Did you hear all the buzz on the canonization of a Mohawk saint, Kateri, in Rome last Sunday? Are you not really sure what that was all about? The Montreal Gazette has a great write up here, but if you want the quick low down, here goes …
Kateri Tekakwitha was a woman born in the late 17th century in modern day New York. She was the daughter of a Mohawk chief and an Algonquin mother. Smallpox took her brother and her parents, and she was left scarred and with poor eyesight. She was taken in by her maternal uncle and was said to be a quiet young woman who enjoyed traditional work, like weaving baskets, and making clothing.
Her village was defeated by the French, and they relocated to Caughnawaga, and they were forced into a peace treaty which required Jesuit missionaries to live amongst them. She became friendly with some of the missionaries, and began studying chatecism. She was baptised and then moved to Kahnawake, which was a Catholic mission village in Quebec then. She lived there the remaining two years of her death as she grew weaker from when she fell ill as a child.
If you are interested in learning more about her tremendous effect that Kateri has had on lives all over the world, you might want to pre-order this documentary, In Her Footsteps, to learn a little more.
I got to film the docudrama portions of this film in September up in Midland, ON with the Salt + Light crew. It was a great three days of filming, the only down part was trying to take off the prosthetics every night. I was still discovering glue on my face for days after wrapping.
In Her Footsteps was broadcast online and on the Salt + Light station during the canonization and played at the prayer vigil at San Goivanni in Luterano Cathedral the night before her canonization. How cool is that? Wab Kinew was there and took a pic of it.
I greatly look forward to watching the entire DVD and watching this documentary as they travel from New York to Washington, and to New Mexico to witness the kind of impact that Kateri had on lives all over North America. It was the miraculous healing of a young Lummi boy who had contracted a flesh eating disease that led Kateri to be canonized. Fascinating!
If you are interested in learning more about this young Mohawk woman’s story, pre-order this DVD on the Salt + Light site today (and no I am not getting royalites lol).