October 30, 2008

Annual Blessed Kateri Mass

Mass with a Native theme

Algonquin martyr is honored at St. ThereseThe sound of Native American drumming resonated through the St. Therese of the Child Jesus Catholic Church in Mount Airy recently. Inside there were many dressed in the full suede fringed and beaded regalia of their distinctive ethnic groups. Even the first Bible reading from the book of Isaiah was done in one of America's indigenous languages.This was the 14th Annual Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha Mass. It is named for the half-Mohawk and half-Algonquin martyr who chose leave behind her Native American beliefs to embrace Christianity in the 17th Century. It was in 1980, 300 years after her death, that Tekakwitha was beatified by the Roman Catholic Church. Thus, there was a full house at St. Therese for this unique Oct. 19 celebration of her life.

"I am blessed and humbled to have this event and represent the Cherokee Confederacy," said Chief Buffy Red Feather Brown in her concluding remarks. "We welcome the Cherokee Sisters circle of drummers here to St. Therese We are here representing many nations."

Brown then traced the legacy of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha from her refusal to back down from her faith despite persecution to her entry into religious life.
Comment:  For contrasting viewpoints on the subject, see Native Religions Dead and Gone? and What's So Blessed About Kateri?

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