On Sunday, March 24 at 2:00
p.m. in Rosary Hall of Dominican College, the American Association of
University Women present a Women's History Month program in celebration of
Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American woman saint.
event is free and open to the public. Reservations are not required. This
special event commemorates Women’s History Month, a community celebration of
the contribution of women who have filled special needs in the community.
Kateri Tekakwitha was born in 1636 in the Mohawk village of
Ossernendon (modern-day Auriesville) to a Christian Algonquin mother and a
Mohawk chief father. At the age of 4, she was orphaned when a smallpox epidemic
killed her parents. Disfigured, lame, and barely able to see, she was taken in
by her uncle, a Mohawk. Baptized in 1676, she was taunted as she went to
church. Already an orphan, she was now also an outcast. Her uncle arranged a
marriage for her, but she refused.
She fled her native land for a
Jesuit mission in Canada, a 200-mile journey. A new start in a strange land.
Tekakwitha lived only 44 years. Her impact was immediate. It has persisted
through the centuries and across cultures. Today, her influence spans the
continent and has grown since her untimely death in 1680.
21, 2012 Kateri Tekakwitha was canonized, formally declared a Saint, by
Pope Benedict XVI after the necessary formal investigations were successfully
completed. Over time, her intercession was sought, and murals were put in
place. Novenas were organized, veneration spread. “Her life represented a
thoroughly, modern quest for personal autonomy.” Many Mohawks attended the
canonization celebration in Rome. Today, a canonized saint, Kateri
Tekakwitha is considered patron of the ecology, nature and the