Several years ago, my visit to the Saint Kateri Tekakwitha’s birthplace in upstate New York was where I learned about the influence she had on the “Black Robes”, the name given to the colonial French Jesuits. Therefore, I was pleased by this response to my report about her July 14, feast day, written in a recent blog.
This nice response to the blog about Franco-American celebrations is from George Blouin, a Lewiston reader, a Franco-American and a retired English teacher. He wrote:
I just read your article about Normandy, D-day, Louisiana, etc. and loved it.
I believe the Saint’s name is spelled Tekakwitha. Reason? I went to Camp Tekakwitha in Leeds Center, Maine for three years in the ’40s, a camp that still exists promoting itself as a French immersion camp for those kids interested in French, since most of the campers were from the Province of Québec. It’s a private camp. In my day, most campers did come from Canada, but it was owned by the Dominican order, and Father Clark, O.P. from Saint Peter’s in Lewiston was the director. Mass every day and prayers before meals. I was sacristan and organist (Pump harmonium). I have pictures. The counselors would compose lyrics to songs, teach them to us, and these were sung vociferously at our evening movies. Père Clark had bis own special camp in the woods, away from all the commotion. A fully-uniformed nurse would have the “infirmerie,” every day for bites, poison ivy, or poison sumac (I had the latter), sunburns, etc.
Merci M. Blouin!
A link to Camp Tekakwitha is at this site here.
A sacred place of peace and healing; a place of history and holiness.
Saint Kateri was canonized on October 21, 2012, by Pope Benedict XVI and July 14, is her feast day. When at the upstate New York shrine, I purchased a book and postcard in the shop. In Kennebunkport, a shrine to the venerated Kateri is located on the beautiful grounds of the Franciscan Monastery, located near where the Kennebunk River flows through the grounds.
In the biography “Kateri Tekakwitha: Mystic of the Wilderness”, by Margaret R. Bunson, she described how the French Jesuit Father de Lamberville baptized her, at her request. This information was originally published by the Jesuits in the “Jesuit Relations”. Bunson wrote, “The date for her baptism was set for Easter Sunday 1676. She had fulfilled all of the required courses and had taken part in the Chrstian community activities with a generous spirit (p. 69). Father de Lamberville named her Katherine or Kateri after Saint Catherine of Siena.”
Following her cannonization, a short first person experience about how she achieved sainthood was published in “The Secret World of Saints Inside the Catholic Chuch and the Mysterious Process of Anointing the Holy Dead“, by the secular writer Bill Donahue