From left to right, John Dodge, Alex Thiel and Fr. Ron Serrao, parochial administrator, pose together at the St. Kateri feast. (Submitted photo)

St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, Lac du Flambeau, held a well-attended feast in honor of St. Kateri Tekakwitha Sunday, July 9, after the 11 a.m. Mass.

The third annual free feast included wild rice, walleye, spit-roasted pork, corn on the cob, venison stew, berries, homemade salads, Indian fry bread, beverages, and cake.

Approximately 320 people were served.

St. Kateri Tekakawitha, the “Lily of the Mohawks,” was the first North American Native American female to be canonized. She was born in 1656, the child of an Algonquin mother and a Mohawk chief.

When she was 4 years old, she contracted smallpox. She survived, but was left weak, partially blind, and scarred. She was named “Tekakwitha” which means “The One Who Walks Groping for Her Way.”

She dedicated her life to God at an early age. Her conversion to Christianity made her an outcast, and she fled her village in 1677. In 1680, at the age of 24, she died.

Upon her death, her facial scars miraculously disappeared.
In 1980, 300 years after her death, St. John Paul II beatified Kateri Tekakwitha. She was canonized in 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI.