The Most Rev. Edward B. Scharfenberger, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, presided and preached at the Sunday, July 14, 2019, 10:30 a.m. Mass of Celebration for the Feast of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, during the Annual St. Kateri Feast Day Weekend, at our Saint Kateri Tekakwitha National Shrine and Historic Site, in Fonda, NY. Our friars concelebrating the Mass were our Minister Provincial ~ the Very Reverend Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv. (right), Chaplain of the Shrine ~ Fr. Timothy Lyons, OFM Conv. (left of Bishop Scharfenberger), Instructor at St. Francis High School – Athol Springs, NY ~ Fr. Max Avila, OFM Conv. (2nd from left) and Pastor of St. Adalbert RCC – Elmhust, NY ~ Fr. Miroslaw Podymniak, OFM Conv. (far left)
Pilgrims from far and wide, including New York City, areas of New England, and Canada filled the Shrine’s St. Maximilian Pavilion for Sunday’s liturgy which incorporated a Smudge and Four Direction Purification Ceremony during the penitential rite (right) and music with the Kateri Native Ministry of Ottawa. Veneration of the Holy Relic of St. Kateri followed Mass.
The weekend began on Saturday at 10:00 a.m., with a day filled talks, presentations, music, testimonials, and veneration of the relic of St. Kateri. Among the presenters was Kay Olan, a Mohawk educator and storyteller, music by the Kateri Native Ministry of Ottawa, and a Four Directions smudging of sacred plants. Mass on Saturday was concelebrated by Friar Tim and Friar Max. The evening ended with a 7:00 p.m. prayer and healing circle with Terry Steele, who sits on the St. Kateri Shrine Council and is a member of the Algonquin nation. There were also several opportunities for the Sacrament of Reconciliation available over the weekend.
There are many more events and celebrations happening at our National Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Shrine and Historic Site throughout the summer, including their 21st Annual Kateri Tekakwitha Peace Conference, August 16 & 17, 2019. Visit the Shrine’s “News & Events” webpage for more details.