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A Letter from Father Hatcher
Fr. Hatcher, S.J. Pastor of the Catholic Church on the Rosebud Reservation
A clear and present danger
Violence among young people on the reservation.
All summer we have seen an escalation of vandalism and tagging of buildings throughout the reservation and particularly in Saint Francis. Groups of young people ages ten to fifteen, often with a very young brother or sisters in tow, roam the streets of Saint Francis all night long. It is common to see unsupervised children between 1 AM and 5 AM running the streets of the town and the Saint Francis Mission grounds.
Some of them have turned violent in that they have destroyed windows of buildings at St. Francis Indian School and Saint Francis Mission and other places in town. They make a game of hiding from security and law enforcement. And center their activities around the water tower.
This past Saturday, August 6, 2016 some of these young people desecrated St. Charles Church and the museum church with satanic symbols and desecrated the outdoor statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary with Satan symbols.
Accompanying the symbols were these words written on the Church “There is not hope here.” And another said simply “no hope”.
Satanic symbols combined with the expression of “no hope” are the clear and present danger.
Because these children are neglected and have no place to call home they are hopeless. Add to this the satanic symbolism, and the community is faced with the possibility of an epidemic of suicide among these young people. Satanism is one of the leading warning signs throughout the reservations in South Dakota, of a suicide epidemic. When you see children infected with Satanism you must be aware that it most likely will trigger self-destruction. Especially if the young people are crying out that they have no hope.
We know that once the virus of Satanism takes hold young people hear voices encouraging them to commit suicide. Sometimes these are the voices of teens they knew, who have committee suicide, inviting them to follow them. Satan is real and wants to destroy as many people as possible by leading them to violence and hopelessness and ultimately to death.
It is easy to say that neglected children running wild are a “law enforcement” problem—simply put more police and security on the street, catch the vandals and put them in the juvenile detention center–Problem solved! While law enforcement has a role to play it is not the solution to the problem. The problem of hopelessness among our children is the responsibility of tribal government, the school systems, the churches and most importantly parents and guardians of these children. And I would like to say it will take the action of all adults to bring hope to these kids. On the reservation it takes a “thiyospaye”, an extended family, to raise healthy children.
If indeed our children are sacred, I appeal to parents and guardians to pay attention to the young people in your homes. Put their needs first. Keep them home after 10 PM. See that they get rest, good food and show them that you love them by protecting them form satanic rituals. Most of all give them hope by being present and available to them.
Unless we, Tribal Government, schools systems, health professionals, churches and parents and guardians ban together to address this problem, violence, fueled by satanic activity, will spiral out of control with horrible consequences for these young people and their families.
Some suggestions that would help:
Re-establish and enforce an 11PM curfew enforced by police and private security back up by stiff penalties applied to responsible adults by the court system.
If any adult knows that a young person is infected with the virus of Satanism call the Saint Francis Mission Crisis Hot line and seek help. Crisis hot line number is 319.1280
The twelve-hour Family Recovery Program at Icimani Ya Waste Center provides help for families who have been affected by alcohol, meth or other drugs. This program helps families heal up from trauma Call Geraldine Provencial at 747.5574.
Call Saint Francis Mission at 747.2361 and talk to Fr. Jim Lafontaine, S.J, Fr. David Matzko, S.J. or Fr. John Hatcher, S.J. They will be glad to help you with young people who have problems with satanic rituals or those who are bothered by evil spirits.
We know that evil wins when good people do nothing. This is the time for all people of good will to courageously get involved to protect and support young people.