The candidates and the team members shown in the photo are: Top row: Adrian Archambault, Mary Black Bear, Nakita Eagleman, Pauline “Penny” Wolters, Sr. Catherine Thakro, Fr. Edmund Yainao, SJ, Quincy Red Feather, and Ramon Bear Runne. Middle row: Mary Mousseau, Fran Mousseau, Kiki Archambault, Jesse Bear Runner, Rochelle Hughes, Deanne Bear Catches, Front row: Germaine Little Bear, Norma Tibbitts, Margaret Roubideaux, and Veronica Valandra.
Canku Wakan retreat held in diocese
By Germaine Little Bear
Director of Native Ministries
Sioux Spiritual Center, the diocesan retreat center situated in the heart of the prairies of West River, started hosting the first native-only Cursillo in January 1993. The weekend retreat follows the Cursillo format but is presented by native lay leaders, native deacons, and Catholic priests who serve the native populations in our diocese. This retreat is unique to our diocese, a special opportunity for native Catholics to grow closer to Christ and their Catholic faith. Canku Wakan is Lakota for “The Holy Road” and it invites retreatants to grow spiritually through the traditions of Lakota Catholics throughout the weekend.
During the early 1900s, Nicholas Black Elk, whose cause for canonization is a major work in our diocese, became a catechist for the Lakota people, traveling around and teaching with a detailed depiction of the spiritual life called “Two Roads Pictorial Ladder Catechism.” He is credited for leading over 400 native people to embrace the faith in baptism. The Canku Wakan retreat tries to follow his inspiration by inviting retreatants through activities that are filled with laughter, recreation, songs, discussions, prayer, and time for silent reflection. The weekend allows retreatants to become reacquainted with some of the foundational Lakota and Catholic traditions by living and sharing as one family in Christ. Two retreats are held annually in April and September at the Sioux Spiritual Center. To learn more visit our website at: www.rapidcitydiocese.org/native-ministry/
The feeling of family was certainly the feeling that permeated the Canku Wakan retreat held from April 21- 24. The commitment, participation, and attentiveness to the messages shared with all of the candidates were inspiring and uplifting to all of us. The examples of respect, prayerfulness, openness, and spirituality were truly a blessing.