St. Kateri Tekakwitha
In 1656, Tekakwitha was born to a Christian Algonquin (her mother) and Mohawk Chief in a Mohawk village in what is now Auriesville, New York. When Tekakwitha was four years old, her parents and brother died of smallpox. Although she survived, Tekakwitha was permanently scarred. Her uncle and aunt took her to live with them. Her uncle, also a Mohawk Chief, allowed the Jesuits to preach the Gospel in his village. At Tekakwitha’s core was a deep and unwavering love for Jesus, which may have been instilled by her Christian mother. She begged her uncle to let her be baptized, and in 1676, she was baptized Catherine in Fonda, New York.
Kateri is Mohawk for Catherine. Her aunts picked a man for her to marry, but Kateri refused, wanting Jesus to be her only Husband. Her aunts did not understand her love for Jesus, so Kateri was abused for not marrying. The priest, fearing for Kateri’s life, helped her escape to the Christian Indian village of Sault Ste. Marie in Kanawake, Canada. She made her First Communion on Christmas two months after arriving, and in 1679 took a vow of chastity and dedicated herself to Christ, living a life of penance and service.
Kateri died in Kanawake, Canada on April 17, 1680. She was declared Venerable by Pope Pius XII on January 3 1943 and Beatified on June 22, 1980 by St. Pope John Paul II. Pope Benedict XVI Canonized her on October 21, 2012.
Learn more about Saint Kateri Tekakwitha at the National Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Shrine in Fonda New York.
St. Kateri Catholic Community:
The St. Kateri Catholic Community is a ministry of St. Bernadette Parish. The community is primarily comprised of people of Native American Heritage and incorporates both Catholic and American Indian traditions. The St. Kateri community has weekly mass at St. Bernadette’s at 12 noon on Sundays. In addition we gather for worship, religious education and community building events. The St. Kateri mission is to serve the Native American people of the Archdiocese of Denver. All are welcome to join our services and celebrations.
Kateri Mass Time: Sunday Mass at 12:00 pm
Pastor: Father Joe Damhorst
Religious Education: Margaret Tranekier