Last Christmas the best “gift” that we could have received was the news from Bishop James S. Wall telling us at our “Mid-Night Mass” that Kateri Tekakwitha was to be canonized in the year 2012. She will be the first Native American to be canonized. Although she is from the Mohawk Nation (she is often referred to as “the Lilly of the Mohawks”), all Native Americans take pride in her canonization on October 21st 2012 in Rome by Pope Benedict XVI. In the Gallup diocese and the Santa Fe archdiocese it is not unusual to see stained glass windows or statues of Kateri Tekakwitha. When we were building our home here in Gallup, and had to decide about our stained glass windows, we chose the Good Shepherd, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Jeanne Jugan, and Kateri Tekakwitha.
There will be about 70 pilgrims from the diocese of Gallup, along with many other dioceses who boast a large population of Native Americans, going to the Canonization in Rome.
In this “Year of Faith” the canonization is a hope for the Church, that more Native Americans will embrace the faith and be baptized. We thank Kateri Tekakwitha for being a faith-filled example to the Native Americans and to the whole Church.