"Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680) was a Mohawk woman born in, what is now, New York State. She is becoming a Catholic Saint.
She was proselytized into self-imposed virginity. The population of her people was in rapid decline because of the depredations of the Europeans and smallpox -- she consequently would not contribute to the future prosperity of her tribe. This could be construed as an indirect act of genocide.
And most sadly, to me, is that she died so young, because of her suffering, and the Iroquois Confederacy lost an amazing individual. However, the Catholic Church is getting another Saint.
Why can't we have Saint Kateri, who did the miraculous, altruistic, wonderful things that she did, as a Native American, who was empowered and touched by Christianity, but, maintained her Mohawk identity and spirituality? In other words - a spiritual hybrid.
Maybe this wouldn't be the truth, and, this is not historically the Catholic way. Catholicism conquered, tortured, appropriated, coerced, enslaved, obsfucated, diminished, denied, humiliated...I have often wondered where we would be right now if Christians and Native Americans could have somehow managed to join, Physically and spiritually, before the North American Holocaust?"
Get the Story:
Kevin Tully: Kateri Tekakwitha: Native American Sainthhood Or A Tale Of Crass Hagiography?
(OpEd News 1/18)
Related Stories:Kateri Tekakwitha, Mohawk woman, to be canonized
Join the Conversation