Through the hard work and inspiration of Franciscan missionaries, St. Anthony Mission School first opened its doors in 1923. In 1998 we proudly celebrated our 75th Jubilee! But with each passing year, we wonder if we will be able to keep our doors open for our Zuni children.
Zuni Pueblo is located in a stark, semi-arid desert in northwest New Mexico. It has been remarked by people who have visited here that it resembles the “ghost towns” in the old westerns. According to recent tribal statistics, unemployment in Zuni stands at 60%. There is no local industry to speak of. In an area with so few opportunities, a quality education is more important than ever.
Love of God, community, and family are the timeless and undying ways of the Zuni people. This is where St. Anthony School comes in. We can be a beacon of hope for the future. In a loving atmosphere, we provide a quality, personalized education for Zuni children, instilling values and disciplines that will carry over to the next generation. I often think of our Zuni children as standing at a crossroads. In a real way, they are trying to straddle two completely different cultures — the old and the new. The Zuni are a noble people — rich in culture and tradition. They are noted around the world for their exquisite jewelry and artwork. But although the Zuni are rich in culture, they are poor economically and opportunities are few. How can Zuni children adjust and survive in an increasingly complex modern society unless they receive a solid, quality education?
Here at St. Anthony School we have an average annual enrollment of about 160 students — pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. We receive no government assistance. Due to the abject poverty of the Zuni Pueblo, Saint Anthony's is totally dependent on outside private donations to maintain operations. The reality is that whether or not Saint Anthony's remains able to provide Zuni children with a solid Catholic elementary education depends solely on good people such as yourselves willing to donate financially to the school and/or sponsor a student.
Our children are the hope of the Zuni Nation. They have hopes and dreams like all other children. We, the staff and parents, continually pray and trust in the Providence of Almighty God that He will touch your hearts to be as generous as possible. There has been so much good done in recent years with foreign “adopt a child” programs and worldwide emergency relief. These are all noble and worthy causes, but what about our own Native American Indian children?
If you’re really convinced that a quality education can make a difference in the lives of these children please take a look at our donation and sponsorship opportunities. You can personally adopt the education of a Zuni child!
There are 181 days in the school year. For just $1.97 a day you can make a critical difference in the education of a Zuni child. This works out to $30 per month over a 12-month calendar year. Would you help a Zuni child get the right start in life?
Most schools spend tens of thousands of dollars a year per child. But at St. Anthony’s we provide a high quality Catholic education for a fraction of the cost. In large part this is made possible by our dedicated, missionary-oriented staff. For years now, our teachers’ salaries have remained well below the national average.
When you make your pledge of just $30 a month, we will send you a picture of your “adopted” Zuni child, including his or her name and the grade that they are presently in. In addition, he or she will write you a personal note at Christmas and Easter every year of your sponsorship and you are welcome to write back!
Most people have no idea the dramatic difference their pledges make in the lives of Zuni children. What a difference one person can make in the life of one child! What a difference you can make!
If $30 a month is a bit too much, please feel free to make a donation of whatever amount you can here to buy books and supplies for a child. Whatever you can afford will be a true blessing for our children.
If you would like to talk to me about St. Anthony Mission School, don’t hesitate to call me at (505) 782-2888. I am waiting to hear from you. Best wishes always!
Judge Albert Banteah
Saint Anthony's Zuni Indian School and Mission Development Office