Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Kateri Tekakwitha and Pedro Calungsod

Sunday, November 4th the Diocese of Tucson celebrated two newly canonized saints-St. Kateri Tekakwitha and St. Pedro Calungsod. There is a large Native American and Filipino population in our diocese.

Bishop Gerald Kicanas was the presider and homilist at the 5:30pm Mass at St. Augustine Cathedral. I think all the Filipino priests in the diocese were present for the Mass along with the only Native American deacon in our diocese.

The celebration began with the traditonal "smoke blessing" of the four corners/four directions.

After this the Bishop and all concelebrants processed into church along with the Yaqui Matachinis who were present for the celebration. They came down the aisle to the sound of drums and with the dancing of the Yaqui Matachinis Native Americans who are in our  diocese. It was a beautiful and festive way to begin the Mass in honor of St. Kateri and St. Pedro Calungsod.

The entrance hymn was sung in three languages: Tagalog, English and Spanish.

After the greeting and welcome by Bishop Gerald Kicanas the penitential rite was sung in tagalog.

The liturgy of the word was next and the first reading was proclaimed by our school nurse in Cebuano-a dialect of the Philippines. The 2nd reading was proclaimed in English and the Gospel in Spanish.

The intercessions were done in seven different languages for the seven newly canonized saints. Sr. Anna Maar, from Sierra Vista read the first interecession in German.

The other languages we heard were: Native American, English, Tagalog, French, Italian and Spanish.

As the Liturgy of the Eucharist began the gifts were brought to the altar by children representing different cultures.
 The presentation song was written by Josef Morning Buffalo and he titled it Saint Kateri Tekakwitha. The refrain of the song is as follows:

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha,native woman of Christian faith.
Gentle lily of the Mohawks, Pray for us tribal people and our needs.

Pan de Vida by Bob Hurd was sung at communion in English, Spanish and Tagalog. 

After the Mass there was entertainment in the cathedral's courtyard with refreshments representing the different cultures present at Mass.

The entertainment of singing and dancing was provided by the following groups:

Sierra Vista Filipino Community Dancers
New Pasqua Yaqui Community
and the Navajo Community

It was truly an evening of celebration with several cultures coming together as one to celebrate our new saints in heaven.

A special moment in the evening was when Bishop Kicanas and Archbishop Joseph Kurtz from Louiville, Kentucky came to talk to all of us Sisters from Sierra Vista and San Xavier Mission of Tucson.
We were proud to have our picture taken with the two of them and also Father Miguel, who is the liturgist for the diocese and pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Tucson.

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