Indians of North America—Religion; Indians of North America—History; Indians of North America—Religion; Religion; Missionaries; St. Christopher's Mission (Bluff, Utah); Health; Children; Newsletters; Whites--Relations with Indians;
Bluff (Utah); Salt Lake City (Utah); San Juan County (Utah); Utah;
Indians of North America; Religion; Missionaries; Father Liebler; Liebler, Harold Baxter 1889-1982; Navajo; Navajo Indians; Navajo Indians -- History; St. Christopher's Mission; Brother Juniper; Correspondence; Indian/White Relations;
Gruenwald, John, 1951-;
Father Liebler provides an account of his journey to Utah and the process of setting up the Mission;
Digitized by: Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library;
Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library, Special Collections and Archives;
Reproduction for publication, exhibition, web display or commercial use is only permissible with the consent of the USU Library Western and Mormon Americana curator, phone (435) 797-2661;
Utah State University, Special Collections and Archives;
THIS IS IT 1
s.w. I .M. NEWS BUllETIN NO. 1.
Re - st. Christopher's Mission to the Navajo, Bluff, Utah.
August 25, 1943.
some w'eeks have passed since our last official meeting, and during that time
much has happened that will be of interest to the mombers of S.W.I.M.
Our Missionary Group, under the wing of Father Liebler, havo accomplished
their trek westv'vards to utah, whore they are now in the process of establishing
Yes, they arc w'oll, and all is well with them. However, becauso ' I know that
you will prefer to learn of somo of their experiences first':'hand, there follow
some excerpts from letters which Father Liebler wrote to me, but Which I knew
he intondod for all of us.
"\'loll; after wrestling with a half dozen ration boards on the way, seeking
tires, we roached hero Thursday afternoon, and pitchod ca~p in the shadiest
place we could find; noar a good garden spot, vJ'hich we have ploughed (40' x
100') and irrigated, today we expect to harro'.'1 nnd start planting. Wo've had
l1ass every day, on Sunday we' sang the Mass (without incense) and I must say
the community did a nico job. Vle have a Navajo 10SS011 nenrly every day. We;;
had two visitors at Mass sunday, w'atching from the top of the cliff about k
mile away. Have visited two families who live on this side of the river.
Four tents aro pitched and this moring I'm having my slaves erect what the Navaj
0 call a' Shade at the place whore the cooking is ' done. we can move around
for eating, but the fireplace is pretty stntiOllary. The white residents of
Bluff are more thn.'l cordial, invited us to come to sunday school Sunday morning
-- they don't havc'''church'' except once a month when a preacher comes, but
they "just sing a hymn, and have the sacrament and everybody partakes and then
go to classes" -- but they "don't have church".
As I write I can henr tho Navajos to the East Singing -- I don't know if they
are having a ceremony or just singing for happiness. Esther (nurse) is planning
to go see.
We arc in an exquisite canyon, the walls north and south of us aro beautifully
colored especially in the evenings when the sun strikes parts of them, contrasting
with other parts in shadow. The irrigation ditch is above us and a
smell lateral ditch just at hand. Flies are bad, but strangely fm. mosquitos,
considering. We have to carry our drinking wG,ter from tOVm; I'm trying to get
a drum to save frequent trips.
A spirit of friendship and cooperation exists which is very satisfying.
SUnday we wrote letters after breakfast (Mass was at 9) then about 2 we had
lunch; visitors came from the village who stayed for supper, and more came
after supper -- so it was a busy o.ay. We tried to do no unnecessary work.
Since v.rriting the above we've had our first real'visitor from the Navajo -- a
man named Randolph -- that's his "American mune", they are very loath to speak
their real or Navajo names. He speaks a little English, end is very friendly.
Is going to try to get us some frosh meat, which is hard to find hero. It