Canada National Saint Kateri Shrine

Spiritual Reflections

Mission Priest, Fr. Esprit FMI  

Mission of Saint Francis-Xavier / Sanctuary of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha  
The Mass of a silent nature : a journey 

The Mission of Saint Francis Xavier / Sanctuary of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha welcomes everyone to experience the Sunday Mass in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. This is the meeting point of the spirituality and culture of the Mohawk people and that of Christianity. Everyone is invited to make this pilgrimage to the Mission at least once per year to experience this beauty and internal peace that are present in this Sanctuary – which is the only Sanctuary in North America where an indigenous Saint is buried. Additionally, it is the only Sanctuary in the world where a Mohawk woman Saint is buried. Thanks to the Jesuit Fathers and to the past Parish Priest who followed the Jesuits in serving the Mohawk people, and to the faith of the Mohawk people themselves, this sanctuary has been able to preserve an authentic, profound, simple and life-giving celebration of the Sunday Mass, as it embraces cultural and spiritual elements of the Mohawk First Nations in Kahnawake. Three cultural and spiritual elements of the Mohawk people variably identify the Sunday Mass at Kahnawake – Silence, the Mohawk language, the native crowns on head of the Blessed Virgin and Saint Kateri Tekakwitha and indigenous rite of purification approved by Pope John Paul II. This is an account of my experience of the Sunday Eucharistic celebration with the Mohawk people at the Sanctuary of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha in Kahnawake.

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Mission Priest, Fr. Esprit FMI 

The Feast of Pentecost and Covid-19 

We are now experiencing unprecedented times. This current worldwide health pandemic has had deep and lasting repercussions on our Christian faith. Amidst all the uncertainties, fears and pain that arise from the presence of this virus in the world, we are assured daily of the essence of our faith in the Trinitarian God. Jesus is alive and he has created the world. Jesus has a plan for His world. This is our assurance. With or without the presence of this health pandemic, we continue to serve Jesus in the Holy Catholic Church.

While preparing my homily for the feast of Pentecost, I was suddenly inspired by Jesus to realize that the disciples experience of Pentecost is not that foreign to our present situation, with the isolation and social distancing that must be observed as sanitary guidelines to overcome this pandemic. The Disciples, together with the Blessed Mother were in the Upper Room. This room was locked for fear of the Roman Soldiers. This is the situation into which the Holy Spirit entered. The fear of the Roman soldiers was not a deterrent to the Holy Spirit, neither were the locked doors and windows. The Apostles and the Blessed Mother were touched by Jesus at a moment of despair and fear. The heavenly Father and Jesus opened the eyes of Faith and reformed them with a deeper faith and courage to face the challenges of the world. They were given the gift of speaking in different languages. With this gift, they could now go out to the regions to bring the Good News of Salvation. This occurred while they were in lockdown. The Holy Spirit descended on the beginning of the early Church, while the church was in a kind of lockdown as well.

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Mission Priest, Fr. Esprit FMI

Catholics Now is the Time for Repentance

In today's Gospel (Mk. 9: 2-10), Elijah and Moses, now Saints in heaven, are speaking to Jesus in a vision on earth (Mk. 9: 2-10). Two Saints, who are already in heaven, are communicating with Jesus. This is one of the reasons why the Church believes in the communion of the Saints in heaven. Christians do communicate with the Saints in heaven. It begins with Jesus. They (the Saints) now intercede for us before Jesus in heaven. Luke's Gospel (9: 28-36), shows Mosses and Elijah are speaking to Jesus and they are telling him about his death that will take place in Jerusalem. This is Jesus, who is God, depending on two Saints in heaven to inform him of his impending death. What do you think they are telling Jesus about his death?

I believe they are encouraging Jesus! Giving him strength and courage to go through the sacrifice upon the cross; because this is the only way humanity and the world can be saved. Now if Jesus can depend on the wisdom of these Saints already in heaven, what about you and I who are sinners? Those of us who care for the elderly at the time of death, will remember that a few days before our loved ones pass from this world, they sometimes call the names of their relatives who have already died. Locally we say they are coming to get them.... smile. There are some similarities with this experience and Jesus' encounter with these two Saints - Moses and Elijah.

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