Loading
Bishop Gendron: St. Kateri Mass began healing of Canadian divisions
Inside the basilica at the Oratory of Saint Joseph during the Nov. 4, 2012 National Mass of Thanksgiving for St. Kateri's canonization. Credit: Diocese of Saint-Jean-Longueuil.
Inside the basilica at the Oratory of Saint Joseph during the Nov. 4, 2012 National Mass of Thanksgiving for St. Kateri's canonization. Credit: Diocese of Saint-Jean-Longueuil.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Canadians from the country’s First Nations and those of European descent took an important step toward reconciliation when they gathered Nov. 4 at St. Joseph's Oratory in Montreal to give thanks for the canonization of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha.

“I think the grace of the canonization for the natives, as well as for the other people in Canada, is a grace of reconciliation,” Bishop Lionel Gendron of the Diocese of Saint Jean-Longueuil told CNA on Nov. 7.

Bishop Gendron was the main celebrant and homilist for the Mass that drew 2,500 people to the Oratory, and he was “impressed by the presence of the native people from all over Canada.”

“I thought the participation would be mainly from the Mohawk nation,” he said, “but I've seen people coming from British Columbia, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia.”

Several more Canadian bishops concelebrated the Mass, among them were Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Gatineau; Archbishop Christian Lepine of Montreal; Bishop Jacques Berthelet, emeritus of Saint Jean-Longueuil; and Bishop Louis Dicaire, auxiliary of Saint Jean-Longueuil.

In addition, representatives from the First Nations of Canada, the Canadian Catholic Aboriginal Council, and Kahnawake – the Canadian community where St. Kateri settled – participated in the Mass.

“As with Saint Kateri, let us be guided in all events by the Spirit … so that our lives may become a love story with Jesus,” Bishop Gendron said in his homily.

Bishop Gendron said the canonization was an important step in the process of reconciliation between the First Nations of Canada and Canadians of European descent.

“I would say that we've been on a path of curing the past, and trying to walk towards reconciliation. And often, I would say many Canadians, or Quebecers, or the people of the diocese here are not quite aware of that. And I would say the Natives are very sensitive to these questions.”

“My impression, in all I've seen in the last weeks, is that we are becoming more aware that we have something to do. We have to walk towards one another and to walk together towards reconciliation.”

St. Kateri was canonized Oct. 21 by Pope Benedict at St. Peter's Square, along with six other people. Some 1,500 Canadian pilgrims traveled to Rome for the Mass of canonization.

St. Kateri was born in upstate New York in 1656. Her father was a Mohawk chief, and her mother was an Algonquin who was raised Catholic. She was orphaned at age four by a smallpox epidemic that left her with poor eyesight and a badly scarred face.

After encountering several Jesuit priests, St. Kateri was baptized, despite objections from her family. Her conversion caused her tribe to disown her, so St. Kateri fled to Canada, where she devoted herself to prayer and the Blessed Sacrament.

She died in 1680 at Kahnawake, a Mohawk settlement south of Montreal. She died saying “Jesus, I love you.” After she passed away, her face was healed of its pockmarks. Her relics are located in a shrine at Kahnawake.

“Her face became radiant, and often it has been interpreted as her face would have found its original beauty. I think we Canadians and Quebecers, and also the First Nations, we all come with scars,” Bishop Gendron reflected.

“I think that in the love of Jesus, as St. Kateri was, and through the intercession of Kateri, these scars may be cured. So this is my hope in these days, and I'm trying as bishop of Saint Jean-Longueuil to share this hope with my people, with the Mohawks here in the diocese, as well as those who do not belong to the First Nations.”

Tags: Canonizations, Church in Canada

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

Related News:

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
Dec
26

Liturgical Calendar

December 26, 2014

Saint Stephen, The First Martyr

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Gospel
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 6: 8-10, 7: 54-59
Gospel:: Mt 10: 17-22

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
12/15/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Homily
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14