Indigenous Ministry


Patricia Gervais:  Director of Indigenous Ministry
780-645-3277  201 (leave a message with reception)

Papal Visit to Canada, One Year Later

Pastoral Letter from Pope Francis -
To the First Nations in Canada


Pastoral Letter from Pope Francis -
To the Inuit in Canada


Pastoral Letter from Pope Francis -
To the Métis in Canada


Pastoral Letter from Pope Francis -
To the People of God in Canada


The Indigenous Reconciliation Fund  

Prayer to St. Kateri Tekakwitha

O Blessed Saint Kateri, Lily of the Mohawks,
"Little Sunshine", favored sister of all,
especially the Aboriginal Peoples.  You
were among the First Peoples of Canada
to welcome the faith in Jesus Christ.
In spite of your harsh environment and
personal suffering, you witnessed to your
people with prayer, the cross and service.
Pray for all the faithful of the Diocese of
St Paul: the first Nations people, the
descendants of the early settlers, the more
recent immigrants, and those who do not
yet know Jesus.  Inspire us to embrace
the cross of Christ, as you did, and with it
to rejoice in the goodness of God that
comes to us each day.  you accepted Jesus
as your Friend and God.  Help us also to
become his disciples and co-workers in
the kingdom in word and in deeds, so as
to build a just and peaceful world.  Join
with us in prayer, through the intercession
of Mary to Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

Imprimatur:  +Bishop Paul Terrio
    Feast of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha
    April 17, 2017  c Diocese of St. Paul, AB


Saint Kateri Tekakwitha

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha is the first Native American to be canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church.  She was born in 1656 into the Mohawk nation of the Iroquois Confederacy (the area would become New York State).  Her mother, Kahenta was a Christian from the Algonquin nation (near present day Trois Rivières).  She was captured by the Tortoise Clan of the Mohawk nation and expected to live as a slave.  But the chief chose to marry her.  This gave her a secure position and an honored place in society.  Despite this status, she knew that speaking about her Christian beliefs would be dangerous.  Kahenta lived her Christianity in her heart.  When her little daughter became old enough for stories Kahenta secretly passed on her beliefs to Kateri. 

Kateri’s parents and brother died during an outbreak of smallpox.  Four year old Kateri also contracted the disease.  She survived the illness but her skin was scarred and her eyesight was weakened.   She was commonly seen wearing a blanket to hide her face and shade her eyes from the bright sunlight.

Kateri was raised by her aunt and uncle.  A skilled worker, diligent and patient she contributed to the seasonal occupations of daily life.  However, when her family tried to force her into marriage, she refused.  They punished her by giving her more and harder work to do, but Kateri did not give in.

At age 20, April 5, 1676, Kateri Tekakwitha was baptized.  She took a vow of chastity and pledged her life to Jesus Christ.  Her decision was very unpopular with her adoptive parents and their neighbors.  Everyone treated her harshly.  To avoid persecution, she traveled to a Christian native community south of present day Montreal.

Here she continued to live a devout life.  Just five years after her conversion to Catholicism, she became ill and passed away on Holy Wednesday, April 17, 1680 at age 24.  Her final words were “Jesus, I love you.”  Minutes later the scars that had marked her face for most of her life were gone.  Her face became beautiful and shone with great light. 

Soon after her death favors and miracles began to be reported. 

Kateri Tekakwitha is affectionately called “Lily of the Mohawks.” 

This name tells of her life, her tenderness and her reflection of God’s love. 

In 1943 Pope Pius XII declared Kateri Tekakwitha “Venerable”.

On June 22, 1980, Pope John Paul II declared her “Blessed”.

On October 12, 2012 she was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI.

St. Kateri Tekakwitha is the first Native North American Saint. 

She is the patroness of ecology and the environment, people in exile and Native Americans.   

St. Kateri Tekakwitha is the secondary patron saint for the Diocese of St. Paul, AB.                                     

We celebrate her Feast Day annually. 

St. Kateri Tekakwitha Scholarship Fund

In the spring of 2013 we began celebrating the annual Feast of St. Kateri with a Mass and evening of fellowship.  At the mass there was a collection taken up for various Indigenous events, i.e. Lac Ste. Anne Pilgrimage, Cursillo…

In 2019 Bishop Paul Terrio suggested that the collection be set aside as a scholarship fund for our “little Kateries” and their “little brothers”.

An application process will be established soon.