The news report of Oct. 29 about the canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha seems incomplete.

St. Kateri is known in Catholic circles as “The Lily of the Mohawks,” identifying her with her people and highlighting her heroic status.

Even before her conversion to Catholicism, Kateri wanted to remain a virgin, something unheard of in her culture. Her Catholic faith gave this meaning as complete dedication to Christ. That she would be ostracized by her tribe is understandable.

She fled to Canada where the Jesuit missionaries had established a place for Native American converts to practice their faith in peace. Prayer and good works were part of her lifestyle there as well as extreme penances, which were discouraged by the missionaries.

A closer look at Kateri’s life might be enlightening to the paper’s readers.


Sr. Kathryn Kelm


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