"Let us say NO to forms of colonialism old and new. Let us say YES to the encounter between peoples and cultures. Blessed are the peacemakers. Here I wish to bring up an important issue. Some may rightly say, “When the Pope speaks of colonialism, he overlooks certain actions of the Church”. I say this to you with regret: many grave sins were committed against the native peoples of America in the name of God. My predecessors acknowledged this, CELAM has said it, and I too wish to say it. Like Saint John Paul II, I ask that the Church “kneel before God and implore forgiveness for the past and present sins of her sons and daughters”. I would also say, and here I wish to be quite clear, as was Saint John Paul II: I humbly ask forgiveness, not only for the offenses of the Church herself, but also for crimes committed against the native peoples during the so-called conquest of America.

I also ask everyone, believers and nonbelievers alike, to think of those many bishops, priests and laity who preached and continue to preach the Good News of Jesus with courage and meekness, respectfully and pacifically; who left behind them impressive works of human promotion and of love, often standing alongside the native peoples or accompanying their popular movements even to the point of martyrdom." 

-Pope Francis, Two Rivers Report


July 14: Feast Day of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha

The feast day of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha is a celebration of Catholic Native American Ministry. “Two Rivers A Report on Catholic Native American Culture And Ministry” is about the merging of Native American faith and culture and also examines the gifts of Catholic Native American ministry.



Welcome from the Subcommittee Chairman

Dear friends in Christ,

Welcome to the work of The Bishop's Subcommittee on Native American Affairs and its website.  The Subcommittee's mission and ministry is to assist and support each other in the challenges and joys that the ministry to the First People present.

Jesus Christ guides us in healing the history of injuries and many historical past conflicts of our Country toward the Native American Nations.  We as our diverse Church community embrace this mission with all of the saints who have gone before us especially Saint Kateri Tekakwitha. Through Catholic Education, Parish leadership and Church evangelization ministry we develop mutual trust and cultural respect.

For those Christ has called to this ministry there is joy and wonder in encountering Christ in the people and families that make up such a rich tapestry of culture, spirituality and grace.

+Chad W. Zielinski
Bishop of New Ulm
Chairman, Subcommittee on Native American Affairs



The Subcommittee Mandate

The subcommittee on Native American Affairs is under the direction of and assists the Committee on Cultural Diversity within the Church by working directly with the standing committee and collaboratively with other USCCB committees to address the pastoral concerns of Native American (North American Aboriginals) Catholics to affirm the gifts and contributions of Native American Catholics and to provide more opportunities for Native American Catholics to engage in the life of the Church and help shape its evangelization mission.

This mandate includes the following areas of responsibility:
The subcommittee is directly responsible for outreach to Native American Catholics under the direction of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church.



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