When was St. Bonaventure Mission started?
In 1974, Bishop Hastrich, bishop of the Diocese of Gallup, New Mexico, established a mission church in Thoreau at the edge of the Navajo Nation. That tiny mission church evolved into St. Bonaventure Indian Mission and School.
How did outreach services to the Navajo develop and become part of the Mission programs?
The services developed out of a demonstrated need. The early Mission director saw first-hand the need for assisting our Navajo brothers and sisters to attain basic human necessities. These included, and still include, education, water, food, safe housing and clothing.
How does the Mission address these needs today?
Unfortunately, the plight of the Diné has not improved significantly over the years. Basic survival needs continue to be pressing. The Mission assists the poor in a true gospel sense by identifying and aiding those who do not have access to other social services. We also believe education is the key to assisting our Navajo neighbors out of the crushing poverty present in their lives.
Are the Diné involved in this process?
Without the help and assistance of the Diné, the services the Mission provides to the poor would be difficult to administer. This collaborative process is indispensable in helping the Mission deliver critical survival services to those in need.
Besides the outreach services, are there any other programs that the Mission provides?
Yes, the Mission also operates a pre-kindergarten through eighth grade school primarily for area Navajo children. The school’s enrollment is typically 200+ students. We see education as a way out of the cycle of poverty.
Does the Mission school charge a tuition fee?
No, it does not. All the children attend St. Bonaventure School on scholarship. Your donations make this possible. The Mission also provides free bus transportation for all of our students, without which many would not be able to attend school because they live too far off the paved roads to qualify for public school transportation.
Are there any other educational programs available through the Mission?
Yes, St. Bonaventure School offers full scholarships to two graduating 8th graders each year to attend nearby Gallup Catholic High School, a fully accredited high school administered by the Diocese of Gallup. Currently there are 12 students enrolled at the Gallup Catholic High School at $3,625.00 a student. The Mission also provides tuition assistance to employees who wish to pursue a degree program at any of the local colleges.
How can I help?
There are a number of ways you can help:
• We are a Catholic mission and ask for your continued prayers.
Without them, our programs have little meaning.
• You can make a donation to the Mission on a one-time basis.
• You can join our Good Shepherd Circle which helps insure ongoing
funds for Mission programs.
• You can take out an annuity with St. Bonaventure Indian Mission and
• You can make a donation of appreciated stock.
• You can remember the Mission in your will.
• The Mission also accepts donations of clean, gently used clothing and
Your prayers and donations make all the work of the Mission possible.
Click here for donation information
Who can I contact for more information about the Mission and its programs?
Christopher Halter, Executive Director of St. Bonaventure Indian Mission and School, can be reached by calling the Mission office toll-free at (877) 989-4100.