St Matthew's C.E Primary School

“I can do all things because Christ gives me strength” Philippians 4:13

Year 4/5 – Saint Kateri

Hello and a very warm welcome to our class Saint Kateri.

Kateri Tekakwitha was the first Indigenous person of North America canonised as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church. During her lifetime she came to be known as the Lily of the Mohawks in recognition of her kindness, prayer, faith, and heroic suffering.

Growing up, Tekakwitha was the girl who didn’t quite fit in. The same smallpox that had taken the lives of her parents and brother when she was four years old had left her face badly scarred and sallow. It also badly damaged her eyes. The name Tekakwitha means “she who bumps into things.” So although she was good at weaving and enjoyed playing with her cornhusk dolls, her poor eyesight made it difficult to plant and weed, and impossible to play chasing games with the other children.

As she grew older, she became more and more interested in her mother’s religion. French Jesuit missionaries—”Blackrobes,” as the Mohawks called them—travelled among the villages of the Iroquois Confederacy, teaching the people about Christ. Eventually, Tekawitha asked one of these priests to teach her and baptize her into the faith. She took the name Catherine—or, as the Mohawk said, ”Kateri.”

I am delighted to be teaching Year 4/5 this year and look forward to our learning journey together. 

Mrs Barfield

45 Class Teacher