Sun dances, corn pollen & the cross

Vecsey, Christopher

SUN DANCES, CORN POLLEN, & THE CROSS NATIVE AMERICAN CATHOLICS TODAY CHRISTOPHER VECSEY When Pope John Paul II visits the United States this fall, he will meet in Phoenix on September...

...Indians who profess their longing to greet the pope in Phoenix, or who leave corn pollen offerings before statues of Tekakwitha in their churches, can also point to the places where, in past centuries, their ancestors suffered under mission servitude or murdered priests during desperate revolts...
...French missions in the Northeast left their impact on Mohawk and various Algonkian speakers Abenakis, Micmacs, Ojibwas, and others in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries...
...Burton Pretty On Top, a Crow, says that the Crows, Cheyennes, and Sioux used to fight among themselves, "but we're Christian now...
...The Statement 346: calls for greater Indian leadership clerical, religious, and lay within the church, and it charges those who work with Indians to promote social justice for those whose community and personal lives have been damaged by U.S...
...Bouchard distanced himself from his Indian childhood, at least in public, and although he preferred to serve as a minister to his own tribe, he accepted the orders he received for a life of "exile" from Kansas in the far western frontier among nonIndians...
...Jesuits, Franciscans, Benedictines, Oblates, and many other orders of priests and sisters were aided by the founding of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions in 1874, and by the Commission for Catholic Missions among the Colored People and Indians in 1884, both still in existence...
...Then they return to the main plaza and the priests depart...
...who identify themselves as Catholics...
...A sister of Iroquois extraction reminds us of something Thomas Merton once said, that all American religiousness will be alien, ill-atease, until it incorporates the spirit of Native Americans...
...and encourages outdated, dysfunctional elements to persist...
...Zuern and other church spokespersons are pointedly critical of U.S...
...To further this end various dioceses have established special centers for Indian ministry, such as the Sioux Spiritual Center in Plainsview, South Dakota, which trains deacons, catechists, religious, and priests...
...In placing these spiritual training grounds in areas close to Indian communities, the church is trying to make the institutions more palatable to potential leaders who do not want to leave their extended families...
...There is a balance in the Statement between those bishops who felt that the proper role of the church is to proclaim the Gospel, and those who wanted to emphasize the social mission of the church...
...The same can be said of Yaqui Indians in Arizona, performing Holy Week rituals that feature penitential displays along with dramatic enactments of ancient, Christianized struggles between the cosmic forces of good and evel...
...Annual meetings since 1980 have grown to 3,000 participants, mostly Indians, whose goal is to embody the Gospel in native life...
...The first Indian priest in the U.S...
...It states that "the Gospel message must take root and grow within each culture and each community...
...These funds reach missions and parishes where Indians are in greatest evidence: Gallup, Santa Fe, Phoenix, Oklahoma City, Fargo dioceses with Indian Catholic populations over 220,000 each Rapid City, St...
...however, in the past decade (partially through the efforts of the Tekakwitha Conference) they have forged special forms of religiousness that have eased old tensions and have led to spiritual renewal...
...Like the buffalo, he died so that humans could live...
...At the peyote meetings she "learned spontaneous prayer" in an "ecumenical" setting, the kind of prayer she finds today at Catholic charismatic services...
...A Zuni artist painted murals of the traditional kachinas along the nave of St...
...This is not to say that he ceases to be a Crow...
...Nevertheless, many Indians today worship with virtually no reference to their Indianness, often in parishes either apart from other Indians, or integrated with non-Indian worshippers...
...Stephen's Mission in Wyoming among the Arapaho compared Indian and Christian expressions of religiousness their devotion to a Supreme Being, their "idea of sin as disharmony with God, self, and the world," their ethic of self-sacrifice, and their beliefs regarding life after death...
...Still other Indians are able to transcend their particular tribal background through identification with Catholicism...
...Junipero Serra, the founder of the Spanish mission system in California...
...In 1977 Fr...
...Today, as a Catholic, she practices the religious life she learned as an Indian child from her Indian relatives...
...Although Serra himself remains free of these charges, his elevation during the papal visit could create a stir...
...Hemauer hopes that the pope will "avoid embarrassment" in promoting Serra...
...Gloria Ann Davis, a Navajo-Choctaw, recalls her Navajo grandfather's gentle reverence toward nature, his respect for all things...
...Witness the pageants performed by the Flatheads dramatic myths that tell how the tribe learned about Christianity and sought repeatedly a means of bringing missionaries among them or the Iroquois pageants that recall the life of Blessed Kateri...
...He is author of Traditional Ojibwa Religion and its Historical Changes (American Philosophical Society, 1983...
...Indian Catholics do not always eschew socio-political controversy...
...Some Catholics both Indian and non-Indian, American and Canadian expect her to be canonized in the near future...
...On the feast days of saints, on holydays of obligation, on Sundays, Pueblo Indians celebrate their Catholicism...
...Her father was a peyote leader, and she went to prayer meetings with him, as well as to Mass on Sundays...
...The tumultuous Ojibwa Philip B. Gordon accepted less graciously a life apart from his Indian community...
...In the nineteenth century, European agencies revivified and established missions in the U.S., particularly across the Plains, Plateau, and Western regions, later to be joined by American-born missioners...
...Dick West, a Southern Cheyenne, paints "An Indian Jesus," that presents Christ's life in Indian imagery (the Last Supper in a tipi...
...At Mass he told the Sioux legend of the coming of the pipe, and he served as spiritual advisor to young Sioux men making vision quests "to discover themselves and some purpose in their lives...
...Kateri Mitchell lessen her identification with her Mohawk relatives when she leads "intertribal sharing" ceremonies at the Tekakwitha Conference...
...The 1987 meeting in Phoenix should prove even larger, with the pope as a focus of interest...
...Gloria Davis, S.B.S., organized the National Association of Native Religious (NANR) in 1971...
...No wonder, Deloria argued, that non-Christian Indians resisted and resented missionaries, and even Christian Indians bridled under foreign control of the area of their lives that should be the most autonomous: their relation to the holy...
...Church authorities said that the Roman Catholic institutional framework can no longer be considered coterminous with the true church of Christ, that there is spiritual validity to religious traditions beyond Christianity...
...When he went to the seminary at age fourteen, she asked him, "Are you going to stop being who you are?'' This conflict of identities is no longer a problem for him in a church whose message is: "If we stop being who we are, we cannot be Catholic...
...She says that from him "I got a real appreciation of God, our Creator...
...now married), and Sr...
...He was a warrior pierced on behalf of the people that we might live...
...Gilbert Hemauer, O.F.M...
...Indian policy decries the "hokum" of religious relativism illustrated by attempts to cojoin Indian and Christian systems...
...both worship the same God, they say, only in slightly different forms...
...John Hascall, O.F.M...
...the Ojibwa Catholic Lawrence Cloud-Morgan, now serving an eight-year prison term for his role in damaging a nuclear warhead in 1984, spoke of "carrying two spirits with him" Indian and Catholic in his Plowshares activity...
...Vocations among Indians are still small about twenty priests, fifty sisters, ten brothers in the U.S...
...Catholic Bishops on American Indians, but provided in greater depth by the writings and activities of Carl Starkloff and Paul Steinmetz, both Jesuits...
...Some Indians both Catholic and non-Catholic continue to regard traditional and Christian religious forms as incompatible, either in whole or in part...
...There are "rumblings" in the native communities, however, against the possible beatification of Fr...
...In the past, Indians tended to drop out of parishes where they were overwhelmed by white presence...
...Nevertheless, for all the leeway Indian Catholics have in their theological and liturgical expressions, they are seen as devoted, pious Catholics...
...In Indian communities a number of different forms of religious discourse may exist...
...CHRISTOPHER VECSEY teaches American Indian religions and American Catholicism at Colgate University...
...Despite these and other criticisms, new church policies have drawn many Indians into closer identification with Catholicism, while promoting a contemporary Indian identity...
...Indian Catholics have lobbied against Serra's elevation, citing the "coercive, authoritarian" missions he established...
...Anthony's church in Zuni...
...They organized Kateri Prayer Circles in many Indian communities to promote spiritual growth through the explicit evocation of Tekakwitha...
...His central message to Indians in Canada was that "Catholicism can be synthesized with native traditions...
...nevertheless, they maintain a sharp distinction between their Sioux and Catholic religious practices...
...Tekakwitha" means gathering, putting things in order...
...peace is in my heart...
...For example, on the Rosebud Sioux reservation in South Dakota, Catholic and Sioux religious leaders met regularly between 1973 and 1979 to air their attitudes, compare their traditions, and search for their common values and goals...
...Native religious practitioners complain that Catholic missioners have no right to appropriate traditional stories or implements to suit Christian purposes...
...In addition, Ted Zuern, S.J., writes a monthly column, "Bread and Freedom...Justice and Faith" in the newsletter of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, which draws attention to issues concerning Indians nationwide...
...Some Indians have commented that Pelotte's experience has been mostly in the non-Indian world, and that as bishop he will have to "start at the beginning," learning how to "run the door," as one Indian put it (meaning that to become a sweat lodge leader, one must first perform the helping tasks: opening and closing the door flaps...
...Most commonly they ignored the sacraments and lacked a "Catholic culture" that was indigenous and genuine...
...As in Mexico and many parts of Latin America, a "folk Catholicism" persists among Indians of the Southwest that permits Catholic worship to complement, alternate, and integrate with traditional religious forms...
...Adeliberate mission policy developed to "indigenize" Catholic beliefs and practices among American Indians, specifically: to incorporate traditional Indian liturgical forms dances, designs, costumes, words both verbal and non-verbal prayers, including chants, the smoking of tobacco in sacred pipes as "paraliturgical" modesof Catholic worship...
...to both races...
...Msgr...
...however, the pattern for most ordained Indians has been to submerge their identity in non-Indian communities...
...Only in 1972 were women invited to attend, and only in 1977 did the meetings begin to take on the character and substance they have today...
...Today it has over a hundred members in the U.S., including deacons, religious, priests, and one bishop, under the coordination of Sr...
...These representatives from Indian communities across.the country are some of the 300,000 or more Indians in the U.S...
...In order to coordinate and encourage Indian Catholic leaders, Br...
...One prominent critic was Sioux Indian Vine Deloria, Jr., who, in Custer Died for Your Sins (1969), laid the following charges at the church's door: that missions were cHief agents of destroying Indian cultures, producing a spiritual malaise among many Native Americans...
...She took a vow of perpetual virginity and, in the short life she lived as a Christian, distinguished herself by her intense self- abnegation and holiness...
...He is the first American Indian bishop in the U.S...
...As a result, she remarks, "The church would be placing before us a terrible block if it denied us the right to continue to treasure what was taught by our ancestors...
...Some conservative Catholic Indians are "scandalized" by missionary attempts to revive pagan forms of worship...
...nevertheless, it is doubtful that even an altercation over this issue will damage the development of Catholic Indian spirituality...
...He replies, "That's your problem, not mine...
...If the story of Jesus and the Catholic way are to take flesh in each culture," says Fr...
...Nevertheless, his reception among Indian communities has been enthusiastic...
...His cojoining of Ojibwa, pan-Indian, and Catholic religious forms and theology seems genuine, natural, and secure, and receives the support of his colleagues and superiors...
...it is a response to Indian needs and demands and to critiques of Christian missions to Native Americans...
...The balance differs markedly from the Mass said at the 1986 Tekakwitha Conference, where pipe ceremonies, pageants, and processions surrounded the core, Catholic event...
...The highest ranking and most visible Indian cleric in the church today is Bishop Donald E. Pelotte, S.S.S., who in May 1986 was named coadjutor bishop of the Gallup Diocese...
...Indian policies, for instance the threatened relocation of Navajos from Big Mountain in an area jointly held by Hopis and Navajos...
...Michael's mission in Navajo country says he looks forward to the day when Indians will be spreading the faith among non-Indian communities...
...Some Catholic leaders, both Indian and White, hoped to dissuade him from his conviction...
...Following Mass, the dancers visit the "campo sancto," the plaza in front of the church, where the visiting Catholic priest receives their greeting...
...It is possible in a contemporary Indian Community for example, a historically Catholic pueblo like Taos in New Mexico for Catholicism to function as one of numerous kiva societies: a valid, important, but compartmentalized tradition of religious knowledge...
...This is our family...
...Francis Paul Prucha, S.J., a prominent historian of U.S...
...Joseph's Indian School in South Dakota, "Jesus was the great dancer suspended from the Tree of Cross...
...In his 1974 book, People of the Center, Carl Starkloff for many years a missionary at St...
...They planned a provocative annual meeting for 1978, at which fifty Indians spoke, to the 150 missionaries, of native anger toward the church...
...In the past there was often Catholic resistance to the notion of native religious and clergy...
...Indian Catholics regard his consecration a historic event, a chance for Indians to "build our own church...
...He wonders if Catholic missionaries aren't losing confidence in Christianity's uniquely important religious dimensions...
...The most famous of mission inculturationists has been Fr...
...She died in 1680, but the record of her devotion was kept alive for over two centuries, until the Jesuits forwarded a petition for her canonization to the Third Plenary Council of U.S...
...Paul Steinmetz, who in the early 1960s helped decorate the Pine Ridge Sioux church Holy Rosary Mission at the Red Cloud Indian School with a peace pipe, eagle feathers, thunderbirds, horses, the sun, moon, and an "Indian Jesus," with the Sioux words, "Wakan Wakan Wakan" (Holy, Holy, Holy) on the altar cloth...
...Indians were sometimes accused of being "too near nature to live a supernatural life," and there are records of White Catholics who prevented Indian vocations through threats of violence...
...It is around Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha that Indian Catholics have rallied in their spiritual resurgence, not around missionaries of the past...
...the Catholic "medicine bundle" is opened and used...
...Dancers imitating wild animals, and others dressed as Comanches, are welcomed into the pueblo, as are Anglo tourists who are treated with hospitality...
...Among creative theologians like the late Sioux holyman and Catholic catechist Black Elk the two faiths become one embodied life of spiritual practice...
...The American 345 hierarchy formally presented her name to the Vatican for consideration, and in 1943 Pope Pius XII declared her venerable...
...The Tekakwitha Conference newsletter has printed articles that charge the California missionaries with imprisoning, flogging, starving, and working to death thousands of Indians over the decades in which they functioned...
...Steinmetz, Starkloff, and the other missionaries who have actively joined Indian and Catholic modes of worship have been attempting to "inculturate" Christianity, to bring about "the incarnation of Christian life and the Christian message" in an Indian cultural context, using the symbols of Indian religious culture as a means to focus attention on the Gospel, in order, ultimately, to transform that culture into a Christian one, without its ceasing to be Indian...
...that missions treated Indians as incompetents who could not lead their own communities, much less take positions of leadership within the church...
...Hemauer...
...in 1986 an Ojibwa priest, Fr...
...when he thanks the thunderbirds or offers a sacred pipe at retreats, they ask: "How can you be a medicine man and priest at the same time...
...At important rites of passage baptisms, marriages, funerals Catholic rituals are perceived as the proper religious tools...
...A small revolution was under way...
...Michael Galvan, an Ohlone whose ancestors were converted by the California mission system, tells how his grandmother always thought that when she went to church, she ceased to be an Indian...
...Lorenzo Martin, O.F.M...
...Spanish missions in the Southwest from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries brought Catholicism to Papagos, Pimas, Yaquis, various Indians in California, and Pueblo Indians of Arizona and New Mexico...
...There seems to be no reason why such rites as the sun dance, pipe covering, and sweat lodge, as practiced by the Arapaho, should not be considered as possible 'para-liturgy,' and even as cultural settings, for Christian worship for Indians who so choose," Fr...
...Starkloff says...
...They may also be members of the peyotist Native American Church, and thus the conclusion is drawn that they "maintain three or four distinct and separate religions simultaneously...," in the words of one scholar...
...Genevieve Cuny, a fourth-generation Sioux Catholic...
...Sr...
...In the words of one priest, the Tekakwitha Conference has become "an organization that is beginning to take on the characteristics of a movement...that promises to alter the face of the Roman Catholic church among the Amer-indian people...
...Steinmetz has told the Sioux that "their sacred pipe is a foreshadowing of Christ...the eternal and living Pipe...
...And that is what Blessed Kateri is doing today, according to Sister Kateri Mitchell, S.S.A., a Mohawk from the St...
...When Indian Catholics meet Pope John Paul II in Phoenix, they will find a pontiff who has supported the policies of missionary accommodation to non- Western cultures...
...Cap., and his associates Sr...
...Church officials lobby in Washington on behalf of Indian interests...
...Among the Pueblos, Mass is rarely the central focus of religious life, even though Pueblo Indians are by and large devoted to Catholicism...
...If traditional Indians' spirituality is so noble, he asks, why Christianize it...
...At the 1986 Tekakwitha Conference there was talk of a Sioux deacon who had recently decided that Indian and Christian religious ways are in opposition and should not be joined...
...As Johny Arlee, a Flathead spiritual leader, said in a speech at the 1986 Tekakwitha Conference, "It's a different church nowadays...
...At the annual Tekakwitha meetings perhaps the largest gatherings of Indians in North America today Indians arrive in tribal units, but they socialize and worship across tribal lines, while deepening their Catholic religiousness...
...Church agencies concern themselves with battered Indian women, school dropouts, addicts, prostitutes, and youths who have attempted suicide...
...she received beatification in 1980...
...Regis reservation that straddles the St...
...He reasoned that since his Catholic congregation and the sun dancers were the same people, he should not separate worship into two arbitrary realms...
...If anything, Indians are perceived as faithful in respect to the magisterium, loyal to the Vatican, not apt to question publicly the papal teachings regarding sexual ethics or abortion...
...Some of these Catholic Indians left their tribal practices behind long ago...
...These American Indian Catholics derive their Catholic heritage from the work of missions over four centuries...
...348...
...Today over $1 million is appropriated for Indian missions from collections made the first Sunday of Lent in every diocese in the country...
...The new policies have not been lost on the Native Americans...
...Steinmetz responded to a request from Sioux sun dancers to say Mass following the piercing ceremony...
...If one observes the Pueblo celebration of holydays in the Christian calendar, a range of syncretisic patterns emerges...
...Other Indian priests have commented that they "experienced more discrimination in the seminary" than outside it...
...She was baptized in 1676 and, because of Mohawk opposition to her conversion, moved to a village of Christian Indians now Caughnawaga, south of Montreal...
...Such accommodations to Indian cultural and religious forms were not unknown before Vatican II...
...In 1986 the annual conference included numerous prayer services, Masses, Cursillo meetings, regional caucuses, panIndian cultural sharing, personal testimonies, feasts, a powwow, and a great deal of informal visiting...
...This transformation reflects the development of Catholic missionary theology growing out of the Second Vatican Council...
...Indian religious traditions needed to be seen as genuine forms of spirituality, comparable to Christian forms...
...351...
...bishops meeting in Baltimore in 1884...
...Even among Indian Catholics who regard Christianity as a tradition qualitatively superior to native forms, there exists a tendency to blur the distinctions between Indian and Catholic religions...
...The 1977 Statement affirms that Catholicism's authenticity requires respect for "distinctive traditions, customs, institutions, and ways of life of its peoples...
...There are some medicine men among the Sioux, for instance, whose native religiousness is suffused with Christian elements...
...ignores or explains away features of Indian culture unsavory to Christian tastes...
...In his recent book The Pipe and Christ, William Stolzman, S.J., records that the medicine men expressed "anger against the church for...
...In particular, Vatican II brought about a new attitude toward American Indians, both Catholic and non-Catholic, an attitude ably summarized by a 1977 Statement of U.S...
...suppression of traditional religion for so many years," but the dialogues produced a respectful, mutual understanding...
...In different situations, at different times of their lives, 349 they may call upon Catholic or native forms of worship, to serve particular ends...
...The pattern most common among Indian Catholics is the syncretizing of native and Catholic forms of religiousness...
...Deloria and other critics noted that most Indians who were considered Catholic were only "nominal" in their faith...
...however, at 9:00 A.M., a Mass is said in the church, to the side of the central plaza...
...The dances last the day...
...John Mittelstadt, O.F.M., of St...
...Begun in 1939 as a support group for priests and brothers working as missionaries among Indian communities in the northern U.S., the Conference sponsored annual meetings in Fargo at which a few dozen religious compared their common work...
...When church was over, she'd come home and become an Indian again...
...when they hear him speak of his "spirit helpers" and his Crane Clan "medicine lodge...
...SUN DANCES, CORN POLLEN, & THE CROSS NATIVE AMERICAN CATHOLICS TODAY CHRISTOPHER VECSEY When Pope John Paul II visits the United States this fall, he will meet in Phoenix on September 14 with thousands of Catholic American Indian delegates at the annual Tekakwitha Conference...
...In Syracuse, "para- liturgical celebrations" were held at St...
...In the Northeast the Abenakis and Micmacs long ago combined their ancient religion into Catholic worship...
...In such an atmosphere, Galvan says, Indians are in the process of finding, rather than losing, their identity in the church...
...But on weekdays the Pueblo churches are locked and Catholicism presents a low profile...
...partially because of the strictures of celibacy (a concept still antithetical to Indian values placed on procreation and family identity) and partially because of Indian resistance to the notion of hierarchical leadership...
...This fall's conference is named after Kateri Tekakwitha, born of a Christian Algonkian mother and Mohawk father in what is now Auriesville, New York, in 1656...
...In Kateri Tekakwitha's name, and many say through her intercession, Indian Catholicism has experienced a resurgence...
...In this spirit, missionaries have engaged Indian medicine men in lengthy and candid dialogues...
...He taught her the foundation of a religious life: a reverential attitude...
...These changes are not without critics...
...Indeed, some suggest that this dual spirituality, this Indian-Catholic religiousness, may have the effect of creating a fuller, more distinctly American Catholicism...
...that "the Gospel, far from destroying their traditional values and customs, has the power to purify and uplift the cultural heritage which they have received...
...One can find this message in the weekly radio sermons, "Sioux for Christ," broadcast in the Dakotas: "the old time Indians were really seeking for Christ...
...One anthropologist calls this "another instance of do-gooding white paternalism," that picks out quaint and unthreatening aspects of Indian cultures that have lost their dynamic otherness...
...Their dual identity as Indians and as Catholics has long posed conflict for them and their ancestors...
...Hemauer "the native people themselves must be the storytellers and catechists...
...At the following year's meeting, Indians expressed dismay at their sense of being second-class members of the church and evicted most of the non-Indians in order to hold private caucuses...
...When reporters see his medicine bag filled with tobacco, sage, eagle feathers...
...however, in many cities (e.g., at "Tri-Cultural Celebrations of the Liturgy," with Hispanics and Anglos, in Santa Fe) Indian and non-Indian Catholics share community religious life...
...national policies...
...the Delaware, James Chrysostom Bouchard, S.J...
...Ben Black Elk the famous Black Elk's son has said that he used to keep his Catholic and Sioux ritual lives separate, for fear that he would be unfaithful to Christianity...
...Kateri Mitchell suggests that Indians expressing love in their own religions are Christian in fact: "If they love..., well, what is the greatest command...
...nor does Sr...
...Paul Lenz, Director of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, says that Tekakwitha is producing the "miracle" of Catholic Indian religious devotion today, especially through the Tekakwitha Conference...
...A third criticism, sometimes leveled by social scientists, argues that missionaries have not only romanticized traditional Indian spirituality, but have tried to revive customs that were moribund, thus fashioning a pastiche of pseudo-Indian traits that have little grounding in current Indian cultures...
...John Hascall, an Ojibwa medicine man and priest performs "healing Masses" in Indian communities...
...Others are pagans who regard Christianity as inimical to Indian life...
...This kind of compartmentalization of religious participation has deep roots in Indian cultures, in which different "medicine societies" might have influence over various aspects of personal, seasonal, or communal existence...
...Still other Catholic Indians respect their native faith, but think it should be kept separate from their Catholicism...
...Rather than 347 presenting Indians with a prepackaged, European model of religious life, missionaries are prompting Indians to create indigenous institutions that support and serve them where they are...
...At San Ildefonso in New Mexico, for instance, the feast day of the patron saint is observed every January 23 by the performance of Deer-Buffalo and Comanche dances in the village plazas and kivas...
...Since that time pilgrims have journeyed to her shrine in Auriesville, as well as to her grave...
...Don Goodwin, an Ojibwa Catholic deacon, says, "I don't think there will be a day when my religious belief will ever fit totally into the Catholic religion__I do not believe that all our traditions can be put into the church...
...We're one...
...Cap., was named president...
...Years later, the same Sioux invited Steinmetz to pray with the sacred pipe during the sun dance...
...On the other hand, non-Christian Indians and scholars find the claim of Catholic missionaries, that Christianity represents the fulfillment of native spirituality, to be an arrogant and manipulative ploy to seduce Indians from their traditions...
...He became our food, a' 'true 'relative' making life possible for all...
...Paul-Minneapolis, Seattle, Syracuse, Yakima, Bismarck, as far off as Anchorage, and elsewhere across America...
...In the United States, where the pope is presently at odds 350 with mainstream, liberal Catholics, there is little expectation of confrontation with Catholic Indians...
...He posited that Indian and Christian religions are both genuine, both historically syncretistic, neither absolute...
...but now that the church "has brought the two together into one life...
...In such a ritual setting, Catholicism functions as a foreign but accepted institution that is greeted, granted respect, and treated as a complement to native identity...
...thus, an Indian can "speak" the language of Catholicism, or peyotism, or the kiva, each in an appropriate setting...
...As a result, the Tekakwitha Conference became a yearround organization to establish youth programs, a nationwide newsletter...
...And in Ron Zeilinger's 1984 Lakota Life, published by St...
...The first Indian deacon was a Sioux, the late Steven Levi Red Elk, ordained in 1975 at Holy Rosary Mission at Pine Ridge, South Dakota...
...For some Indian communities tribal identity is expressed through Catholicism...
...an organization to make Indian concerns known to the American and Vatican Catholic hierarchy...
...So far his resignation has never been accepted by the board of directors, consisting presently often members: lay and religious, men and women, Indians and Whites...
...With the encouragement of church authorities, and with the example of Indian Catholics like Hascall, it may be more difficult to keep Indian and Catholic modes of worship separate, and with time there may be less impetus to do so...
...The church still conducts schools on many reservations, although there has been a move toward greater Indian control of these institutions...
...Rather, Indians have a long history of shared spiritual and material contact, and pan-tribal contacts are to Mitchell, "the most completely spiritual, God-centered, and Christ-oriented...
...Hemauer offers his resignation every year, so that Indians may run the Conference...
...As missionaries have promoted the incorporation of Indian culture to Catholic liturgy, they have also demonstrated an "ecclesiastical populism," viewing themselves as helpers and servers in implementing the vision of Indian congregations, and in promoting and affirming Indian leadership...
...There were special sessions regarding teenage Indian concerns, alcoholism, and liturgical innovations, and among the thousands of Indians were dozens of bishops and other religious showing their support...
...in Theology from Fordham University, writing his dissertation later published on John Courtney Murray...
...The Indians called for greater Indian content to Catholic Indian liturgy, and for more social activism within the church in regard to Indian causes...
...On reservations and in urban areas, Catholic ministries run programs to help Indians beset by poor housing, unemployment, and alcoholism...
...Lucy's parish, where the local Iroquois Catholics could realize that they can be Indians and Christians at the same time...
...In some Indian communities, militant Indians organized native schools and worship services designed to pull Indians from the church and toward an autonomous "Indian Religion" based on aboriginal models...
...Nevertheless, there is a growing Indian Catholic leadership, promoted by the church...
...The Tekakwitha Conference has a non-Indian executive director, Fr...
...Thus, they regard traditional Indian religions as "pre-Christian," preparing Indians for Christianity...
...With a weak hold on Indian loyalty, the church witnessed large numbers of "lapsed" Indian members...
...however, they have proliferated since then...
...One North Dakota bishop comments, "There seems to be a growing desire on the part of our Native Americans and our white people to worship together," a development he finds a "benefit...
...however, the modes of syncretism vary widely...
...Can Indians authentically practice both Indian and Catholic forms of religiousness without real, felt conflicts and contradictions, without hypocrisy...
...As a result, he came to use the pipe at Mass...
...On the other hand, many Indians express the idea that there is no real difference between native and Christian religions...
...The Sioux, Arapaho, Blackfeet, Choctaw, Flathead and other Indians received their Catholic training in the nineteenth century...
...Rather than serving as an agency for missionaries, the Tekakwitha Conference became a means by which Indian Catholics can revitalize their faith...
...Indians have accommodated, adopted, and adapted to Catholicism in a variety of ways, and there have been diverse responses to liberalized Catholic mission policies...
...In the church's attitude of respect, in its liturgical syncretism, in its promotion of Indian leadership, and its agenda for social reform, there has been an attempt to give new life to Catholic American Indian spirituality...
...was ordained in 1855, and there have been at least three orders of sisters whose membership has been wholly or primarily Indian (including the extant Oblate Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament...
...Genevieve Cuny, O.S.F., and Francis Hairychin, both Sioux initiated a critical evaluation of the church's relationship to Native Americans...
...In keeping with the spirit of Vatican II, church authorities have asked forgiveness from Indian Catholics for past wrongs: a history of paternalism, cultural invasion, harshly judgmental condemnations of Indian traditions...
...Since a person's culture is the basis for his or her identity and personhood, there must be greater respect for non-Christian forms of spirituality, personal conscience, and non-Western cultural expressions within the church...
...that missionary dogmatism, authoritarianism, and condemnation of traditional culture destroyed autonomous Indian spirituality...
...Today there are over three dozen Catholic Indian deacons...
...Born in 1945 in Maine of an Abenaki father and French Canadian mother, he entered the seminary at age fourteen, was influenced by the Catholic Worker movement, and earned a Ph.D...
...Lawrence River, inspiring Indian Catholicism through her spiritual power...

Vol. 114 • June 1987 • No. 11


 
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