St. Kateri Feast Day Celebration
10 a.m., April 21
St. Lucy Mission, 53576 San Lucy St., San Lucy Village, Gila Bend Reservation
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted will celebrate the inter-tribal celebration of St. Kateri Tekakwitha with Mass followed by a reception with traditional food, performances and a craft fair.
At her canonization in 2012, Pope Benedict XVI prayed, “St. Kateri, protectress of Canada and the first Native American saint, we entrust to you the renewal of the faith in the First Nations and in all of North America!”
The daughter of a Mohawk chief and Algonquin woman, Kateri was orphaned in a smallpox epidemic that left her partly blind and disfigured. She was baptized by a French missionary visiting her village in present-day New York state. But, her faith and refusal to marry caused trouble, and she fled to an Indian community near Montreal, where she was revered by French and Indians alike for her mystical gifts and kindness.
The “Lily of the Mohawks” is the patroness of Native Americans, refugees and the disabled. She is also the patroness of the diocese’s Native American Ministry, as well as St. Kateri Tekakwitha Friary which houses the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit serving in the ministry.
*While most of the United States recognizes her feast day as July 14, in the Diocese of Phoenix, as well as in Canada, her feast day is recognized as April 17, the day that she died. The Native American Ministry is sponsoring the St. Kateri Tekakwitha Feast Day Celebration April 21 at St. Lucy Mission in Gila Bend.