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Far from Alaska, celebrations for a unique saint

Father Ross in St. Peter's SquareWhile we don’t normally detail the personal travel of our staff members in the Static, one of their recent trips stands out. In October, Father Ross Tozzi – KNOM board president and pastor of Nome’s St. Joseph Catholic Church – traveled all the way to Rome, Italy. Fr. Ross (pictured) gathered in St. Peter’s Square with more than 50 fellow Alaskans and 80,000 pilgrims from around the world to celebrate the canonization of seven new Catholic saints.

One of the new saints – St. Kateri Tekakwitha – has special interest for our mission, our staff, and our listeners. St. Kateri is the very first Native American saint, and her feast day – July 14th – is the anniversary both of KNOM’s first broadcast (in 1971) and of Fr. Ross’ ordination (in 2001).

Father Ross at the VaticanOn the day of her canonization, a homily from Pope Benedict XVI offered more details on St. Kateri:

Kateri Tekakwitha was born in today’s New York state in 1656 to a Mohawk father and a Christian Algonquin mother, who gave to her a sense of the living God… Leading a simple life, Kateri remained faithful to her love for Jesus, to prayer, and to daily Mass. Her greatest wish was to know and to do what pleased God. She lived a life radiant with faith and purity.

Saint Kateri… we entrust to you the renewal of the faith in the first nations and in all of North America. May God bless the first nations!

With your support, each of the new saints – including Saint Kateri – will be profiled in inspirational spots broadcast on KNOM over the coming year.


This article is part of the January 2013 edition of our newsletter, The Nome Static.

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Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that KNOM Radio Mission is located on the customary lands of Indigenous peoples. 

Based in the Bering Strait region, KNOM broadcasts throughout the homelands of the Iñupiaq, Siberian Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Yup’ik peoples.

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