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Saint Kateri Tekakwitha

Celebrating the first
Native American Saint,
Kateri Tekakwitha!



She was known as “Lily of the Mohawks” or the “Pocahontas of the Catholic Church”.  But last October, Kateri Tekakwitha went down in history as the first Native American Saint. Born more than 300 years ago in the Mohawks village of Ossernion (today Ausierville, forty miles from Albany, NY), Kateri Tekakwitha was one of seven people canonized by Pope Benedict XVI in an open-air ceremony held in Saint Peter’s Square in October 2012. 

Kateri had a short life — she died at 24 years of age — and yet, as for most saints, her devotion to Christianity, sacrifices and “heroic virtue” were so inspirational that her legacy survived for generations.

Indian Summer Festival invites you to celebrate Kateri Tekakwitha as the first Native American Saint by joining us for a special Mass and prayer service, conducted on the Indian Summer Festival grounds in the Marcus Amphitheater on Sunday, September 8 at 10:00 am.  Archbishop Listecki will preside over the Mass along with Father Ed Cook of the Congregation of the Great Spirit.  This is a unique opportunity to celebrate, honor and learn more about Saint Kateri Tekakwitha — the exceptional person she was and the Saint she became. 


Native Footsteps book cover

Based on the Christian belief that we’re all called to heaven, this short video highlights the challenged and short life of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, a 17th century Mohawk, while noting that the lives of Geronimo, Nicholas Black Elk, and many other Native Americans ended in a holy way as well. With archival photographs, primarily from Marquette University, it then chronicles the efforts to canonize her with highlights about her Native American devotees from many tribes and life-ways, from voyageurs, high-steel walkers, and housewives to priests and nuns, youth and elders, and military nurses and code talkers. It concludes at her canonization ceremony in Rome with Lakota Sioux elder George Looks Twice, who hopes that his grandfather, the holy man Nicholas Black Elk, will be canonized someday as well.

Mark Thiel

The Legacy of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha will be available on You-tube, and also by the author in his new book, "Native Footsteps - Along the Path of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha". The book contains more stories about her life and those of her Native American devotees, some of whom are Milwaukee area residents. At Indian Summer Festival, the book will be available to purchase at the HONOR Resource Center booth, where the author will be available to autograph copies.

Mark Thiel, Author of "Native Footsteps - Along the Path of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha".and Archivist at Marquette University.


Sr Kateri MitchellSister Kateri Mitchell will be joining Indian Summer Festival for the weekend. She will be located in the Kateri Gathering Place tent. Sr. Mitchell who is executive director of the national Tekakwitha Conference located in Great Falls, Montana was involved with the process of elevating Kateri Tekakwitha to sainthood. In 2006, Sr. Mitchell visited a young boy named Jacob and his family in the hospital when Jacob was suffering from a life-threatening infection. She brought with her a relic belonging to Tekakwitha and prayed, along with the Rev. Tim Sauer of Seattle, for Blessed Kateri to intervene and heal Jacob. Jacob began healing almost immediately and survives today.

Sister Mitchell has said the goals of the conference have remained the same over the last 70 years growing in the Catholic faith as Native Americans, praying for Blessed Kateri’s intercession in their lives, and elevating Blessed Kateri to sainthood. Sr. Mitchell also serves to represent Native American Catholics in Rome.


FREE ADMISSION SUNDAY from 9:30 am - 10 am 
with donation of non-perishable food items to the 
Hunger Task Force.  

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