Tuesday, October 21, 2014

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St. Mary's blesses new St. Kateri Tekakwitha statue

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Albany/HV: St. Mary's blesses new St. Kateri Tekakwitha statue
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The canonization of St. Kateri Tekakwith was watched around the globe and now people back home in the Mohawk Valley are finding special ways to honor her. As YNN's Maria Valvanis explains, St. Mary's Hospital now has a new saint on their property.

AMSTERDAM, N.Y. -- Sister Danielle Bonetti said, "We thought, how often do we get to have a neighbor canonized and we wanted to do something special."

That something special is a new St. Kateri statue, blessed Thursday morning at St. Mary's Hospital.

"Hopefully it's a sign that all of us that work here, no matter what we do, we all have a role in providing healing," said Sister Bonetti.

Director of Pastoral Care, David Pilliod, said, "It's very fitting, it's a real honor for our region to have a saint."

Kateri became the first Native American ever admitted to sainthood this past Sunday in Rome. Thousands of people celebrated in her hometown of Auriesville, just down the street from St. Mary's.

Pilliod said, "Our identity as a hospital is completely dependent on our service to the community, so identifying what is important to the community is important to us to display."

And even before getting the statue, hospital leaders say they've had a connection with Kateri all along.

"We've had a great feeling of connection with the shrine, we often take our chaplains up for retreats," said Pilliod.

Bonetti said, "She had the number of miracles required to be called a saint, with a capital 'S.' There are many small 's' saints walking around."

And this replica will pay tribute to all of them.

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