Native American Catholic Ministry

Vibrant native customs
Strong Catholic Faith

Roughly 20 percent of Native Americans in the United States are Catholic. Parishes that serve primarily indigenous communities often creatively intertwine their rich native traditions with liturgical worship.

Throughout our history, Catholic Extension has supported Catholic ministries for many of our Native American brothers and sisters across the country. Thanks to our donors, we have been able to provide resources to struggling faith communities for decades.

In the last 10 years, we have supported ministry in 40 Native American reservations and communities throughout the United States. This financial support helps build up and sustain the Catholic faith in these areas of the country.

Our funding in these communities supports:

  • parish operations
  • salary subsidies for priests and religious sisters
  • religious education
  • youth ministry
  • adult faith formation
  • church repairs

On the Navajo Reservation in the Extension-supported Diocese of Gallup, Sister Monica Dubois has been tirelessly serving ST. Anne’s Mission Church for over 20 years. The Native American people she serves there say:

The Catholic Church and the Navajo traditional ways go hand in hand.”

In the past five years, Catholic Extension has supported ministries in the diocese for roughly 15 parishes and missions on the Navajo Reservation.

Jennifer Black Bear is the Director of Religious Education for St. Francis Mission on the Rosebud Reservation in the Diocese of Rapid City, South Dakota. Her greatest hope and dream for all the young people there is for them to learn more about God and Jesus. She wants them to be able to learn and practice the faith.

It’ll inspire them to go on to be better people. They’ll want to go on to school; they’ll want to go on and do better for their community and for our people. I’m hoping we’re making a difference by teaching them.”

Want to learn more?

Christian hope and fellowship has the power to transform lives and communities. Watch this video to meet Native American Catholics whose faith helps them endure in challenging circumstances.