AURIESVILLE - The long-awaited canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha is set for Oct. 21, and the Auriesville shrine community is celebrating.
Pope Benedict XVI announced the date for conferring sainthood on Kateri. According to the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs website, a Kateri Mass scheduled for April 25 was originally intended for continued prayer for her canonization but now will focus on thanksgiving for "the prayer answered."
Kateri, a member of the Mohawk tribe of Native Americans, was known as the "Lily of the Mohawks." She endured persecution for her conversion to Catholicism. She died at the age of 24 in 1680. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1980.
A statue of Kateri Tekakwitha stands outside the Kateri Shrine in the town of Mohawk in December.
The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan
Kateri's Feast Day will be celebrated July 14 beginning with a Mass at 11:30 a.m. in the Coliseum, followed by a healing service with The Rev. Joseph Whalen, who was devoted to the cause of Kateri's sainthood.
On July 21, between 800 and 1,000 Native Americans from around the country who will be on pilgrimage from the Tekakwitha Conference in Albany will visit the shrine.
Albany was selected as the host city for the first conference long before Kateri's canonization was announced, and the group will come to the shrine for a celebration.
On Sept. 2, the Sunday before Labor Day, the annual Mohawk Mass will take place in the Coliseum.
The Kateri Shrine in the town of Mohawk has been undergoing some improvements in anticipation of Kateri's sainthood. The gift shop has been painted and the pavilion floor refinished. More decorations will be added to the altar area in the spring, according to the shrine newsletter.