Moving with relatives to the turtle clan village of Cahghnawaga, she began a new life. Her first contact with a priest came in 1667 when three Fathers visited her village. St. Peter's Mission chapel was built inside of one of the longhouses and in 1674 Fr. James de Lamberville took charge of the mission.
During a visit to her home, Tekakwitha told the priest of her desire to become baptized and on Easter Sunday when she was 20 years old, she was baptized and given the name Kateri or Katherine. She is usually depicted with a simply made wooden cross as her favorite devotion was to fashion them out of sticks and place them throughout the woods. These crosses served as stations that reminded her to spend a moment in prayer.
Kateri's family did not accept her choice to embrace Christianity. After her baptism, Kateri became like an outcast in her village. Her family refused her food on Sundays because she wouldn't work and children would tease her and throw stones. She was threatened with torture or death if she did not renounce her religion. In the summer of 1677, Kateri fled her village to go and live at Sault St. Louis, St. Francis Xavier Mission near Montreal. This difficult 200 mile journey took two months through woods, rivers and swamps but she did arrive at the Sault with the help of friends. Her life was devoted to teaching prayers to the children and helping the sick and aged until she was struck herself with an illness that would claim her life.
On April 17th,1680 at the age of 24 she spoke her last words: "Iesos konoronkwa", or "Jesus, I love you." Shortly after her death and before the eyes of two Jesuit priests and all the Indians that could fit in the room, the scars that marred her face for twenty years suddenly disapeared.
On January 3, 1943, she was declared Venerable by Pope Pius XII.
She was Beatified by Pope John Paul II on June 22, 1980.
The Blessed Kateri continues to spread her devotion and faith hundreds of years after her death. Artists continue to be inspired to carve her likeness in wood or stone, painted on canvas, or cast in bronze. Prayers are recited daily for her canonization.