When I heard the news this week that Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha will be canonized a saint in 2012, I was very excited. Between 1994 and 2001, I was chaplain for Native American ministries for the Archdiocese of Detroit. In addition to biweekly liturgies, Kateri Circles and pastoral care, I had the privilege of participating in several Tekakwitha conferences, both at the national and at the state level. One of the great yearnings I heard at these gatherings was for the canonization of Blessed Kateri, the Lily of the Mohawk.
Blessed Kateri is the patron of aboriginal peoples not only in the United States and Canada but around the world. Further, she shares the patronage of ecology with St. Francis of Assisi. This is a great day for my friends in Indian country, for Americans, for aboriginal people and for those who are committed to the care of our home -- this good earth.