All are welcome to join parishioners of the Parish of the Resurrection of the Lord in honoring St. Kateri Tekakwitha on her feast day. St. Kateri is the first Native American woman to be canonized.

A celebration will be held at St. Ann Church in Penobscot Nation on Thursday, July 14. Adoration will begin at 5 p.m. with a Mass scheduled for 6 p.m. followed by an outdoor reception. St. Ann’s was originally a mission site established in 1668 and now ministers to the Penobscot tribe.

St. Kateri Tekakwitha was born in 1656 in what is now New York State. Her mother was a Catholic Algonquin and her father was a Mohawk chief. When she was four, smallpox entered their village and killed her parents and baby brother, leaving her an orphan, scarred and partially blind. At the age of 18 and with childhood memories of her mother’s faith and prayer, she became fascinated with the stories of Jesus from a Jesuit missionary, who came to the village. She began secret instruction in the Catholic faith with French missionaries. At the age of 20, on Easter, she was baptized and given the name Kateri.

She lived a life of prayer and penitential practices and loved creating crosses out of sticks and placing them in the woods as a reminder to pray. Her commitment to Christianity and vow of virginity were misunderstood and ridiculed by her fellow villagers. She escaped to a nearby mission, where she attended daily Mass, taught the children, and cared for the sick and the elderly. She was kind, cared for the sick and poor, and loved the rosary.

She died in 1680 at the age of 24. Her last words were, “Jesus, I love you.” She was beatified by Pope Saint John Paul II in 1980 and canonized by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012.

For more information, contact the Parish of the Resurrection of the Lord at 207-827-4000.