News Detail
Jesuit Father John Hatcher, president of St. Francis Mission
“I think from the very beginning part of the culture of the classroom is to say we’re doing this to figure out how to help people here have a better life in the future.”
—Jesuit Father John Hatcher
Jesuits’ St. Francis Mission Opens Sapa Un Academy on Rosebud Indian Reservation

October 4, 2013 — St. Francis Mission, a ministry of the Jesuits among the 20,000 Lakota (Sioux) people on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota, opened the Sapa Un Academy this September with an inaugural class of 13 third grade students. At-risk kids in South Dakota will benefit from this model of schooling, according to Jesuit Father John Hatcher, president of St. Francis Mission.

St. Francis, where the school is located, is a small town on the Rosebud Reservation, and officials say many young people in this rural area are not getting a good education, in part because many students don’t attend school regularly. “The educational systems here leave a lot to be desired and there’s a huge drop-out rate with kids, especially when they enter high school,” said Fr. Hatcher.

Newly-opened Sapa Un AcademyThis is where the Sapa Un Academy, based on the Nativity Miguel education model, comes in. The Jesuit-developed model focuses on at-risk children, aiming to turn them into students who are able to graduate from colleges and universities. The model features extended academic hours, focused studies, close student-teacher contact, and challenging subject matter in order to prepare students for post-high school studies, either in college or trade schools.

“Experience shows from studies of these educational models that children after graduating from post-secondary programs return to change their communities for the better,” said Fr. Hatcher. “I expect that children of Rosebud will return to the reservation as well-integrated professionals who want to return to their people some of the blessings they have enjoyed. They will come back here as entrepreneurs, engineers, teachers, artists, health care professionals, counselors and much more — all of them role models for the next generation.”

While the academy is opening to third grade students in 2013, the school plans to expand enrollment by adding a grade every school year. The school will also offer programming during summer months to keep its students caught up and engaged.

“I think from the very beginning part of the culture of the classroom is to say we’re doing this to figure out how to help people here have a better life in the future,” said Fr. Hatcher.

Learn more about St. Francis Mission at www.sfmission.org. [South Dakota Public Broadcasting


Recent News

November 21, 2014 — The 1989 murders of six Jesuits and two women in El Salvador have had a lasting impact on Jesuits and their lay collaborators.

November 21, 2014 — The announcement is welcome news for some immigrant families, but there is much work to be done.

November 20, 2014 — Jesuit Father Dave Anderson, chaplain for Seattle University alumni and the men's basketball team, is now chaplain to the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks as well.

November 14, 2014 — Jesuit Father Ismael Moreno Coto, a human rights activist from Honduras, is a former student of Jesuit Father Ignacio Ellacuría.

November 13, 2014 — Twenty-five years after the murders of six Jesuits and two lay women in El Salvador, Jesuits strive for justice that forges reconciliation and looks to the future.

November 12, 2014 — Twenty-five years after six Jesuits, their housekeeper and her daughter, were assassinated at the University of Central America, Jesuits and their lay collaborators are remembering them with commemorative events.

November 10, 2014 — The Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life held a recent panel discussion at Georgetown University, featuring editors of major Catholic publications.

view all news

Search news

Publications
Since St. Ignatius bought a printing press in 1556, the Jesuits have been involved in communications. Today the Society of Jesus publishes a number of award-winning journals and publications. Click below to access our latest issues.

America - 11/24/14

America - 11/17/14

America - 11/10/14



Demontreville Jesuit Retreat House
The Demontreville Jesuit Retreat House is located on the shores of Lake De Montreville in Lake Elmo, Minn.