Years ago, one of my godchildren became interested in "all things Indian," American Indian, that is. I have always taken being a godparent seriously and so my godchildren usually receive "Catholic" gifts to help them develop a love for their Faith. One day I found the little Father Lavosik book on the little Indian saint, Kateri Tekakwitha
which according to Wikipedia is pronounced, 'gaderi dega' gwita in Mohawk. Blessed Kateri
There are two feast days for Kateri Tekakwitha. In Canada her feast is celebrated on April 17th. In the United States her feast day is July 14th.
A little over a year ago I had the opportunity to visit the Shrine of the Cross In The Woods
in Indian River, Michigan. The idea of the shrine came from Fr. Charles D. Brophy sometime in the late 1940's. He was new in the parish which was originally named for St. Augustine. Seeing the landscape in Indian River made Fr. Brophy think of the story of Kateri Tekakwitha. A new church was going to be built, but because our little saint was not yet cananized, the parish could not be renamed for her. However that didn't mean she couldn't be honored here. Fr. Brophy envisioned a place to have an outdoor mass during the summer months. That would require a crucifix. Sculptor Marshall Fredericks was employed to create a design for the corpus of Christ. A bronze replica of this Christ corpus was made by the Kristians-Kunst Metalstobori Foundry in Oslo, Norway.
The bronze Christ was attached to a cross made from giant redwood beams. It was placed on a hill. There are 28 steps
leading up the cross which are representative of the famous Scala Santa in Rome reminding us of the 28 steps that Jesus climbed leading to the throne of Pontius Pilate.
The Shrine of the Cross in the Woods has so much to offer. As you first get to the shrine you can light holy candles to your favorite saint. It's a bit odd though as you pay a donation and then touch the candle. It is electric. I didn't take a picture. I felt leary. I had never seen electric holy candles. Oh, well. Near the outdoor chapel of the Cross, there is a Shrine of Saint Francis.
There is a shrine in honor of the holy family which I regret that I did not get photos of. And the most incredible doll museum!
I apologize that I did not get the names of the different religous orders when I took photos. I guess I wasn't thinking. It would have been so nice to know.
I can't think of a better use for a Ken doll!
You can find out more about The Shrine of the Cross in the Woods and see even more great pictures