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

May 20, 2015 — The vocational call came early for Jesuit Father Jonathan Haschka — when he was just a freshman at his Jesuit high school.

May 18, 2015 — Nearly 300 Jesuits will gather at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles this June — all Canadian and U.S. Jesuits currently in formation and their provincials.

May 12, 2015 — Jesuits are responding to the earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25 and has killed over 4,000 people.

May 15, 2015 — Tiny, a three-legged golden retriever born with a deformed right front leg, has a new prosthetic leg thanks to a computer science class at Xavier University.

May 13, 2015 — Jesuit Father Richard McGowan is nicknamed “Padre Pecado” — the “Priest of Sin” — due to his status as a leading expert on the economics of alcohol and gambling.

May 12, 2015 — Last year, 21 Jesuits in Canada and the U.S. were called to final vows, and many took the opportunity to reflect on the greatest blessing of their Jesuit vocation.

May 11, 2015 — Nativity Preparatory School, a Jesuit middle school, has transformed the lives of young men with a tuition-free, first-class education since its founding in 1990.

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 - 5/25/15-6/1/15

America - 5/18/15

America - 5/11/15



Jesuit Center
The Jesuit Center in Wernersville, Penn., is a place of natural beauty, welcoming quiet and spiritual sustenance for those who seek peace within.