The Feast of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, Lily of the Mohawks
July 13, 2017 - July 14 is the feast of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American saint in the Catholic Church, who converted to Christianity after being inspired by Jesuit missionaries in what is now upstate New York.
Kateri Tekakwitha was born in 1656 in Ossernenon (now Auriesville), a Mohawk village in upstate New York. Her father was a Mohawk chief, and her Catholic mother was a member of the Algonquin nation.
When she was a child, a smallpox epidemic decimated most of her village and family. St. Kateri survived the outbreak but would suffer from poor eyesight and ill health the rest of her life. Orphaned by the disease, she would be raised by members of her non-Catholic father’s family.
She was deeply moved by the preaching of the Jesuits, who traveled among the villages and was baptized at age 20. St. Kateri dedicated her life to prayer, penance, caring for the sick and infirm and adoration of the Eucharist. In 1677, she began a 200-mile trek to a Jesuit mission in Canada, where she could more openly practice her faith. Her health continued to deteriorate, and she died on April 17, 1680 at age 24. Her last reported words were: “Jesus! Mary! I love you.”
A first-degree relic (a piece of bone) from St. Kateri Tekakwitha. Courtesy of Fr. Peter Schineller, SJ.
Pope Pius XII declared her venerable in 1943, the first step toward sainthood. Pope John Paul II beatified Kateri, known as the Lily of the Mohawks, in 1980. Pope Benedict XVI approved the miracle needed for sainthood on Dec. 19, 2011, citing her intervention in the recovery of a young boy in Washington state who was gravely ill from flesh-eating bacteria. Pope Benedict announced on Feb. 18, 2012 that Kateri would be canonized and welcomed into the communion of saints on Oct. 21, 2012.
Nov. 22, 2017 - On #GivingTuesday, join friends, alumni and parishioners in two projects that will sponsor six months of care for a senior Jesuit, and six months of training for a Jesuit in formation. Help us support the mission of our Jesuits, past and future.
Nov. 20, 2017 - Fr. Edward C. Lynch, SJ, was called to eternal life on Nov. 17, 2017. Fr. Lynch was born on Jan. 9, 1934, entered the Society of Jesus at St. Andrew-on-Hudson, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., on Sept. 7, 1951, and was ordained on June 18, 1964, in the Fordham University Church. He pronounced his final vows on Aug. 15, 1967.
Nov. 20, 2017 – Blessings and warm wishes for you and your loved ones during this Thanksgiving and as we prepare for the Christmas season. The USA Northeast Province has assembled several thanksgiving prayers that can be used for your family gatherings.
Nov. 17, 2017 - For five years, Father Michael Boughton, SJ, served as formation director for the East Coast. As he begins a new part of his own Jesuit journey, he shares insights on the state of Jesuit formation today.
Nov. 14, 2017 - From Nov. 4-6, 2,000 individuals - representing 26 Jesuit colleges and universities, Jesuit high schools, Jesuit parishes, current and former Jesuit Volunteers, and hundreds of alumni of Jesuit schools - gathered for the 20th annual Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in Washington, D.C.
November 15, 2017 — Two members of Ecojesuit, the Jesuits’ worldwide ecological network, have been reporting from the COP23-Fiji U.N. Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany. Read about the issues that have been discussed at this conference.
Nov. 6, 2017 - In his November prayer video Pope Francis talks about his intention of Christians in Asia. “Let us pray that Christians in Asia may promote dialogue, peace and mutual understanding, especially with those of other religions.”