William Doino Jr. on St. Kateri’s long journey home:
Born in 1656 at the Mohawk fortress called Gandaouague, near present-day Auriesville, New York, Kateri Tekakwitha was thrust into a world of conflict and danger: Inter-tribal warfare raged, and was aggravated by Dutch, English, and French colonialists fighting for the surrounding land. She was the daughter of a Mohawk chief and Algonquin Christian Mother, and the elder sister of an infant brother. When Kateri was a child, a smallpox epidemic, brought by the colonialists, swept through her village, taking the lives of her parents and brother. She survived, but the disease left her half-blind, with a disfigured face.