Did you know this about the IW Knights of Columbus?

Father Pierre-Jean De Smet (1801-1873). Courtesy of De Smet High School, St. Louis.

De Smet was born and raised in Flanders, Belgium.  At age 19, he was inspired by a missionary visiting from the United States.  De Smet set sail the following year and joined the Jesuits in Baltimore.  He was later ordained in St. Louis in 1827.

After a decade of teaching and administrative duties, Father De Smet began his missionary work among Native Americans.  He made many trips along the Missouri and Columbia Rivers and even farther afield, one grueling trek over the Canadian Rockies in snowshoes lead him up the Saskatchewan River into present day Alberta.  His cheerful disposition, child-like trust in God and intrepid spirit won him numerous friends, as well as converts, and made him a celebrated peacemaker among warring tribes.

Beginning in 1851, the U. S. government repeatedly sought Father De Smet’s aid as the mediator with the Native Americans.  He wrote ‘my heart, I admit, is ever with the Indians.’  Until his death in St. Louis on May 23, 1873, he tirelessly sought to build bonds of peace.”

The article recently appeared on the KofC.org site – you can find the link to the entirety of this article featured on the KofC.org web site at www.IWKnights.com/bulletin or at facebook.com/IWknights9981 and NOW on Twitter at twitter.com/IwKnights.

Links Related to this week’s column:

  • CATHOLIC MAN OF THE MONTH -  Father Pierre-Jean De Smet (1801-1873)
    By Columbia Magazine (5/2019)

    • CHIEF SITTING BULL faced Jesuit Father Pierre-Jean De Smet, the only white man allowed to enter his camp of 5,000 Sioux warriors. He said, “I will listen to your good words, Black Robe.” Regarded by Native Americans as “the white man whose tongue does not lie,” the priest had arrived to negotiate a peace treaty between the U.S. government and the Lakota Sioux nation in 1868. It was signed later that year

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