Office of Native Ministry
The Diocese of Rapid City established the Office of Native Ministry to serve as a liaison between the Native community and the diocese. This ministry is significant because Native Americans comprise 27% of the Catholic population in the diocese.
In an effort to include and support Native ministry across the diocese, the Director of the Office of Native Ministry works in collaboration with the staff at the Sioux Spiritual Center to develop and promote programs relevant to the spiritual needs of Native People. The Sioux Spiritual Center, is a retreat center and house of prayer established specifically for Native People. It serves as a catalyst for:
- Retreat and spiritual development utilizing the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius,
- The formation of Lakota catechists, lay ministers, deacons and priests,
- The preparation of missionary personnel assigned to minister in Native Communities across the United States and Canada,
- The development of inculturated liturgy and theology.
Please contact Germaine Little Bear, firstname.lastname@example.org or 605-343-3541, for more information or registration.
As a result of inculturation and the concerted efforts of Native people, priests and Native deacons, an indigenous retreat was developed named Canku Wakan (Holy Road). This is a four day spiritual journey utilizing an inculturated form of prayer inclusive of Lakota and Catholic rituals, traditions and ceremonies designed to bring participants to a closer relationship with Tunkasila (God the Father). During this prayer experience, Native Catholic leaders give presentations and share personal testimonies of faith.
A sweat lodge ceremony (Inipi ceremony) and morning prayer with the sacred pipe, sweet grass and sage blessings, the Eucharist, talking circle and a healing service are some of the common prayer forms associated with this retreat. Participants come away validated in their faith expression and filled with Woniya Wakan (the Holy Spirit).