Catholics heading to Rome for Canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha
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ALBANY COUNTY, N.Y. -- Catholics throughout the Capital Region are heading to Rome Tuesday to celebrate the Canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American saint.
Tekakwitha also has ties to the area, having been born in Auriesville, New York.
Members of St. Pius Church in Loudonville had their suitcase in one hand and a plane ticket in the other. Roughly 200 Catholics boarded buses to catch a flight to Rome.
Born in 1656 in what's now Auriesville, Blessed Kateri followed Catholicism at an early age. Only her mother practiced Christianity. Her father a was a Mohawk Chief.
Father Michael Farano says she was part of his spirituality growing up.
"To have lived long enough to see this, is very exciting. I'm really looking forward to when Pope Benedict XVI declares her officially a Saint of our church. That is going to be for me, the highlight of the trip," said Father Farano.
Blessed Kateri eventually fled to Canada after years of scrutiny from her tribe because of her Christian faith. She died at age 23 in 1680 and was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1980.