The Montana big blue sky and the rolling prairies caressed by majestic mountains in the distance gives one a sense of freedom and deep appreciation of the natural beauty that surrounds the Crow Nation.

Volunteers for the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth arrived in Billings, Montana, on Sunday, June 18. They were warmly greeted by Sisters Sharon Smith and Mary Lou Mendel, Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, and their devoted dog, Shep. The sisters have been in pastoral ministry at St. Charles Mission in Pryor, Montana, for the last six years.

What an inspiring first few days in Pryor. The first project was helping to preserve Chief Plenty Coup’s House. Chief Plenty Coup was the last chief of the Crow Nation. He guided his people thru tumultuous times from 1848 -1932. He was a man of strong character, integrity, and vision. His famous quote is posted at the St. Charles Mission: “Education is your greatest weapon. Without education, you are the white man’s victim, with an education you are his equal.”

The volunteers felt it were a privilege and an honor to spend their first days sealing and staining Chief Plenty Coup’s last dwelling place.

Last night, the group hosted a supper for two members of the Crow Tribe, Robert Flatlip, and Pauline DeCrane. They shared with them personal stories of growing up on the reservation and the Crowe traditions that have been passed on. It was indeed, a delightful time of sharing.

Next volunteers will prepare for the house of Mary DeCrane who lives on the reservation. She is excited about having her home painted and repaired.