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Catholic Identity and being Native American

December 07, 2017
History of St. Augustine Mission

The St. Augustine Mission community is focusing on actively balancing the promotion of their Catholic faith and their unique history as an Indian Mission School, from the moment people set foot in their school.

As students, visitors, and people of the community enter the building, they are greeted with a large crucifix, that carries a lot of history for the school (it used to hang in the chapel when it was a boarding school). Panels line the hallways in centennial celebration detailing the origins of St. Augustine’s Indian Mission.

When the entry hallway ends, the guests and members are met by a statue of the Blessed Mother and an encased copy of the New Testament in Ho-Chunk language. Every turn down new hallways enchants people with beautifully painted scriptures and Catholic-themed student artwork along the walls.

In addition to the constant visual reminders, our students are enrolled in our parish religious education program, where they focus on the Mass, the beauty found in different parts of the liturgy, and seasons of the Church year and how each helps them to live a life focused on Christ. Classes are sometimes spent attending Mass, having a pastor or deacon go in depth on lessons of the liturgy or a guided worship.

Many students have grown as servers, ready to assist with Sunday Masses in the parish as they dive deeper into their faith.

The goal is to strengthen the Catholic identity while immersing students in the school’s rich history. They should understand that they are part of an ongoing history to form Missionary Disciples in Christ.