Indian Ministry

Indian Ministry

The primary purpose of the Department of Indian Ministry is to be at-one-with the Indian people within the diocese, a listening presence in their midst and a promoter of Catholic Indian celebrations. Established and continued through a grant from the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, the director sponsors retreats, days of recollections, special Kateri Tekakwitha celebrations, an annual Indian Harvest Mass, attends the Kateri Circle Meetings and the National Tekakwitha Conference. We are very proud of our youth Kateri Circle on the Grand Portage Reservation, the first in the state. The director represents the diocese at various church, civic and tribal functions and serves as the voice that brings Indian concerns to the attention of the Bishop, the diocesan officers, and other directors of diocesan offices.

The Anishinabe, also known as Ojibwe and Chippewa (each name having variations in spelling), live within the Diocese of Duluth.  These, the first people in our area, generously shared the gifts of Mother Earth with the early trappers and fur traders who came to the Arrowhead region of Northeastern Minnesota. Wild rice is one of these gifts - a special gift of the waters of which the Spirit had directed the Ojibwe to search in their migration West.

Rejoice with us as we continue to celebrate the Canonization of St. Kateri Tekakwitha - an event that took some of us to Rome for this festive occasion on October 21, 2012. We were joined by 800, 000 other Pilgrims in Rome for the canonization of our seven new saints. To Bishop Paul Sirba, the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Office, and the many contributions from members of the Diocese of Duluth and elsewhere we thank you for this wonderful gift and assure you that you were present in our prayers as we made our pilgrimage in Italy. You were there as we received the special blessings from the Holy Father and at each Mass. May St. Kateri Tekakwitha continue to walk with us as we strive to imitate her in reaching out to the young, our elders, the sick and to hold close to our hearts her devotions to Jesus on the cross and to His Mother.

Kateri Circles
A Kateri Circle is a group of Women and Men and/or Youth of all cultures within a parish/mission who want to belong to a prayer circle/group for the purpose of learning and promoting the saintly life of Kateri Tekakwitha, patroness of the Tekakwitha Conference.  

Cass Lake
St. Charles Church
Meets: Check with the parish

Holy Family Church, Cloquet, MN
Meets: After the 8:00 AM Mass on the third Sunday

Ball Club Area
Sts. Joseph & Mary Kateri Circle
Meets: 6:00 PM on the second Monday of each month
St. Mary Church
Deer River, MN

Grand Portage Youth Group
Holy Rosary Church
Meets: Inactive at the present time

St. Lawrence Kateri Circle
Duluth, MN
Meets:  1:00 PM on the second Sunday of each month
Contact: Michele at 218-591-0556

April 23, 2016
Special Day of prayer and sharing with Sr. Kateri Mitchell, SSA, executive director of the National Tekakwitha Conference.  Participation in Sunday Vigil Mass at the Cathedral's 4:30 PM entering through the Holy Doors.  Day begins at 9:00 AM and ends after the evening meal around 7:00 PM.  Free and open to everyone.  To be held at the Diocesan Pastoral Center, Duluth.  Sponsored by the Department of Indian Ministry. 

Annual Harvest Mass and Celebration

Place:   TBA
Date:    TBA 2017 
Time:    TBA
Main:    TBA Celebrant: 
                              DECEASED, AND SAINT KATERI TEKAKWITHA. 

Let us join in prayer with our sisters and brothers throughout the United States for the canonization of the Missionary and Native American Martyrs (1549-1706) of La Florida (The Floridian Martyrs).  

On July 4th of 1704, the Last Battle in Apalachee for the Catholic missions took place. 

     "Let the untold story unfold to acknowledge the courageous early evangelization efforts which included First Peoples of this land who shared the story of Jesus among the people." - Sister Kateri Mitchell, SSA

     "Let us unite our prayers to the Floridian Martyrs, always seeking their intercession as we invite all people to venerate their holy memory and aid us in the ongoing work of evangelization." - Reverend Wayne Carroll Paysse

     " I find tragic that 21st century Christians in Florida are unaware of the lives and heroism of the first Christians in Florida.  How can we treasure their legacy if in fact we do not know their story?" - Bishop Felipe J. Estevez, Bishop of St. Augustine, FL


Let us send prayers to our Creator for all those involved with the current pipeline situation in North Dakota.  

 "Creating One, we ask that you 
protect each person,
open their eyes,
their ears,
their mouths 

to see as you see,
to listen as you listen

to speak words of truth   
remembering always that we are your children, sisters and brothers, one family in you.  
St. Kateri Tekakwitha, pray for us." 


"God of peace, we bless you and we thank you because you have sent us your beloved Son, Jesus, the source of all peace.  Open yet more our hearts to the needs of all our brothers and sisters, so that we may be better able to build a true peace.  Remember, Father of mercy, all who are in pain, who suffer and die in the cause of a more just world. For the people of every race, of every tongue - may your kingdom come.  Amen."      -  Pope Paul VI



2017 Annual Tekakwitha Conference
     July 19-22, 2017
     Best Western Ramkota Inn
     2111 North LaCross Street
     Rapid City, South Dakota 57701

     Theme: "Loving One Another Through the Spirit of St. Kateri" 

Contact the National Office for more information.  See below for address and phone number.


Future Conferences:
2018: July 18-22: Tacoma Convention Center - Tacoma, Washington
2019: July 17-21 


Saint Kateri Tekakwitha

• Born at (Ossernenon) Auriesville, New York, 1656
• Baptized at (Caughnawaga) Fonda, New York, 1676
• Died at Kahnawake, Quebec, April 17, 1680
• Declared Venerable by Pope Pius XII, January 3, 1943
• Beatified by Pope John Paul II, June 22, 1980
*Canonized by Pope Benedict XVI, October 21, 2012

Prayer in Honor of St. Kateri Tekakwitha:

"Creator, we thank you for the gift that you have given us in Kateri Tekakwitha. May we ever imitate her and keep you in front of our eyes, leading us on our sacred journey back to you. May our daily works be pleasing to you as we reach out to others especially our children, our elders, and our sick. As You continue to bless her people, the First Inhabitants of North America, may all recognize the many gifts her people have to offer each of us. Finally may our dying words be, like hers, "Jesus, I love you." We make this prayer in the name of You, the Great Mystery, our Brother Jesus, and the ever present Spirit who live as One surrounding us in the circle of life.  Amen"                              -   Composed by local parishioners


Phone: (318) 483-3908      Toll Free Number: (844) 483-3900    
Fax: (318) 483-3909
Facebook:  http// 
Sister Kateri Mitchell, SSA - Executive Director

Rev. Henry Sands, Executive Director and Secretary
2021 H. Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006-4207
(202) 331-8542 or (877) 237-1605
(202) 331-8544


Rev. Michael Carson 
Assistant Director for Native American Affairs
311 Fourth Street NE
Washington, D.C.
Phone: 202: 541-3427





Sister Marie Rose Messingschlager, CDP
Phone: 218-724-9111
Fax: 218-724-1056

Diocese of Duluth
Indian Ministry
2830 E. 4th Street
Duluth, MN 55812


Main Indian


"Our first task in approaching another people, another culture, another religion is to take off our shoes - for the place we are approaching is holy. Else we may find ourselves treading on another's dream. More serious still, we may forget that God was there before our arrival."
                                      - Max Warren

      "Christ in the members of his body, is himself Indian."
                           - Pope John Paul II, 1984


"Every culture contains the seed of the Gospel.  
The challenge facing the missionary
is to uncover the seed,  
replant it if necessary,
and then allow the Holy Spirit
to nourish it as it is revealed
in a new light
within the old context."
- Unknown