July 16, 2018 — Father Peter Klink, SJ, has been nominated for this year’s Lumen Christi (Light of Christ) Award. For more than 40 years, Catholic Extension has asked mission dioceses to nominate their best, brightest, and most inspiring people for the annual award.
Fr. Klink serves as vice president for Mission and Identity at Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. His mantra and mission at Red Cloud is to provide the Lakota children and their families with “a brighter future.”
Since arriving 40 years ago to teach high school students — even before he became a priest in 1981 — he has aimed to give a boost to young Lakota who face many challenges. He has served the school and Holy Rosary Mission in almost every capacity: teacher, principal, superintendent of schools, director of development, president, pastor, and currently as vice president for mission and identity.
Fr. Klink has managed a successful Lakota language immersion program at the school for 10 years, which is producing fluent Lakota speakers. He believes that schools need to give any student, but especially Native American students, two things to succeed in college: competency and confidence.
His dedication has paid off: 95 percent of the 2017 graduating class went on to post-secondary education at 23 colleges. “These sons and daughters of God are beloved and meant to make a positive difference in this world,” he said. “They have been gifted with life and given gifts that need discovering and growing.”
The winner of the award will be announced this fall. [Source: Catholic Extension]