As an undergraduate at St. John’s University in  Collegeville, MN, I used to run the “chapel trail” through the woods around Lake Sagatagan.  On the way we would pass a statue of Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680), a native American who converted to Catholicism, and we would always pat the little dog statue at her feet on its head as we ran by.

On December 19, 2011, Pope Benedict XVI moved her one step closer to canonization by recognizing a miracle attributed to her.  For those interested in learning more about this patroness of ecology, read more about here at Bill Patenaude’s blog “Catholic Ecology.”