St. Paul Mission Church honors the great saints before us, most especially those who have contributed in the care of the Native American people. We have a strong devotion to St. Kateri Tekakwitha and commemorate Bartolome de las Casas and Blessed Samuel Mazzuchelli who are personal patrons of the current missionaries.

 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us

Hebrews 12:1

St. Kateri

St. Kateri Tekakwitha

“Kateri Tekakwitha was born in today’s New York state in sixteen fifty-six to a Mohawk father and a Christian Algonquin mother who gave to her a sense of the living God. She was baptized at twenty years of age and, to escape persecution, she took refuge in Saint Francis Xavier Mission near Montreal. There she worked, faithful to the traditions of her people, although renouncing their religious convictions until her death at the age of twenty-four. Leading a simple life, Kateri remained faithful to her love for Jesus, to prayer and to daily Mass. Her greatest wish was to know and to do what pleased God. She lived a life radiant with faith and purity. Kateri impresses us by the action of grace in her life in spite of the absence of external help and by the courage of her vocation, so unusual in her culture. In her, faith and culture enrich each other! May her example help us to live where we are, loving Jesus without denying who we are. Saint Kateri, Protectress of Canada and the first native American saint, we Entrust to you the renewal of the faith in the first nations and in all of North America! May God bless the first nations!” “Saint Kateri Tekakwitha“. CatholicSaints.Info. 27 November 2015. Web. 12 January 2016.

Las Casas

Bartolomé de las Casas, O.P.

Bartolomé de las Casas was a 16th-century Spanish historian, social reformer and Dominican friar. He became the first resident Bishop of Chiapas, and the first officially appointed “Protector of the Indians”. His extensive writings, the most famous being A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies and Historia de Las Indias, chronicle the first decades of colonization of the West Indies and focus particularly on the atrocities committed by the colonizers against the indigenous peoples. Bartolomé de las Casas spent 50 years of his life actively fighting slavery and the violent colonial abuse of indigenous peoples, especially by trying to convince the Spanish court to adopt a more humane policy of colonization. And although he failed to save the indigenous peoples of the Western Indies, his efforts resulted in several improvements in the legal status of the natives, and in an increased colonial focus on the ethics of colonialism. Las Casas is often seen as one of the first advocates for universal human rights. Bartolomé de Las Casas died on July 18, 1566, in Madrid. – “Bartolome de las Casas”. Wikipedia.org. 3 January 2016. Web. 12 January 2016.

Blessed Samuel Mazzuchelli

Blessed Samuel Mazzuchelli, O.P.

Dominican missionary priest to the United States and the Native American tribes around the Great Lakes. Assigned in 1830 to the island of Mackinac, and was the only permanent priest in the upper Great Lakes region. Founded the first Catholic school in Wisconsin. Transferred to Galena, Illinois in 1835, he designed and established many churches throughout the region. He founded the Saint Clare Academy in Sinsinawa, Wisconsin, a frontier school for girls that today has grown into Dominican University. Founder of the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of the Holy Rosary of Sinsinawa. Known for his skill in music, painting, and architecture, he helped lay the foundations for the modern Church in the Great Lakes and upper Midwest of the United States. An old story says that the Irish nuns that helped in his work had trouble pronouncing Mazzuchelli, and wound up calling him Father Matthew Kelly. He died on 23 February 1864 at Benton, Wisconsin, USA of natural causes. – “Venerable Charles Samuel Mazzuchelli“. CatholicSaints.Info. 5 May 2015. Web. 12 January 2016.