St. Anthony's Indian Mission School
St. Anthony Indian Mission is rapidly approaching its centenary of existence on the Zuni Pueblo. Founded by the Franciscan Friars its mission and charism was, and still is, to offer the best possible education to the children of Pueblo at little or no cost. We remain true to that charism as we offer not just academic but holistic formation to the students.
Part of our task is to prepare students to take leadership roles within the community with a strong Christian outlook. To that end (after Covid restrictions) we completed the election of our student council. The election process truly rivaled any political campaign. Posters went up all over the school. I was quite proud as candidates gave five minute long speeches to the whole school to elicit votes. Some of the talks were excellent and carefully crafted. There are quite a few budding politicians among our student body. (Hopefully we will have instilled a strong moral compass within them for the future.) The council was inaugurated during the “All School Mass” with each member taking a light from the school candle and promising to serve to the best of their abilities.
Already the council’s effects are being felt. Our 2nd graders have begun a “Socktober Drive”. We did this several years ago and I had the pleasure of taking bundles of new socks to the homeless in Gallup. My own experience with people who spend their days walking the streets tells me how vital it is that they keep their feet in good shape. So our kids are addressing a real human need in the small way that they can. If only others could follow suit where would the world be?
As much as I enjoy reflecting on our social life at the school I have always to remember that we are an academic institution. One evening I answered the school door after hours and a parent was there to collect her daughter. Unbeknown to me Ms. Laura was giving math’s coaching to some of her students who were falling behind. When I told the student her ride was there she said “please just a few more minutes ‘till I finish this problem.” A moment like that warms the heart when I experience the enthusiasm of a student to learn and the dedication of a teacher to help them progress.
Our students are growing in mind, heart and spirit. How blessed are we at St. Anthony’s?