Native American Ministry
With the purpose of sharing the Native American culture and reassuring the ability to be both Catholic and Native American, the Many Nations Saint Kateri Circle shared their culture with guests who attended the “Native American Experience” on October 16, 2021. The event took place at St. Anne Catholic Church in Ruskin, Florida.
The event began with Maureen Biebrich, Mohawk, lighting the fire in the exterior patio of the parish. Marilyn Cisek, Dakota, welcomed all the guests and explained how each rite being shared was a prayer. While the six directional prayers were recited, Fr. John F. McEvoy, pastor of St. Anne parish, smudged in each direction: East first, South next, then West, followed by North, Father Sky and Mother Earth. It was shared with all present how the smoke carries our prayers up to God the Creator. The use of sage for the smudging for purification in the directional rite was explained, as well as the use of sweetgrass and cedar used for different ceremonies.
Another rite discussed with the audience was the smoking of the peace pipe with tobacco as another way to send our prayers up to the Creator. All were invited to place tobacco into the fire with their special prayer.
It was shared how drumming and flute playing are also forms of prayer. People were invited to dance around the fire while Deacon Patrick Frye, Oneida, explained the significance of the circle, which has no beginning and no end, making us all connected with each other along with the animals and nature.
The importance of having a Buffalo skull at all events was discussed. Like, Jesus who gave His all for all of us, the Buffalo gave its all for the people of the planes in the form of food, shelter, clothing, utensils, weapons, rope, and nothing was wasted.
Guests were invited to the parish center for hospitality and more sharing with each other to learn more about the Native American culture that included a display of artifacts.
All present were invited to the annual Native American Mass to be celebrated on November 6, 2021 at the parish.