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July 14


Saint of the day:
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha

Patron Saint of the environment and ecology

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha's Story

St. Kateri Tekakwitha is the first Native American to be recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church. She was born in 1656, in the Mohawk village of Ossernenon. Her mother was an Algonquin, who was captured by the Mohawks and who took a Mohawk chief for her husband.

She contracted smallpox as a four-year-old child which scarred her skin. The scars were a source of humiliation in her youth. She was commonly seen wearing a blanket to hide her face. Worse, her entire family died during the outbreak. Kateri Tekakwitha was subsequently raised by her uncle, who was the chief of a Mohawk clan.

Kateri was known as a skilled worker, who was diligent and patient. However, she refused to marry. When her adoptive parents proposed a suitor to her, she refused to entertain the proposal. They punished her by giving her more work to do, but she did not give in. Instead, she remained quiet and diligent. Eventually they were forced to relent and accept that she had no interest in marriage.

At age 19, Kateri Tekakwitha converted to Catholicism, taking a vow of chastity and pledging to marry only Jesus Christ. Her decision was very unpopular with her adoptive parents and their neighbors. Some of her neighbors started rumors of sorcery. To avoid persecution, she traveled to a Christian native community south of Montreal.

According to legend, Kateri was very devout and would put thorns on her sleeping mat. She often prayed for the conversion of her fellow Mohawks. According to the Jesuit missionaries that served the community where Kateri lived, she often fasted and when she would eat, she would taint her food to diminish its flavor. On at least one occasion, she burned herself. Such self-mortification was common among the Mohawk.

Kateri was very devout and was known for her steadfast devotion. She was also very sickly. Her practices of self-mortification and denial may not have helped her health. Sadly, just five years after her conversion to Catholicism, she became ill and passed away at age 24, on April 17, 1680.

Her name, Kateri, is the Mohawk form of Catherine, which she took from St. Catherine of Siena.

St. Kateri Tekakwitha was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on Oct. 21, 2012. She is the patroness of ecology and the environment, people in exile and Native Americans.




St Kateri Tekakwitha

(d. 1680, Kahnawake, Quebec, Canada) (Relics: Kahnawake, Quebec, Canada)


St Francis Xavier Mission

1 Church Street

J0L 1B0, Kahnawake, Quebec, Canada

*The remains of St Kateri Tekakwitha rest within this church.




Seared Venison with Blueberry Sauce

This recipe utilizes the combination of fresh blueberries and a spicy rub to really bring out the fantastic flavors of venison. Make sure to use the tenderloin and do not skimp on the blueberries.

Spice Rubbed Venison with Blueberry Sauce


  • 2-3 pound venison tenderloin

  • 4 tablespoon butter

For the Rub


  • 1/8 teaspoon black peppercorns

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 tsp coriander seeds

  • 1.2 teaspoon mustard seed

  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes


  1. In a spice grinder, process everything to a powder. Rub mixture into all sides of meat and let stand 30 minutes. In a large oven safe pan melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium high heat and sear meat on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Place in an oven at 400 ºF and roast until rare in the center, about 5 minutes more.

For the Sauce


  • 1 cup blueberries

  • 1/2 cup marsala

  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion

  • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme


  1. Once meat is finished in oven remove and tent with foil to keep warm. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in pan and sauté onion over medium low heat, scraping up any bits of meat stuck to pan, until deep golden brown. Add blue berries and mash. Add marsala and thyme, deglaze pan, and cook until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Slice tenderloin against the grain and serve sauce over top.


Roasted Butternut Squash Soup topped with Popped Corn



  • 1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds), halved vertically* and seeds removed

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • ½ cup chopped shallot (about 1 large shallot bulb)

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced

  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup

  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • fine ground black pepper, to taste

  • 3 to 4 cups (24 to 32 ounces) vegetable broth, as needed

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons butter, to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 ºF and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the butternut squash on the pan and drizzle each half with just enough olive oil to lightly coat the squash on the inside (about ½ teaspoon each). Rub the oil over the inside of the squash and sprinkle it with salt and pepper.

  2. Turn the squash face down and roast until it is tender and completely cooked through, about 40 to 50 minutes. Set the squash aside until it’s cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat and  add the chopped shallot and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until the shallot has softened and is starting to turn golden on the edges, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring frequently. Transfer the contents to your stand blender.

  4. Use a large spoon to scoop the butternut squash flesh into your blender. Discard the tough skin. Add the maple syrup, nutmeg and a few twists of freshly ground black pepper to the blender. Pour in 3 cups vegetable broth, being careful not to fill the container past the maximum fill line (you can work in batches if necessary, and stir in any remaining broth later).

  5. Securely fasten the lid. Blend on high, being careful to avoid hot steam escaping from the lid. Stop once your soup is ultra creamy and warmed through.

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