Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha to be first Native American saint
By Diane Poplawski, OP
The long-anticipated news of the approval of the canonization of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha was recently announced at the Vatican. Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha will soon be Saint Kateri Tekakwitha! She will become the first Native American to be canonized. The canonization ceremony will be celebrated on Oct. 21, 2012 (World Mission Sunday) at the Vatican. This good news is welcomed by Native Peoples, the National Tekakwitha Conference, the Las Casas Board, and countless others who have prayed for and hoped for this day!
Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, is known as the “Lily of the Mohawks.” She was born in 1656 of a Christian Catholic Algonquin mother and a Mohawk Chief. She is the patroness of the Tekakwitha Conference, the only Catholic Native American/Aboriginal Religious organization in North America. Since 1939, the conference has promoted evangelization among one-half million Indigenous Catholics who are members of more than 300 tribes and nations in the United States and Canada.
Over the years, the Las Casas Board has invited members of the Dominican family to join us in praying for Kateri’s canonization. Thank you! Miggwech! Prayers have been answered! Miracles have happened! Sister Kateri Mitchell, SSA (Sister of St. Ann, Mohawk Nation), who serves on the Las Casas Board, is executive director of the Tekakwitha Conference. She is on the planning committee for the canonization of Blessed Kateri. The Las Casas Board asks for your continued prayers for Sister Kateri and the planning committee as they make preparations to celebrate this long-awaited event.
The 73rd Annual Tekakwitha Conference will be held in Albany, New York, July 18–22 is scheduled to highlight a pilgrimage to Kateri’s beginnings in Auriesville and Fonda on July 21. This was planned well in advance of the announcement of Blessed Kateri approval for sainthood. Conference participants will walk in the footsteps of Kateri. What a holy and celebrated event this will be! A seven-day pilgrimage and an optional 11-day extended pilgrimage after the canonization are being planned. More details will be available in the coming months.
To learn more about Las Casas: Dominicans in Ministry with Native Americans, visit our web site.
Sister Diane Poplawski, OP (Racine) is president of the Las Casas Board.