Montana Native American Reservations
Capuchin Ministry in Montana is a ministry on the margins of our society and our church. Friars have been working on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation since 1926, though the ministry/mission was begin there in the late 1800’s. Centered in Ashland Montana at St. Labre Parish and School, the friars also serve the Catholic communities at Lame Deer, Busby, and the surrounding area.
In the 1960’s, the Capuchin ministry presence expanded to care for the parishes on the Crow Reservation. These include St. Charles in Pryor, St. Dennis in Crow Agency and St. Xavier Mission, Our Lady of Loretto in Lodge Grass and St. Kateri Tekakwitha Mission in Wyola. The friars also serve at the various schools of the St. Labre System: St. Labre (High School, Middle School, Elementary School) in Ashland, St. Charles Elementary at Pryor, and Pretty Eagle Catholic Academy in St. Xavier.
Capuchins serve as pastors of these parishes, but with a unique style of presence in these smaller, reservation settings. There is a great deal of drug and alcohol abuse and with it the social problems that greatly affect the people and the ministry. Being present to those who are recovering or struggling is part and parcel to this ministry. The rich cultural traditions of Native peoples enhance worship and life in this setting.