Free Conference Open to the Public
Saturday, February 2, 2013
9:30am to 5pm Jepson School of Business
Mass 5:15pm in University Chapel, College Hall
Gonzaga University’s Catholic Studies program will host a day-long conference featuring scholars of and Native American leaders on the impact St. Kateri Tekakwitha’s life and legacy among the Native American Catholic Community. The conference will be held on Saturday, February 2, 2012 beginning at 9:30 am.
Kateri Tekakwitha was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 21, 2012 an event which marked the elevation to sainthood of the first Native North American. Saint Kateri was
born in 1656 of Algonquin and Mohawk ancestry. After her contact and conversations with Jesuit missionaries she converted to Christianity and lived a life of sanctity and heroic virtue. She died in 1680. (Portrait by Father Claude Chauchetiere ca. 1696)
Three keynote speakers will present their insights concerning the interaction of Catholicism and the experience of native peoples using the life of St. Kateri Tekakwitha as a common focus: Sr. Kateri Mitchel, Mr. Mark Theil, and Fr. Michael Maher, S.J.
Sr. Kateri Mitchell is national director of the Kateri Tekakwitha Conference. She is a member of the Mohawk Tribe and Turtle Clan, the same tribe and clan as St. Kateri, her namesake. Sr. Kateri’s talk will provide information and reflections based on her directorship of the Kateri Tekakwitha conference as well as insights gained on her important participation in the recent canonization in Rome.
Mr. Mark Theil, curator at the Catholic Bureau of Indian Affairs at Marquette University, will bring his extensive archival and research experience to this conference. His lecture will be complimented with rare historic photographs of the earliest recorded devotions to St. Kateri among Native Americans.
Fr. Michael Maher, S.J., director of Catholic Studies at Marquette University and associate Professor of History at Gonzaga University will provide an overview of the Jesuit Missions based on his research of the Jesuit archives in Rome and North America.
After each of the major lectures participants will may choose to join a discussion session concerning the previous talk or attend another shorter lecture which will address a particular theme raised in the lecture.
The conference will be held the Jepson Center at Gonzaga University on Saturday, February 2 from 9:30 am to 5pm. A Mass will be celebrated in honor of St. Kateri Tekakwitha at 5:15 in the University Chapel in College Hall to conclude the event. The conference is free and open to the public, including a hosted lunch. Registration is required. To register or for more information, contact Fr. Michael Maher, S.J.