May 2022 E-Newsletter

“Starting Palm Sunday, the church is telling us that these are the eight days that changed your life. Your life was redeemed by Jesus Christ and transformed,” said Dr. Tim Gray, guest speaker at the Palm Sunday Brunch sponsored by Catholic Social Services...

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March 2022 E-Newsletter

Keynote speaker Dr. Tim Gray, one time employee of the Diocese of Rapid City and now President of the Augustine Institute, is a well known Catholic speaker and author...

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January 2022 E-Newsletter

As we enter into the season of Lent, we are invited to fast, pray and give alms. Through these actions we set ourselves aside for the sake of God and others...

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September 2021 E-Newsletter

With your assistance Margaretha received a car from CSS this summer and the impact is immeasurable...

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June 2021 E-Newsletter

Diana Redden is an Uplifting Parents participant who emigrated from Ghana 10 years ago. She hadn’t been back to Ghana since moving to America, but returned this summer to care for her ailing mother. Her family in Ghana will meet her 8-year-old son, Denzel, for the first time...

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CSS receives Sr. Marmion memorials

Sr. Marmion Howe

Memorial gifts for Sr. Marmion Howe, OSB, one of the first executive directors of Catholic Social Services who died Nov. 26, 2020 at the age of 100, will benefit Catholic Social Services.

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Area Family Celebrates 2 Generations of CSS Adoption

Matt and Carrie Bunkowske with child

Adoption is always a family affair, but for Matt and Carrie Bunkowske it has become a family tradition, too.

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Suicide Prevention (QPR) in a Covid World: What is a school to do?

child holding a help sign

Online Zoom Training: December 11, 2020 | 9:30am – 11:00am

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CSS gives help and hope during Covid closures

young girl wearing mask

People unable to pay their bills. Grandparents suddenly asked to provide childcare for grandchildren. Parents wondering how they would pay this month’s rent.  Families struggling to put food on the table.

They all found a little help and hope amid the Covid-19 pandemic at Catholic Social Services from the CSS Covid-19 Response Fund, which provides up to $250 per household for emergency needs.

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Prosperity Initiative Perseverance

Anna Castillo with degree

Per·se·ver·ance: noun Persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. Tenacity. Determination. Resolve. Resolution. Dedication. Endurance. Commitment.
You could add Anna Castillo’s name to that dictionary definition.

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Adoptive Families Needed

Jenny Spencer and family

I grew up in a big family with three siblings and over twenty cousins. I was very blessed to have two parents who loved each other and each of their children. They were positive role models that I wanted to be like for my own children one day.

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CSS Offers FASD Parenting 101 Classes

Monae Johnson teaching class

Monae Johnson has been parenting children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder for the past 16 years, but the FASD Parenting 101 class at Catholic Social Services she attended recently was still a great reminder that there’s always something new to learn, or relearn, about FASD and its many challenges.

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Lakota Circles of Hope Partners with Rural American Initiatives

Ateyape Wicozani staff

Lakota Circles of Hope prevention curriculum is now being offered to students in Rapid City middle schools thanks to a partnership between Catholic Social Services (CSS) and Rural America Initiatives (RAI). Ateyape Wicozani, a RAI program, staff received training in December and have begun offering LCH to students in the Rapid City Middle Schools, grades 6-8 in their after school program.

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CSS Staff and Volunteers attend Catholic Charities USA Disaster Training Workshop in Colorado Springs in December


Staff and volunteers of CSS were able to attend a national disaster response conference due to a recent grant from Catholic Charities USA.  The Applied Institute for Disaster Excellence (AIDE) conference is a “by the network, for the network” training that strengthens local disaster response capacity. Attendees come away with best practices and new relationships that serve as a critical asset at a time of a disaster event.  In addition to the core training, peer-to-peer networking opportunities and daily liturgy, attendees had the opportunity to go the sites of previous disasters and witness the impact as well as recovery measures made post-disaster.

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CSS Staff and Volunteers helped with disaster relief in Oglala in November and December

volunteers smiling

The weather cooperated with sunshine and 60-degree temperatures on Nov. 20  and Dec. 11 as a teams of Catholic Social Services volunteers repaired Wilma Blacksmith’s mobile home and several others  that were  damaged  in a Pine Ridge Reservation hailstorm last summer.

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CSS Staff and Volunteers help with disaster relief in Oglala

volunteers working on trailer home

The weather cooperated with sunshine and 60-degree temperatures on Nov. 20 as a team of Catholic Social Services volunteers repaired Wilma Blacksmith’s mobile home and two others that were damaged in a Pine Ridge Reservation hailstorm last summer.

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November is National Adoption Month: Crosslands Grow Family Through International Adoption

the Crossland family

Chloe Crossland was born in China with a cleft palate birth defect. Abandoned at birth, she spent the first nine years of her life in orphanages.

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Founder’s Award honoree Mayor Barnett recalls Msgr. O’Connell’s wisdom

Don Barnett standing with award

In 1971 a 28-year old man became the youngest mayor of Rapid City. His two terms were pressure packed times of natural disaster and civil unrest. Catholic Social Services chose to award former Mayor Don Barnett with the Msgr. William O’Connell Founder’s Award for his work following the 1972 flood and the 1973 American Indian Movement demonstrations on Main St.

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CSS’s Prosperity Initiative Staff Honored

Rittberger standing with award

The Prosperity Initiative is helping students at the Career Learning Center of the Black Hills achieve amazing educational outcomes, according to the South Dakota Association for Lifelong Learning.

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September: National Suicide Month

photograph of Charlie Snyder

Carol Snyder has marked 20 years of painful milestones since the death of her son, Charlie, in 1998 by suicide.

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State Needs a Plan to Curb Suicides

Imagine coming home to discover that your child, perhaps a 12-year-old daughter or a  16-year-old son, has taken their own life. I can’t imagine such an experience. But too many parents in communities across South Dakota have experienced this tragedy. Many priests and ministers serving in our communities agonize over the number of funerals resulting from suicide.

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Catholic Social Services Responds to Bishop’s Challenge

The South Dakota Legislature has a new mandate regarding suicide prevention efforts (SB 129) for all SD School Districts. Effective July 1, 2017, all teachers, administrators and other educational professionals must have suicide prevention training. This training must be a minimum of one hour of suicide awareness and prevention.

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