The Aboriginal  Catholics Thunder Bay

The Aboriginal Catholics Thunder Bay

  • Saint Kateri Parish

    Kitchitwa Kateri Anamewgamik Church
    is a sacred place where ALL can feel welcome and respected. It is a place for healing, seeking to bridge the gap between native and Catholic ceremonials and spirituality - where traditional Native ceremonies and rituals can be used to express the Church faith. Kitchitwa Kateri membership and services are open to all Native Catholic and Non-Native Catholic peoples living in the vicinity or visiting the City of Thunder Bay from the surrounding Native communities. Everyone is made to feel welcome and participate in services regardless of their faith.

    • Mass Schedule

      Sundays - 12:30 PM
      Monday - 12:00 Noon

    • Other Sacraments

      Sacrament of the Sick
      By appointment: Please contact the office.

      Sacrament of Marriage
      Call the office to make arrangements with Fr. Kroker, coordinator of the Marriage preparation program, at least six months prior to the marriage. As a requirement for Sacramental Marriage, candidates are required to take part in the preparation programs offered in various parishes in the city.

      Sacrament of Baptism
      Please contact the office for an appointment with Fr. Larry Kroker, coordinator of the baptism preparation program.

      Sacrament of Confirmation, First Communion, and confession
      Every spring. Contact the office for preparation program dates.

      As per request, with use of parish hall for a reception.

    • Events

      Weekday Events

      • Lunch - In the Parish hall after Sunday and Monday Masses.
      • Homiletics - Tuesday from 7-8pm; 8-9 pm is prayer requests with Benediction or Rosary.
      • Prayer Meetings: Wednesdays 6:30 - 8 pm. Songs of praise and thanksgiving, intercessory and healing prayer.
      • John Fletcher & Friends - Music jamming session, Thursday, at 7pm.
      • Holy Hour at the Retreat Centre - 11 am.
      • Pipe Ceremonies are at the beginning of each month at 11 am.

      Monthly Events

      • Kateri Board Meeting - 4th Tuesday, at 7pm.
      • Sacrament of Baptism Celebration - 3rd Sunday.

      Annual Events
      • Kateri Prayer Days - the last weekend of January and September

      Hospital & Home Visitation
      Call Kateri Church if you would like a priest to visit you or a friend in the hospital for Confession, Holy Communion or Anointing.


      We invite you to become a registered member or associate of the Kateri Catholic Community.

    • Parish Staff

      Executive Director:
      Grace Esquega

      Board of Directors:
      Grace Esquega
      Debbie Esquega
      Fr. Kroker
      Emma King

      Pastoral Assistants:
      Fr. Larry Kroker, S. J.

      Deacon Michael Robinson
      Deacon John Semerling
      Deacon Walter Aysanabee

      Faye Kwisses

    • Contact

      Monday and Thursday (September to April): 09:30am - 02:30pm.
      Monday and Friday (May - August): 09:30am - 02:30pm

      Office - (807) 622-5138
      St. Vincent de Paul - (807) 622-5165
      Fax - (807) 626-9532


    • Bulletin

      KITCHITWA KATERI- 4th Sunday of Easter– Apr. 22, 2018

      1st Reading: Acts. 4:8-12. Peter tells the people that the crippled man has been cured, through the power of the risen Jesus, and not through any power of Peter's. Jesus is the only one who can save us.

      2nd Reading: 1. John. 3:1-2. Through his love God has made us his children. In the next life he will do even greater things for us. Then we shall see him as he is.

      Gospel: John 00:1-18. Jesus compares his role to that of a good shepherd who, unlike the hireling, is ready to give his life for his sheep.

      Gospel Challenge: Our Shepherd is the one who Saves

      The one who saves is not a mighty warrior who comes in military array. There are no weapons; there is no show of force. The one who saves is the one who was rejected. It is the one who was hunted down, humiliated, tortured, and hung naked on a tree, there to die in shame. The one who saves is the cornerstone of the building, holding it together, forming a firm foundation so that the structure will not collapse. The one who saves is a lowly shepherd, entrusted with sheep, not with affairs of state. The one who saves is an unlikely Saviour. Nonetheless, it is in his name that the man is restored to health. It is in his name that people take refuge and ultimately rejoice. He has the power over life and death, his own and that of his sheep.

      Mass Intentions: Sun. Apr. 22………………… Intentions of St. Kateri Parishioners

      Mon Apr 23 .....Repose of Soul of Theresa Trottier, by Oliver Piccinin

      .....Repose of Soul of Gary Pelletier, by wife & family

      Sun. Apr 15……. 221.06

      *** At Kateri, Homoletics; StartsTues Sept 12 @7 pm; Prayer Meetings:

      Wed’s @ 7 pm ( Start again in Sept)

      *** Pipe Ceremonies - beginning of each month, beginning @11 am; Ladies need to bring/wear a long skirt!! Miitgweeth

    • Bulletin

      KITCHITWA KATERI –4th Sunday of Easter– Apr. 22 2018 - Page 2

      ***The First Communion Celebration is Apr. 22nd; Confirmation is on June 10th.

      ***There is a new priest in our Diocese; Fr. Marco Antonietti Ladao, he is at St. Patrick's Cathedral, he is a fill in for our parishes.

      ***MSGR. Pat Stilla's Spring Bible Series: Starts April 26 and May 3rd from 7 pm-8:30 pm

      *** Thank you Tammy & Bev for doing the First Communion

      ***Sacrament of Baptism -3rd Sunday of each month please contact our Deacon Michael Robinson for appointments at 622-5138

      Regular Mass Schedule: Sundays at 12:30 p.m., Mondays at 12:00 Noon; Saint Vincent DePaul Call 622-5165 to reserve your food hamper, once every three months on Mondays 1:00 pm- 3:30pm.

      The Office hours are Mons. & Thurs. (Fall/ Winter)

      451 N. Syndicate Ave. T. Bay, On. P7C3W9.

      Ph. 622-5138 Fax: 626-9532 Email:

    • Bulletin Archive




      First Known Events

      In October of 1980, Kateri Prayer Days were held at Avila Centre. Music ministry and prayer leaders were Richard and Phyllis Sayers, Dominic Eskokogan, Murray and Betsy Sayers, etc. There were in attendance some 50 - 75 from various reserves and from within the city. Following this an initial meeting was called at St. Andrew's in late 1980 or early 1981 to establish a Kateri Ministry. In attendance were Fr. George Leach, Steve and Catherine Hanson, Leo Tookenay, Bill & Yvonne Winters, Vic and Maureen Pelletier, Florena Brown, Leo and Beatrice Roach. Leo Tookenay was named chairperson and coordinator for this ministry. At this meeting it was decided that the Kateri Native group would host the 4:30 pm Mass on the 4
      th Sunday of each month at St. Andrew's and provide the music, readings, altar servers, Eucharistic ministers, ushers, etc. This Mass was open to all parishioners and was largely attended by both native and non-natives. Following the Mass a pot luck luncheon and social was held in the Parish Hall. To prepare for these celebrations we would gather at the home of Steve and Kay, Florena, Vic and Maureen, Leo and Beatrice and others one the evening before to practice the Kateri songs and to socialize. These gatherings often lasted until the early morning hours. Others who joined this group were Joe and Agnes Esquega, Mike and Agnes Hardy, Oliver and Mitch Roach, Elizabeth Gladu, Donald Collins and others.

    • Other Early Known Events Were:

      1st Annual Kateri Prayer Days at Heron Bay on the weekend of Corpus Christi in June of 1981. Bishop O'Mara, Fr. Leach and Fr. Brennan were present and a beautiful Corpus Christi Procession was held within the community. Kateri Prayer Days in the fall of 1981 at Mobert. Fr. Leach and Fr. Brennan participated and Kateri Music Ministries began to form in Mobert and Heron Bay. Square Dance and Box Socials were held 2 or 3 times a year in the hall below Our Lady's Chapel at St. Andrew's. John Fletcher and his boys provided the music; Steve and Donald were callers. The Dew Drop Inn was started in the parish hall with a clothing depot in the basement of the hall. Due to fire regulations the clothing had to be removed from the hall. It was at the time the Kateri Ministry moved to space above Zellers and they also looked after the clothing depot." Next, Father Brian Tiffin, SJ was appointed full time urban Native chaplain; monthly Masses with potluck suppers continued at St. Andrew's, while the Kateri Centre was founded at Red River Road. Here,a counseling office was set up, Mass was celebrated in the Kateri chapel twice a week, a ministry training program, prayer meeting, and AA meetings began. There was also a drop-in during the day, with coffee, soup and bannock. A clothing depot was also set up. A Kateri council was formed to plan socials and the functions of the Kateri.


      In 1988, Fr. Kroker replaced Fr. Tiffin as Urban Native Chaplain. The figure of the native population in Thunder Bay was then being quoted as high as 12,000 to 15,000. Under the direction of the Kateri Council, Mass was celebrated every Sunday at St. Andrew's; the clothing depot was dropped as being necessary because of other places offering the same service. And finally it was announced we would have to find another place to rent by the end of March as the building was being torn down. We moved to Simpson Street. Sister Eva Solomon, CSJ, was now operating out of an office at the Tekakwitha Centre at St. Agnes Church. We had some joint orientation and vision planning workshops; Mass with Ojibway cultural expression was now held on the third Sunday of every month at St. Agnes, Mass being celebrated the second and third Sunday at the Kateri Centre. The people mandated for ministries were bringing communion to the sick in the hospitals and shutins in the city. Some were preparing parents and godparents for baptism celebration, and handling the readings as well as setting up for Eucharistic services. At other planning workshops, it was strongly voiced that the Catholic native community needed a Church of their own, where they could pass on their spiritual traditions to the children and express their spirituality in native cultural symbols. Because of the limited number of native Church people who were related to the Kateri Centre, some kind of outreach was needed. And because many did not relate to "Church" as such, a new direction was needed.


      Native Spiritual Centre became the new vision of what would be the most fruitful way of relating to the spiritual aspirations of the urban native community. The new centre would have to be inter- faith or ecumenically oriented, to continue the dialogue between Christian denominations in relation to the traditional Native Way. Passing on of the traditions would be part of its focus, as well as integration of these traditions within the Christian spiritual celebrations. A Native Rite. The healing lodge would be central in importance because of the historical backlog of injustices and hurts still to be handled, community desolation, and negative self image. The new urban centre would also have to afford some structure of parish community, mirroring the Church activities in which they had participated earlier, back in their home reserve communities. There would also have to be a place of gathering or rendez-vous, to meet friends and make new ones, a place for powwows and feasts and workshops, for administration and education. "A place of our own" "A place to grow" "A place we can be proud of "A place to help us to find our rightful place in society". These are the vision statements that have focussed the direction of the development of the Native Catholic community to this present moment of their historical development. As the Simpson Street location was not adequate, the prospect of buying a building, paying a mortgage and eventually owning the place was decided upon. After an initial search, the council decided to rent the Satellite Centre for a two year period, during which time the Kateri group would develop and prove whether a larger and owned facility was really necessary. The Satellite

      Centre had been delegated as a youth centre, so when funding was eventually available for youth programs, we were asked to move so they could fulfill their mandate. We ended up in a small house on 392 Red River Road and used St. Andrew's Church facilities, an interim step while we began the search for funding and a suitable area and building for the Centre. On June 15, 1994, we purchased an ideal facility which brought to realization our 12 year search.

    • PHASE 111: A Native Catholic Church

      We finally found a ideally suitable place for sale on the corner of Syndicate and Finlayson street. It was Community Fellowship Church, had a daycare area, offices & meeting rooms, a place for worship, a hall and kitchen and dining area that are ideal for our purposes. Through loans and donations, the building was purchased, and in January of 1996, was established as a Native Catholic Church.

Canonization Mass on October 21st

Kateri Prayer Days 2012