By Chandra Johnson
The subject of Paponetti’s book is Kateri Tekakwitha, a Native woman who became a Catholic in the 1600s and is the only American Indian ever to be considered for sainthood. “Never in my life did I expect this,” Paponetti said of the letter.
The project included the 21 paintings featured in Paponetti’s book and took five years to complete. Each painting depicts a significant moment in Kateri’s life. All the paintings are in an 18-foothigh altar screen for a Pueblo church in Okay Owingeh, who commissioned Paponetti.