Farewell Celebration for Friar Mark Steed

Friar Mark Steed, OFM Conv. greet congregants attending the Saturday Vigil Mass, on May 20, 2017, in the Shrine’s Outdoor Pavilion Chapel

A grand farewell celebration took place during the Native American & First Nations Weekend at our National Shrine of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, in Fonda, NY. The weekend began on May 20th with a Vigil Mass that included the Traditional Purification Rite of the Native American and First Nations Friends, followed by a Prayer and Healing Circle. The next morning, the community gathered for Sunday Morning Mass, the last to be celebrated by Fr. Mark Steed, OFM Conv., a friar of our province who previously served as the Shrine’s Director and upon the appointment of Lay Director – Bill Jacobs and Lay Assistant Director – Rita Gullion, has been serving as the Spiritual Director of the Shrine. The community also participated in their annual Food Bank Collection during all of the weekend’s events. All of this was followed by a Farewell Reception for Friar Mark in Grassmann Hall, and a Guided Nature Walk up to, and around, the Caughnawaga village site and Kateri’s Spring.
Many members of the community
joined together and sent prayers and good wishes to say goodbye, for now, to Fr. Mark Steed, OFM Conv., who has served the community over this past decade. Fr. Mark has now returned to his homeland ~ Canada. He will be dearly missed by the entire Shrine community.

Deacon Ron Boyer (left) while Friar Mark celebrates Mass, accompanied by the Native American – First Nations choir. Deacon Ron served as the Vice-Postulator for the Cause of Kateri Tekakwitha.

Traditional Purification Rite, Smudging

Saint Peter’s Chapel: Friar Mark’s last Mass as Shrine Chaplain on Sunday, May 21, 2017.

Sunday Reception: Friar Mark (far left) with Native American and First Nations Friends dignitaries. The community gathered in the Shrine’s Grassman Hall, named after Father Thomas Grassman, OFM Conv., the Shrine’s first Director.

Sunday Reception: Friar Mark received several gifts of appreciation. (Pictured with Tom Porter of the Kanatsiohareke Mohawk Community)

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha ~ Pray for Us