A note from Bishop Michael J. Hoeppner
Dear Friends in Christ:
Greetings! Each year as fall rolls in, we take a look at what has been improved and accomplished at St. Mary’s Mission Parish and School at Red Lake, Minnesota and we look at what is still needed.
First and foremost, Father Jerry Rogers and his wonderful staff (with your generosity and support) has kept St. Mary’s exceptional school open, graduating another class of sixth graders. These students are now well prepared to head to public school with the reading and math skills needed to succeed. Most importantly, though, the children from Red Lake need to be armed with the good news of the Gospel. They need to know and accept the love of God that comes to us in Jesus and in the power of the Holy Spirit. They need to know that Jesus accompanies them each and every day of the life journey. And this they come to know and experience at St. Mary’s Mission School and Parish.
Life at the Red Lake Reservation is challenging. Life expectancy is currently 46 years. Sadly, the children growing up there will experience the premature loss of family members and friends. God’s love and guiding presence is there to support them in St. Mary’s faith community. Drug and alcohol abuse are epidemic at Red Lake. At St. Mary’s Mission, our Anishinabe children are helped to acquire the skills for healthy living. In a place with so many single parent homes, young people at St. Mary’s learn about how to form lasting relationships, including the unique relationship that is marriage as God has given it. Yes, at St. Mary’s, both young and old come to know the loving and sustaining presence of God and the Gospel values needed for a truly meaningful and fruitful life.
This is why we continue to work to provide for St. Mary’s Mission; that is why Father Jerry Rogers is working so hard to plan for a more financially secure future for the Mission and School. And this is why your continued financial support is more important than ever! Your support gives Fr. Jerry and the staff of St. Mary’s School enough time right now to develop solid plans for future accreditation. It gives them time now to plan for future state and federal funding. It gives them time to continue to develop their relationship with the Red Lake Tribal Council and its financial commitment to support the children at St. Mary’s Mission School.
It is your generosity that takes care of the children of St. Mary’s and allows us to dream and plan for the future. I thank you for your past kindness and I ask you, once again, to give as much as you can. And always, please, remember to pray for everyone at St. Mary’s Mission and School as I do every day.
Sincerely, in the name of the Lord Jesus,
Most Reverend Michael J. Hoeppner
Bishop of Crookston