Saint Kateri Brings Mohawk-Algonquins and Catholics Together

This story from Catholic News Service is an awesome one of a saint of the Catholic Church becoming a common ground for Native Americans and Catholics. Both of these groups have come to mutually respect Saint Kateri, the first Native American, Catholic saint to be canonized. Her great kindness and loving lifestyle are known by both the groups and she has become popular for it. Saint Kateri was not well-liked by her fellow Native Americans when she chose to follow Catholicism, but it seems like the dislike held in the past is being forgotten. It has been replaced with much respect and love, which is a wonderful thing to see.

“Under a rustic pavilion a popular hymn of gratitude for God’s creation is being sung at the start of Sunday Mass. Nearby, smoke from burning sweet grass and sage hangs in the air as a powwow gets under way.

At the National Shrine of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha in Fonda, there is an enduring connection between Catholicism and the indigenous people of this land.

Blessed Kateri, the Mohawk-Algonquin woman who would be the first American Indian saint, was born and baptized in the area in the mid-1600s.

Situated on 200 acres of wooded land on the north bank of the Mohawk River, the shrine is a testament to the young Indian maiden, who despite objections from some in her own clan, came to know and love Christ.

When American Indians visit, they often drop tobacco leaves at the Caughnawaga site as an offering and sign of respect. At an adjacent spring, the place where Blessed Kateri was probably baptized, Catholics leave prayers, sometimes rosaries and devotional medals.” – “Kateri is Symbol of Enduring Tie Between Catholicism, Native Peoples”, Catholic News Service