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Kibeho inspires Grafton man. Page 11 New Earth CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF October 2012 Vol. 33 FARGO No. 9 “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth” — Rev. 21:1 Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha’s canonization: ‘We’ve been praying for this for a long time’ Spirit Lake native priest shares insight on new American saints By Father John Cavanaugh T — North Dakota tribal members housands of people from around the world will be converging on Rome this month for the canonization of seven saints, including two Americans. The American saints to be proclaimed at the Vatican include Blessed Marianne Cope of Molokai, Hawaii, and Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha. Mother Marianne led a group of sisters from New York to the Hawaiian Islands in 1883 to establish a system of nursing care for leprosy patients. Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha will become the first Native American to be canonized. It’s been purported that, when she died at 3 p.m. on April 17, 1680, at the age of 24, Kateri uttered these words as her last: “Jesus, I love you.” Smallpox had swept through her village as a child, and she was to suffer the consequence of this disease. It left her with facial scars and her eyesight impaired. A few minutes after her death, those around her bedside witnessed the ugly facial scars suddenly disappear. Kateri Tekakwitha was declared venerable by the church on Jan. 3, 1943, by Pope Pius XII. She was beatified in 1980 when John Paul II waived the formal process of the first miracle typically required. Prayers seeking her intercession with the Lord are credited for the second Tekakwitha miracle — the full recovery of a six-year-old boy from By Roxane B. Salonen W hen asked how she feels about the upcoming canonization of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, Mary Lou Davis, a parishioner of St. Ann’s in Belcourt, pauses while searching for the right words. “How do you explain wonderful, or glorious?” she begins. “How do you explain the awe we feel, knowing how long we have been praying for this, and it’s finally happening?” Davis, a member of the Karuk tribe of northern California, has been attending Tekakwitha conferences throughout the United States since 1989, when the event, which launched in Fargo in 1939, returned here, as it will again in 2014 for its 75th anniversary. One of the gathering’s main purposes, especially in recent years, has been praying for the canonization of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha. A young woman who lived in upstate New York in the late 1600s, Blessed Kateri survived a smallpox outbreak in childhood that killed most of her family. She discovered and embraced the love of Christ, living out her faith with great perseverance against many opposing forces, before her early death at age 24. The daughter of an Algonquin mother and Mohawk father, Blessed Kateri has found a natural following of Catholic faithful within North Dakota, a state that claims four reservations within its borders. For those who have dedicated so many petitions to heaven in her honor, her upcoming canonization is no small matter. Mary Lou’s husband, Deacon Francis “Fattie” Davis, a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, will be among a Please turn to NEW SAINTS on page 8 Please turn to SAINTHOOD on page 8 ALSO IN THIS MONTH’S NEW EARTH Immaculee’s visit News from around the diocese Year of Faith ■ Editorial describes visit from Rwanda holocaust survivor ■ Father Stelten ponders former seminary’s library history ■ Dining with the Word events to enhance Year of Faith 10 4 ■ Former Shanley student discovers expanding view of ‘pro-life’ 20 13 ■ Seminarian pens ballad after downpour hampers annual campout 18 Bishop’s Column 2 Appointments 2 Opinion 10

October New Earth 2012

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