Future Priests of the Third Millennium

A little insight into the life of seminarians from various dioceses preparing for ministry as Roman Catholic priests, including daily activities, personal interests, special events, the spiritual life, news from the seminary, and almost whatever comes to our minds!

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Is is a fact of life in small-town South Dakota that the majority of residents in a particular area are related to one another by blood and various degrees of marriage. On the reservation, this fact is further complicated by the fact that among the native women, a single mother frequently has numerous fathers of her children. Family trees are hard to draw here - they end up looking more like brambles.

Mert is our bookkeeper. She is a white woman in her fifties or perhaps early sixties. She has lived in Eagle Butte most of her life. She knows everyone in the area unless they have moved here very recently. She is a cousin to the parish receptionist. The parish receptionist has also lived here forever. They both have large families, and as a result, have a lot of relatives. In most ways, this fact is a blessing.

A couple of weeks ago, however, the pastor received the results of an audit performed by the diocesan finance office. While everything was in order, the finance office did have some recommendations regarding some of our practices here. Among them was a recommendation to find someone besides Mert to count the weekend collections. They suggested that there actually be two counters. This idea makes great sense, as it protects both Mert and the counters from accusations of misconduct. There is a problem, though: The counters must be unrelated to Mert and unrelated to one another. That won't be easy to find here on the Rez.

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