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St. Kateri’s Feast Day Celebration in Peshawbestown July 12


Native American spiritual traditions will be integrated into the Mass in Peshawbestown Sunday, July 12 when the parish celebrates the feast of its patroness, St. Kateri Tekakwitha.

All Catholics, especially those from the four Native American communities across the Diocese of Gaylord, are invited to the 11:00 a.m. Liturgy outdoors at the shrine of St. Kateri, behind the church. St. Kateri Tekakwitha, canonized in 2012, is the first Native American saint. Her feast day is July 14.

The Peshawbestown church on the Leelanau Peninsula about 20 miles northwest of Traverse City is designated as the Native American parish for the Diocese.

As part of the July 12 celebration, the parish’s women’s hand drum group will play during Mass and at the potluck meal afterward, said Sister Sue Gardner, OP, Pastoral Administrator for the parish.

Native Americans will lead the Mass procession carrying an eagle staff and will serve as lectors and Eucharistic ministers for the celebration. Additionally, they will incorporate spiritual customs such as smudging — equivalent to incensing using sacred Native American herbs like cedar, sage or sweet grass — and integrate colors representative of the four directions prominent in Native American spirituality, according to Gardner, who also serves as director of the Native American Apostolate for the Diocese. The Rev. Tony Cureton, sacramental minister at St. Kateri, will celebrate the Mass.

A song about St. Kateri written by retired Peshawbestown priest Father Andrew Buvala, OFM, will be sung in honor of her feast day.

“Bring a chair and a dish to share,” encouraged Gardner. Last year’s celebration drew about 250 people.

St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish is located at 2753 N. West Bay Shore Drive, Peshawbestown. For more information, call 231.271.6651. 


By Chris Grosser


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