Estella Loretto - Native American Artist
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Blessed Kateri - Kateri Tekakwitha

Blessed Kateri - Sculpture by Estella LorettoEstella Loretto is honored to be traveling to Rome in October with Most Rev. Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan of Saint Francis Basilica for the canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American to achieve sainthood.

Archbishop Sheehan will be leading a Canonization Pilgrimage to Rome to attend the canonization of Kateri and devotional visits to many important Catholic shrines in the area.

Estella will participate in the celebration in Rome which includes a special Canonization Mass lead by Pope Benedict at St. Peter’s Basilica on Sunday, October 21st, 2012.

Estella was commissioned by Most Rev. Michael J. Sheehan to create a monumental bronze statue of Blessed Kateri, which has welcomed visitors at the entrance to Saint Francis Cathedral in Santa Fe, NM, since 2003.

“ patron of ecology and the environment, Kateri teaches us how to love and respect the created world and care for it.”
–Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., Canada

View Estella's sculpture, "Blessed Kateri"



A Letter from Estella

I was very honored by the most Most Rev. Archbishop Michael Sheehan of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe to create a monumental sculpture of Blessed Kateri, in 2002. In the process of creating the sculpture, I came to know Kateri very intimately. Almost immediately she touched my heart in a profound way. She made her presence felt so strongly, and let me know that she’s here to watch over all of us with her love, and to remind us to have love and compassion, kindness and forgiveness, for ourselves and for each other. The gift she brings to the world is the Love in her Heart.

It is a blessing and timely that the second sculpture of Kateri now stands here at my home, in the final stages of completion. Because of the timing of Kateri’s canonization, it is my prayer and dream to place this second edition at the Vatican. Her presence at the Vatican will stand as a messenger for all Native People and all those whose lives she has touched.

Read the full letter...

Read about "Blessed Kateri" in the Press

Click on titles to view articles.

Long Journey to Sainthood - The Santa Fe New Mexican, October 14, 2012

The Lily of the Mohawks
- Pasatiempo, The Santa Fe New Mexican, August 15-21, 2003

Hoping for Sainthood - Albuquerque Journal North, August 17, 2003

Blessed Intercession - The Santa Fe New Mexican, August 17, 2003

First Native American among seven approved for sainthood - The Santa Fe New Mexican, December 19, 2011

Amazing Women Doing Amazing Things - Santa Fe Monthly, May 2012


Additional articles about Blessed Kateri's canonization

Complex emotions as Kateri Tekakwitha is named a saint - New York Times, July 25, 2012

Kateri Tekakwitha at Wikipedia



We are continuing to update this page with more images and articles about Estella Loretto's sculpture of Blessed Kateri, and news of Kateri Tekakwitha's cannonization on October 21, 2012.