STORYTELLING WITH KATERI TEKAKWITHA
To students and teachers:
Kateri Tekakwitha is a saint of the Americas, of both the United States and Canada. When Kateri Tekakwitha was a child in the 1600’s, she lived in the forests of what is now the state of New York. Later she moved north to a mission near Montreal. She was raised by people who appreciated the gifts of the earth, and they often thanked the Great Spirit for them. As Kateri grew older she continued to learn about God, the Great Spirit, now in ways taught to her by people from Europe. Using both of these ways, her love for God became very strong.
Kateri Tekakwitha was a member of the Mohawk Nation. One of the ways she and other children learned about the history of their people and also tales of wisdom, was through storytelling. When she grew up, she often told children these stories she had heard as a child and also stories about Jesus.
There were no printed books where she lived. At that time, television, movies, computers, and ipads had not been invented yet. So the adults told stories to children and they listened, imagining the words they were hearing.
Now you have the opportunity for storytelling. Here is a very short story of Kateri Tekakwitha when she was a child. Use it for guidance to tell the story in your own way. Read it to yourself and decide what you want others to hear from you. Do you want them to imagine the smells of the pine trees, or hear the crunch of fallen leaves? Do you want them to think about thanking God? Do you want them to think about God giving us the gifts of a wiggling caterpillar crawling across your hand or the sweet juice and crunch when eating sweet corn? Remember, the better the storyteller is, the more the listeners can imagine!
Have fun, knowing you will be doing something that Kateri Tekakwitha experienced as a child herself so long ago.
A THANKSGIVING STORY OF
God our Creator made everything in our world—the waters, trees, animals and people!
Long ago there lived a girl called Kateri Tekakwitha who loved God and all that God made for us.
In God’s springtime, Kateri Tekakwitha planted corn, bean and squash seeds in the rich soil so she and others had food to eat.
When God sent the warmth of summer, the strawberries ripened, and Kateri Tekakwitha went to pick them. She also found busy animals, some tiny, some big, and some huge! She saw bugs, and bunnies, mice and moose!
In the autumn, Kateri Tekakwitha gathered walnuts from the forest floor, enjoying the feel of the bumpy shells. The wind gently touched her cheeks as she stood, enjoying the rich beautiful oranges, reds and gold of the leaves. She felt God’s love everywhere.
When soft snow covered the ground and quiet animals left paw prints in the whiteness, Kateri Tekakwitha stayed in her warm house, listening to stories of God’s people and the earth.
Kateri Tekakwitha loved all of this beauty. She thanked God for making and blessing the earth!