(for July 14th’s Memorial of St. Kateri Tekakwitha)
During his last homily at his last World Youth Day, St. John Paul II spoke to almost one million young people gathered in the outskirts of Toronto, Canada about courage, about not being afraid to take a stand for Jesus Christ. In doing so, he invoked the example of the first Native American canonized saint from North America: St. Kateri Tekakwitha. He said:
…[D]o not be afraid to follow Christ on the royal road of the Cross! At difficult moments in the Church’s life, the pursuit of holiness becomes even more urgent. And holiness is not a question of age; it is a matter of living in the Holy Spirit, just as Kateri Tekakwitha did here in America and so many other young people have done.
In most parts of the world, the Church is right now undergoing “difficult moments.” And so, our pursuit of holiness is right now “even more urgent.” This Retreat Guide on St. Kateri Tekakwitha, A Virgin’s Courage, is designed to help us renew and persevere in that pursuit.
- The First Meditation will highlight lessons from the first part of St. Kateri’s remarkable life, the years in which she lived with her Mohawk tribe in what is currently Upstate New York.
- The Second Meditation will reflect on the last three years of her life, when she lived in the St. Francis Xavier Mission village, near Montreal, Canada.
- In the Conference, we will take some time to unpack the Church’s teaching regarding non-Christian religions and how we should think about them.
During these summer months, let’s ask the Lord for all the graces we need: most especially, the grace to be strengthened by the inspiring courage of the Mystic Virgin of the North American wilderness, St. Kateri Tekakwitha.
May God bless you and keep you!
Fr. John Bartunek, LC, ThD