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Hymn for Saint Kateri

for SATB Choir, Assembly, and Piano (2012)

  • Winner of hymn contest co-sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, NY and the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, Albany, NY Chapter in 2012, honoring the Canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha


  • premiered November 4, 2012

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

Albany, NY

  • Original text honoring St. Kateri Tekakwitha

  • Original arrangement of public domain tune SIMPLE GIFTS

About Hymn for Saint Kateri:


Hymn for Saint Kateri (2012) was composed in honor of St. Kateri Tekakwitha's canonization in 2012.  This canonization was a highly celebrated event in my local Diocese of Albany, NY, as Kateri, an Algonquin-Mohawk laywoman, is one of our local saints.  Her long-awaited canonization came many years after her beatification, and in the intervening years, many local Catholics developed a devotion to St. Kateri.  I would often ask for her intercession in my own prayers when my then-very-young daughter was undergoing treatment for leukemia.

When it was announced by Pope Benedict XVI that Kateri was to be canonized, our local diocese decided it would hold a Mass of Thanksgiving in November of 2012 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany, following her canonization in Rome in October of that year.  The diocese, along with the Albany chapter of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, then decided to hold a contest for a new hymn text that would honor St. Kateri, to be sung at the Mass of Thanksgiving and to serve as a diocesan hymn to honor her.  It was decided by the contest sponsors that the text should fit with the familiar public domain tune SIMPLE GIFTS, attributed to Elder Joseph Brackett.

I was inspired to enter this contest, as I felt a certain devotion to St. Kateri, and wanted to chance to honor her musically.  I was also attracted to the challenge of composing this text to SIMPLE GIFTS, and decided to create my own arrangement of the music, as well.  I was honored that the selection committee chose this piece, as it really was a labor of love composing and arranging it.

Click on the title page image above to view sample pages from the score.

While I do not have a live human recording of the piece with full choral compliment, I have included a MIDI audio rendering of the choral score to give you a sense of the piece.  As always, bear in mind that electronic choral/vocal samples are unable to interpret lyric texts, so you will not hear any of the text of the piece, only "ah's". 

Hymn for St. Kateri - MIDI Rendering

Performance History

November 4, 2012

world premiere

Mass of Thanksgiving in Honor of the Canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception | Albany, NY

Thomas Savoy, Music Director

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