We often are asked why we named the college in honor of Saint Kateri and who “Kateri” is. Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, also known as the “Lily of the Mohawks,” was an Algonquin-Mohawk native who was born in Auriesville, New York, in 1656. In her youth, she fell in love with Our Lord Jesus, received baptism, and had a particular devotion to Our Lady, building Rosary walks in secret in the surrounding forests of her villages. She endured much physical and emotional suffering during her life – losing both her parents to smallpox and becoming herself greatly scarred by it; being rejected by her tribe because of her conversion to Christianity. She died in Quebec in 1680. Saint Kateri is the first canonized Native American saint and is the patroness of Native
The American Southwest area has a long history of Catholic outreach and evangelization to the indigenous people. Currently, no Catholic college exists within New Mexico, and Catholic higher education opportunities are limited for the region and particularly for the Native American population. We want Kateri College to serve Native Americans and all young people around the country. Because of our location in the heart of what is called “Indian Country,” we placed ourselves under the patronage of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha.
Kateri is the Mohawk version of the English name “Katharine.” With the name Kateri, we also wanted to include and honor Mother Katharine Drexel, the great saint who spent her fortune establishing schools and missions for blacks and Native Americans in the south and southwest. Mother Drexel established the first school for Native American girls in Santa Fe, which closed in the late 20th century. Mother Drexel also founded schools on the Navajo reservation, including St. Michael’s Academy, which continues to operate as a K-12 school in St. Michael’s, Arizona. We place ourselves under the patronage of Saint Katharine Drexel, as well, knowing our mission aligns and continues her original vision of Christian education for this area.
For the first two years at Kateri College, students will follow a core set of classes in the liberal arts. Each semester, every student will participate in college-wide community work projects that focus on one of the trade skills the college offers. Through prayer and participation, students will then discern which practical art they desire to pursue as their trade track for the final two years, while continuing a reduced number of liberal arts courses.
The union of these currently separated educations in the liberal arts and vocational arts will allow students to develop intellectual alongside practical skills, balancing both dimensions of the human person.
The mission of Kateri College is to graduate men and women without an undue financial burden of debt who are ready to enter into the adult world understanding that God has created them for “some definite service for which He has not created another.”
We continue to work on the best models of tuition and do not have precise numbers right now.
We recognize the problem of the high cost of college education, bordering on immorality, and are committed to keeping our tuition as low as possible. We intend on doing this through having our students work for the college or for businesses the college partners with as part of their curriculum and college credits.
As a Catholic institution, our goal is to allow our graduates to enter into the world without the intense burden of financial debt, freeing them to follow their God-given destiny. We intend our degree to be of great value to our graduates in that it will place them in a better position than most of their peers to secure a well-paying job, or to be business owners and operators themselves.
We are currently negotiating on a campus facility in the Gallup area. As soon as we are able to do so, we will publicize more details.
Stayed tuned for further announcements!
The innovative, Catholic mission of Kateri College provides an education that forms the fullness of one’s humanity. But, our mission recognizes first and foremost the centrality of God to all things. We are made in His image and likeness. Any real education must first teach the reality of humans as sub creators to God with a divine calling and destiny. Jesus Christ tells us, “Apart from me, you can do nothing.” Kateri College recognizes this fact and will foster a faith environment that sets the worship of God at the center of our college community.
Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date on our progress, or select Future Students to be added to our list of prospective students.