Oblates Attend Tekakwitha Conference in Albany

(As reported by Fr. Walter Butor, OMI along with his photos)

The Annual Tekakwitha Conference was held July 18-21 in Albany, New York and was attended by Fr. Walter Butor, OMI and seven Photo: Tekakwitha Conference 2012others from his St. Benedict’s parish and the surrounding area in Ogema, MN. One other Oblate, Fr. Gerry Brunet, OMI came all the way from Anchorage, Alaska to attend the event.

The Tekakwitha Conference was founded in 1939 and has focused on Native American issues and spirituality and petitioning for the canonization of Kateri Tekawitha, the Algonqion-Mohawk woman born in 1656 in what is now New York State. Popularly known as the “Lily of the Mohawks,” she will be canonized in Rome by Pope Benedict the XVI on October 21, 2012, she will be the first Native American saint.

Fr. Butor reported that the gathering included delegates from Tekakwitha Chapters in several countries including: Canada, Mexico and Australia.Photo: Gina Boudreau and Bonnie Seely (friends of Father Butor) at the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs in Auriesville, NY

Highlights of the conference included keynote addresses by Reverend Jim Nisbet and Deacon Ronald Boyer, and a visit by Jake Finkbonner, a sixth-grader of Lummi descent from Bellingham, Washington whose miraculous cure of a fatal, flesh-eating Photo: Interior of Coliseum Churchbacteria was attributed to an intercession by Bl. Kateri, resulting in her canonization.

Photo: Coliseum Church Shrine of Our Lady of the MartyrsIn addition to the speakers and young Jake Finkbonner’s visit, the three days included Eucharistic celebrations and healing and reconciliation services. On the last day, many of the attendees went to Fonda NY, birthplace of Kateri and home of the Kateri Shrine and Museum and Auriesville, NY to see the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs.

In October, Fr. Butor and some friends and parishioners plan to attend the canonization in Rome.

For more information on the Tekakwitha Conference, visit their website at www.tekconf.org{jcomments on}