ST. BONAVENTURE DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE
My Dear Friends,
Here at St. Bonaventure Indian Mission and School, we are motivated each day by the desire to mutually share the goodness of God. As a Catholic social service agency we remain committed to following the call of our Lord Jesus to feed the hungry, cloth the poor, and provide shelter to the homeless.
Unfortunately, the plight of the Navajo (Diné) has not changed dramatically since the Mission began its work over 30 years ago. There are still many Diné who face a constant struggle with the crushing burdens of poverty so prevalent on the Navajo Nation.
Families make up 70 percent of the population on the Eastern Navajo Reservation where unemployment hovers around 67 percent. Of these families, 31 percent live in poverty including 44 percent of children under 18 and 38 percent of adults over 65 years of age. In fact, 9 out of 10 of the more than 200 children attending St. Bonaventure School live in poverty or close enough to it to qualify for free breakfast and lunch while at school. Half of the people the Mission serves though our outreach programs live on less than $6,000 a year.
We know that poverty is at the root of the many challenges facing Native Americans and that, given the resources and opportunities, those living in poverty can lift themselves and their families from it. Through our outreach services and school, St. Bonaventure Mission strives to meet the needs of the Navajo people every day to ensure that each and every one of these children of God is not only able to meet their daily survival needs and maintain their dignity, but also that the doors remain open to allow for self-sufficiency and improved quality of life through education and employment.
By your prayers and financial support, St. Bonaventure Indian Mission and School is able to be a leading advocate for the poor by promoting dignity and self-sufficiency. We invite you to explore our Web site, sign up to receive the newsletter and come visit us to learn more about the work we do to ease the suffering and create a brighter future for Diné on the Eastern Navajo Reservation.
Thank you for your interest and support and if I can be of further assistance to you in answering questions or setting up a visit, please do not hesitate to contact me.