Precious Blood Parish in Banning, California and San Gorgonio Parish in Beaumont,California were merged on July 1, 2006. Both churches were renamed Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Church.
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha was born of a Christian Algonquin mother and a Mohawk father in 1656.
In 1660, smallpox deprived Tekakwitha of her parents and her brother. She had also contracted smallpox, but Our Lord had chosen her as His bride and saved her from death. The sickness left her with poor eyesight and her face was left with the usual disfigurement from the smallpox.
When she reached the age to think of matrimony, Tekakwitha's uncle, a great Chief, along with her aunts began to select a spouse for her. To their dismay, she announced that she had no intention of getting married. Her decision brought anger to the family, but their attempts were futile. The love she felt inside of her for chastity, made her refuse marriage.
In 1675, Father James de Lamberville took charge of the Mission of St. Peter at Caughnawga. It was to him that Teakawitha opened her heart and expressed the ardent desire for Baptism. On Easter Sunday, 1676, Father de Lamberville baptized Tekakwitha. It was during the autumn of 1677, that she fled from the land of the Mohawks to the Mission of Saint Francis Xavier on the shore of the Saint Lawrence River. Father de Lamberville gave her a letter for the Superior of the Mission. The words of the letter were, "You will soon know the treasure that we have given you. Guard it well then! When in your hands that she will profit to the glory of God and the salvation of a soul, that is assuredly very dear to Him."
Every day she attended Mass at 4:00 AM and 7:00 AM. She practiced excessive penances, because she was so motivated by an intense love of Jesus and His Blessed Mother. The great delight of her life was praying and especially before the Blessed Sacrament.
A few months after her arrival, on Christmas Day 1677, Kateri Tekakwitha received her First Communion. In 1679, on the Feast of the Annunciation she took the vow of perpetual virginity and Jesus as her spouse, and Our Lady as her Mother. Her love of God was what she consumed her life, repeating three times these words, "Jesus, I love You."
At the beginning of 1680 her health, which was never very good, became worse after she accompanied her companions to Laprairie during a cold winter day.
On Wednesday of Holy Week, April 17 1680, after three o'clock in the afternoon she pronounced the Holy Names, "Jesus! Mary!" Then, Our Lord came to get her and her face was transfigured in less than a quarter of an hour after her death. Her face had become so beautiful and assumed a rosy colour, and her features were not the same. Thus, Kateri Tekakwitha died at the age of twenty-four. The favors and miracles obtained through her intercession began immediately.
On Sunday January 3, 1943, Pope Pius XII Solemnly approved the decree declaring her "Venerable." On June 22, 1980, Pope John Paul II beatified Kateri Tekakwitha. On Sunday October 21, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI canonized Kateri Tekakwitha, "SAINT CATHERINE TEKAKWITHA."