The history of the catechesis of the Catholic Church on the Crow Reservation

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Education, Health & Human Development


The thesis presented in this paper states that the Catholic Church through the missionary activity of the Jesuits on the Crow Reservation from 1887-1921 established a permanent mission school, St. Xavier Mission Boarding School, as the center of a European feudal model of church. This model was built upon two constructs: the stationary center and the philosophical-historical concept of world view. The Crow people were in contrast nomadic and held a cosmological concept of world view. The teachings of Jesus were woven through a series of cultural conflicts, misunderstanding of methodologies and language differences, clashes of values as well as loving concern, Crow language preservation, education of the young, and spiritual gifts which spoke to the Crow people. Using a historical approach, the writer researched archival materials - letters, diaries, school and government records, sermons, prayers and catechisms translated into the Crow language; gathered information through oral history; and interpreted theological and philosophical constructs in Catholic Church history and in Crow tradition. Through this research it was concluded that the Catholic Church did in fact build a model of feudal church on the Crow Reservation with the boarding school as its stationary center. However, in 1907 the model began to disintegrate when the government and the Crow people desired day schools. The center of the feudal model was lost when St. Xavier Boarding School closed in 1921.




Copyright (c) 2002-2022, LYRASIS. All rights reserved.