NOVEL CELEBRATES FIRST AMERICAN INDIAN SAINT – KATERI TEKAKWITHA
Staff Picks Press publishes novelized biography in time for canonization 10/21
Staff Picks Press has just published “Kateri — Lily of the Mohawks,” by Jack Casey. The publication arrives in time for the Catholic Church’s canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha as the first Native American saint at the Vatican Oct. 21.
“In her short life, Kateri Tekakwitha surmounted impossible odds to find inner peace in a world torn by white man’s war, liquor and disease,” Publisher Susan Novotny said today. “As the Catholic Church elevates her to sainthood, Staff Picks Press offers this inspirational story to increase awareness about her.”
Pope Benedict XVI announced last December that he would canonize Kateri Tekakwitha after verifying her intercession in 2006 miraculously cured five-year-old Jake Finkbonner, of Ferndale, Wash. Finkbonner was afflicted with a fatal flesh-eating bacteria and when his family prayed to the beatified Mohawk maiden, progress of the bacteria was halted.
“Jack Casey’s fast-paced, exciting novel brings her to life as a child and young woman in the wilderness that was upstate New York,” Novotny said. “It helps us understand why this scarred, nearly blind orphan embraced the religion of her invaders, and then outdistanced even her missionaries for holiness.”
“When I heard the news about her canonization, I knew I must revisit this story,” Casey said. He first published a novelized biography “Lily of the Mohawks” with Bantam Books in 1984. “Since the early 80s, much new work has been done on the Iroquois culture and on Tekakwitha’s life. Her canonization calls us to reflect upon her spiritual gifts, her time and place in the history of Canada and America, and her growing importance to us today. With these new perspectives, I reworked the story and I offer it now as a truthful and thorough portrayal of her life and times.”
Using primary source material, Casey configured his new work as a “trilogy,” closely following the lives of St. Isaac Jogues, Kateri herself, and her spiritual advisor Father Claude Chauchetiere, who championed her cause after her death and began effecting miracles with her relics. Following her death in 1680, devotion to Tekakwitha grew during the 18th century until the English forced the French out of Canada in 1763. It wasn’t until the 1840s that the Jesuits returned and her cause for sainthood was renewed.
“I am offering this accurate picture of a strong-willed, mystical young woman seeking transcendence in the howling wilderness that was the North America,” Casey said. “Since childhood when I first heard of her, I have always been deeply moved by Kateri’s story. I hope this book will bring many others to know and admire her.”
Read Jack Casey’s Blog at Kateri’s Canonization
Casey will be attending Kateri’s canonization at the Vatican.
For information, visit: JackCasey.com/kateri-lily-of-the-mohawks
To request a review copy or schedule an interview with Jack Casey, contact Duncan Crary.