manderson (Black Elk’s reservation town), Steltenkamp was ordained a priest in Chicago. His first assignment was as pastor of an Indian parish in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. After acquiring a Ph.D. in Anthropology at Michigan State University, he taught at Bay Mills Community College, an Indian college on the Bay Mills Reservation.