I will be among a delegation of 27 people from the Regina Archdiocese and the Saskatoon Diocese on a pilgrimage to attend the canonization of Blessed Kateria Tekakawitha and six others: Pope Benedict XVI will canonize 7 new saints, including 2 with American connections, on October 21.
Tekakwitha was a young Mohawk woman who converted to Catholicism. She will become the first Native American canonized as a saint. Blessed Marianne Cope, a German nun who followed St. Damien of Molokai in ministering to lepers in Hawaii. Also canonized in the same ceremony will be: Jacques Berthieu, a French Jesuit; Pedro Calungsod, a Filipino lay catechist and martyr; Giovanni Battista Piamarta, an Italian priest; Maria del Carmen (nee Maria Salles y Barangueras), the Spanish foundress of the Conceptionist Missionary Sisters of Teaching; and Anna Schaffer, a German lay woman. “
The purpose of my attendance is to provide a series of web site stories as the pilgrimage proceeds from Milan where it begins October 16 and ends October 23, two days after the outdoor canonization ceremony in St. Peter’s Piazza. In between, we will visit Pope John XXIII’s birthplace, Sotto il Monte; Brescia, the birthplace of St. Angela Merici foundress of the Ursaline Sisters; Umbria of St. Francis of Assisi fame and of course Rome, the Eternal City, for several tours and the Canonization Liturgy.
The pilgrimage has three purposes, the Canonization Liturgy,the 50th anniversary of the start of Vatican II when Pope John XXIII announced Aggiornamento, updating, the church in the modern world; to open the windows and let the fresh air in, he said, and the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The pilgrimage is also part of the year-long Year of Faith, proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI which is to begin October 11.
It will be exciting to be part of what will be an historic occasion at the Canonization Liturgy and I as much as possible will attempt to share with you the adventures and faith filled experiences along the way.
We leave Regina 06:00 October 15 and arrive in Milan the morning of the 16th and begin touring almost immediately. From that we can anticipate a tiring day which won’t end until evening after a welcoming dinner. I will try and provide short, almost daily reports on each day’s activities so you too can experience the adventures along with us.