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Native American archbishop a source of pride

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  • Rob Schmidt
    http://www.inforum.com/event/article/id/310184/group/Life/ Published February 26, 2011, 12:00 AM Native American archbishop a source of pride By: John Lamb,
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 28, 2011
      http://www.inforum.com/event/article/id/310184/group/Life/

      Published February 26, 2011, 12:00 AM

      Native American archbishop a source of pride

      By: John Lamb, INFORUM

      Archbishop Charles Chaput's talk at Sts. Anne and Joachim on Friday not only allowed local Catholics to hear him speak on "Building
      a Culture on Life," it also gave American Indian faithful from the region a chance to see the first Native American archbishop.

      For David "Doc" Brien, from the Turtle Mountain Reservation, it was worth the four-plus-hour drive.

      "I consider him one of our great chiefs of the native community, a spiritual leader from the native perspective," Brien said. "It's
      like one of your family members in a way."

      Though Turtle Mountain is a Chippewa tribe and Chaput is a member of the Prairie Band of Potawatomi Tribe, Brien sees the priest as
      figure for all American Indians.

      "We're proud for him to be a leader in the American Indian Catholic tradition," Brien said.

      Five people made the trip from Turtle Mountain.

      The Rev. Dwight Hoeberechts from the White Earth Reservation said six of his parishioners were excited to go to the talk.
      Hoeberechts said many of his Native American parishioners view Chaput as "one of us."

      Brien has been following Chaput's career since they met at a conference in 1993.

      He was looking forward to meeting with Chaput later that afternoon to discuss ideas for American Indian ministries.

      According to Brien, there are about 3,000 Catholics on the Turtle Mountain Reservation spread among five parishes. He said there are
      another 300 or so Catholics on the Spirit Lake Reservation.

      He believes having such a high-ranking American Indian in the Catholic Church attracts other American Indians to the faith.

      Currently there is only one Native American priest serving in the Diocese of Fargo.

      Originally from Kansas, Chaput was ordained in 1970. He was ordained Bishop of Rapid City, S.D., in 1988. Pope John Paul II
      appointed him Archbishop of Denver in 1997. He was the second Native American to be ordained bishop.

      Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533
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