Mission founded in 1668.
P.O. BOX 70,
Kahnawake (Qc) J0L 1B0
MASS CELEBRATION : Sunday, 9:30 a.m.
Pastor: Vincent Esprit, FMI
Permanent Deacon: Ronald Boyer
Secretary: Gayla Ouimet
Kateri never knew this church, though her presence is strongly felt here. Kateri never prayed in this church, but she listens to the requests deposited by all kinds of people praying at her tomb.
After fleeing from Fonda, Kateri arrive at Laprairie in 1676. She did not live there for long, however, as the mission soon moved upstream to Kahnawake (Côte Sainte-Catherine), where she quickly became a fervent church-goer. She believed that her God was there in a special way, and she would take refuge in the little chapel to renew her physical and spiritual strength. While praying Kateri would be transformed to such a degree that her people liked to come and watch her pray with such ardor, with such rapture... In presence of her Lord, her heart was burning.
The churches that she visited - at Fonda, Laprairie and Côte Sainte-Catherine - have all disappeared. The one dedicated to St. Francis-Xavier in Kahnawake goes back to 1720 only. The cornerstone of the present church built on the same site was laid on May 19, 1845. All the statues and the religious gifts offered by the nobility of France, who showed such true missionary spirit, were re-installed in the new church. The monstrance before which Kateri must have prayed and contemplated, is conserved here - she had such a deep devotion to the Blessed Eucharist.
After her death in 1680, her remains were stored away in the church of Côte Sainte-Catherine. When the Mission finally settled down in Kahnawake opposite Lachine in 1720, her bones were also brought here. White-haired pilgrims may remember having seen them in a sealed glass box which would be taken out of the rectory vault every morning with great veneration.
It is only on November 1st 1972 that Bishop G.-M. Coderre presided at the translation of the precious relics into a marble tomb in the right transept of the church.
Without any doubt Kateri is rejoicing with us on this anniversary and contemplating all the baptisms, first communions, novenas, pilgrimages, weddings, funerals and masses which have been celebrated here these 150 years. She promised that she would take care of her own people and of the whole country after her death. Since she was declared the second patron of this church on April 17, 1983, she must be doing so much more than ever.
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