Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Black Elk sainthood cause advances with US bishops’ vote

Must Read

Saints for Today: Timothy and Titus (1st Century)

Ancient sources state that Timothy followed his mentor Paul in dying as a martyr for the Christian faith. In the year 93, during his leadership of the Church in Ephesus, he took a stand against the worship of idols at a pagan festival and was consequently killed by a mob with stones and clubs.

Diocese Adds 11 New Names to List of Credibly Accused Clergy

The new names are also included on lists from the Franciscan Province of St. John the Baptist and the Dioceses of Lafayette and Alexandria.

Public News Release: Rev. Eugene Bowski to be Named on Credibly Accused List

Rev. Bowski has been credibly accused of abuse of a minor in West Virginia in 1982.
Catholic News Agencyhttp://www.catholicnewsagency.com/
Founded in continued response to Pope John Paul II’s call for a “New Evangelization,” the Catholic News Agency (CNA) has been, since 2004, one of the fastest growing Catholic news providers to the English speaking world. CNA strives to provide free, up-to-the-minute news affecting the Universal Church, giving particular emphasis to the words of the Holy Father and happenings of the Holy See, to any person with access to the internet. CNA takes particular pride in offering free access to its news items to Catholic Dioceses, parishes, and websites in order to increase awareness of the activities of the universal Church and further create a Catholic culture in the life of each of the faithful. Though its focus is spread throughout the world, CNA also keeps a close eye on the Roman Catholic Church in the United States and on news related to the creation of a culture of life.

.- The sainthood cause for Lakota medicine man and Catholic catechist Nicholas Black Elk took another step forward today, as the U.S. bishops unanimously approved his canonical consultation.

The Nov. 14 voice vote of the bishops took place at their annual fall assembly in Baltimore, and is the latest in a series of steps on the path to sainthood.

The motion to vote on the cause was brought forward by Bishop Robert D. Gruss of Rapid City, South Dakota, the home diocese of Black Elk where his cause was officially opened earlier this year.

Even before his conversion to Catholicism, Black Elk was a prominent medicine man “widely known as a holy man and a mystic,” Bishop Gruss told the assembly of bishops.

After his conversion, Black Elk “fully embraced a Catholic life” and became an “ardent Catechist” who would go on to convert more than 400 Native Americans to the faith, Gruss noted.

Black Elk became “an icon who reveals what God calls all of us to be – people of faith and hope, and a source of hope for others,” he added.

Black Elk was born sometime between 1858 and 1866 and, like many of his ancestors, served as a medicine man, which combined the roles of medical doctor, spiritual adviser and counselor.

He was present for the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876, and the following year, he joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, which toured Europe, including a performance before Queen Victoria.

In 1892, after touring with the show for several years, he married Katie War Bonnet. They had three children. After she converted to Catholicism, all three children were baptized.

The year after she died, Black Elk converted to Catholicism and was baptized on Dec. 6, 1904, the Feast of St. Nicholas. He took Nicholas as his baptismal name because he admired the saint’s generosity.

In 1905, he married again to Anna Brings White, a widow with two children. They had three children together and she passed away in 1941.

During Black Elk’s lifetime, the practice in the Diocese of Rapid City was for Jesuit priests to select Lakota Catholic men to teach the faith to other members of their tribe as catechists. They evangelized, prayed and prepared converts in the Lakota language, traveling by foot or by horseback until automobiles became available.

Black Elk became a catechist in 1907, chosen for his enthusiasm and his excellent memory for learning Scripture and Church teaching. He was also one of the signatories of the cause of canonization for St. Kateri Tekakwitha, another Native American saint. He passed away Aug. 19, 1950 at Pine Ridge.

Last year, a petition with over 1,600 signatures to open his cause for canonization was presented to Bishop Gruss by the Nicholas Black Elk family. An October Mass officially opened his cause in the diocese this year.

Gruss said that Black Elk’s witness is an inspiration for both Native and non-native Americans, because he “lived the Gospel in everyday life.”

The next step in Black Elk’s cause will be for a tribunal to investigate and document examples of heroic virtue in his life.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Though retired from the Gallup Diocese now 80 and thankfully able to assist at a local parish in W New York State I miss ministry with Native Americans at Crownpoint, Ramah, and Dulce/Lumberton. I appreciate the diocese forwarding the Voice of the Southwest and join in prayers or N Black Elk’s canonization. And prayers also for Bishop Wall and the Diocese.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest News

Friday News Briefs: Check out these rallies and marches for life near you!

Plus: V8s for Vocation raffle tickets available for a 1969 Pontiac GTO!

Advertisement

Other recent stories:

Diocese Adds 11 New Names to List of Credibly Accused Clergy

The new names are also included on lists from the Franciscan Province of St. John the Baptist and the Dioceses of Lafayette and Alexandria.

“My Faith Has Sustained Me”: Kathleen Bowman, Anti-Death Penalty Activist and Navajo Nation Public Defender

Bowman, educated at St. Michaels Indian School, sees no conflict between her Catholic faith and Navajo traditions.

Friday News Briefs: Fall Fiestas and Fundraisers Around the Diocese!

All the latest on fall fiestas, rosary rallies, AZ family conference, school golf fundraiser, and more!

AZ Bishops Urge Support for Hyde Amendment, Which Prevents Broad Federal Funding for Abortion

Preserving the Hyde Amendment and Protecting the Vulnerable

Advertisement

More Articles Like This