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SD mass to honor Saint Tekakwitha

SIOUX FALLS (AP) -- The Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls is honoring Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, the first American Indian to be canonized by the church.

The diocese is planning a Mass of Thanksgiving led by Rev. Paul Swain at the cathedral on Sunday.

Tekakwitha was canonized Oct. 21 by Pope Benedict XVI.

Deacons Alfred Jetty and Steve McLaughlin Sr. attended the canonization in St. Peter's Square and will participate in the liturgy.

Both are American Indian.

The church says the "Lily of the Mohawks" serves as a model for the unity of the people, leading a life of innocence and firm faith. A teenage convert, Tekakwitha was baptized at the age of 20.

A bronze statue of Saint Kateri will be installed at the cathedral.