Omaha church members make mission trip to South Dakota reservation

St. John’s parishioners brought Pine Ridge members food, warm clothes ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Eleven members went on a mission of mercy to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota to help the Lakota Sioux make it through the winter ahead.
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 7:39 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Members of St. John’s Catholic Church on the campus of Creighton University recently went on a trek of more than 400 miles.

The 11 members went on a mission of mercy to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota to help the Lakota Sioux make it through the winter ahead.

Organizers filled a cargo van full of winter clothes and made the long drive.

“Every year we put the plea out to our parishioners,” said Larry Brennan. “They donate winter coats, hats, mittens and anything warm because winter can be absolutely brutal on the Pine Ridge.”

Once there, the volunteers also make sure the Lakota Sioux are fed. Using money donated at St. John’s specifically to this cause, they fill huge bags with food and then make the rounds on the vast reservation, spreading a bit of Thanksgiving.

“This year we had 32 families,” said Brennan. “We then purchased all the food that every family would need for a holiday dinner. We have a parishioner that makes heavy drawstring bags that we fill with everything a family needs for a complete holiday dinner and so we go out and distribute to the 32 families. That in itself highlights the weekend.”

Members of the St. John’s parish have been going to Pine Ridge for more than 20 years. It’s a partnership linking the catholic church here in Omaha to two parishes there.

With poverty, unemployment and economic hardships plaguing the reservation, it’s a mission that shows that Omaha cares and is trying to make life a bit better for others during a time of Thanksgiving.