Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Wednesday 22 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Maurice and the Theban Legion
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

Documentary follows the ‘Enduring Faith’ of Native American Catholics

J-P Mauro - published on 06/22/21

The Knights of Columbus-produced film is running on ABC TV affiliate stations and there's still time to watch.

A new documentary is examining the rich history of Native American Catholic witness. Enduring Faith: The Story of Native American Catholicism, a feature produced by the Knights of Columbus, is playing on ABC TV affiliate stations on Sundays. 

The film frames the historical contributions of Native American Catholics as “a missing piece to the greater story of Catholicism in America.” In order to do this, they go back nearly 500 years, to when Catholicism was first introduced to North America. In a press release, Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly said: 

“The history and deeply ingrained traditions of Native American Catholics demonstrate how Christ reveals himself through the uniqueness of every culture. Our hope is that this film will inspire a greater appreciation of the faithful witness of Native American Catholics.”

The film

The documentary opens in the 16th century, when Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to St. Juan Diego. It then follows the life of St. Kateri Tekakwitha (d. 1680) the first Native American saint to be canonized. As it catches up to modern times it touches on Nicholas Black Elk, a 20th-century healer whose cause for canonization is still open. 

At each historical stop the film makes, it examines the spiritual and cultural gifts of the Native Americans. As it progresses, the documentary makes note of the struggles Native Americans faced before colonists came on the scene. Finally, Enduring Faith documents the culture of modern Native American Catholics. 

Catholic World Report interviewed Father Henry Sands, executive director of the Black and Indian Mission Office, on the documentary. Fr. Sands, who is one of the speakers in the film, said of the work: 

“We know that there is a lot of negative history in the interaction between the native people and the peoples who came from Europe,” he said. “At the same time, one of the positive things that took place is that the gospel did come to the people of the Americas. The gospel of Jesus Christ has been thriving among native peoples since it was first brought here.”

Enduring Faith: The Story of Native American Catholicism was originally released on May 16. Since then, it has aired weekly on ABC TV affiliates. The documentary is still being run on Sundays. Visit the Knights of Columbus website to see the schedule. 

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Domitille Farret d'Astiès
Attacked with acid as a baby, Anmol Rodriguez overcomes and inspi...
Esteban Pittaro
Argentine “Mother Teresa” was a former model and actress who embr...
Philip Kosloski
Your body is not a “shell” for your spirit
Our Lady of La Salette
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady of La Salette can give us hope in darkness
Philip Kosloski
Pray this Psalm when you successfully recover from an illness
Philip Kosloski
An alternative Hail Mary to Our Lady of Sorrows
Cerith Gardiner
12 Habits of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati that every young adult...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.