Two saints with ties to Upstate New York will be officially recognized by the Catholic Church on October 21st.The canonization ceremonies for seven new saints, including Mother Marianne Cope and Kateri Tekawitha, will be at the Vatican.
The canonization announcement was made by the Pope, after new cardinals were invested on Sunday morning. New York's Archibishop, now Timothy Cardinal Dolan marveled that his first official act as a cardinal was to formally OK the New York-area saints. He quipped: "As grateful as I am for being a cardinal, I really want to be a saint." (see related story for Cardinals' investiture)Mother Marianne Cope's shrine is at the Franciscan motherhouse on Syracuse's North Side. She grew up in Utica but made her vows at what is now Assumption Church in Syracuse, and worked in several Upstate cities. She helped found St. Joseph's Hospital before going to Hawaii to work at the leper colony there. Two recent medical miracles in Syracuse cleared the way for her sainthood, after 37 years of efforts by the Sisters of Saint Francis.
Kateri Tekakwitha will be the first Native American Saint. There's a shrine to her in Auriesville (east of Utica) and she is buried in Canada. The daughter of a Mohawk father and Algonquin mother was a convert to Catholicism after seeing violence and being a survivor of smallpox--the 'Lilly of the Mohawks spent her last years in Christian ministry to fellow Native Americans.There's a ministerial outreach in her name at Syracuse's St. Lucy's church.
Followers of both saints are making plans to go to Rome for the October canonizations.