Conflicting emotions are rising as the Vatican prepares to canonize Kateri Tekakwitha, a 17th Century Mohawk woman who converted to Catholicism after surviving smallpox. The New York Times reports today that the reaction to her sainthood is complex, particularly among American Indians.
"Some are proud, because Kateri was a Mohawk. Some doubt the truthfulness of her story as told by the church. Some hope the canonization will ease tensions between Catholic and traditional American Indians. And some are euphoric that the church is about to name its first American Indian saint, even if they wish it had happened sooner," the story says.
A church in Minneapolis, Gichitwaa Kateri, has been named in her honor and serves a significant number of Indians.