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Further Reading

This list is developed for people newly engaging in Catholic Native American ministry. By reviewing these books, you will gain valuable insights into Native American culture, spirituality, and history, as well as practical guidance for ministering to the Native American community in a culturally sensitive and respectful manner. This knowledge will help you build stronger relationships, foster healing, and share the Gospel message in a way that resonates with the unique experiences and perspectives of Native American people. 

One Church, Many Tribes: Following Jesus the Way God Made You by Richard Twiss (2000)

·  Central Theme: Insights into Native American culture and spirituality from a Christian perspective.

·  Summary: Dr. Richard Twiss (Sicangu Lakota), author, pastor, and professor, provides beginner-level insights into Native American culture and spirituality, writing with a good sense of history and humor. The book explores how Native Americans can follow Jesus while embracing their cultural identity.

·  Helpfulness in Ministry: This book can help you understand and appreciate Native American\Indigenous culture and spirituality, enabling you to better connect with and minister to them in a culturally sensitive manner.

Rescuing the Gospel from the Cowboys: A Native American Expression of the Jesus Way by Richard Twiss (2015)

·  Central Theme: The history of the Native American Contextual (enculturation) ministry movement.

·  Summary: Edited by Ray and Sue Martell, this book by Dr. Richard Twiss (Sicangu Lakota) explores the history of the Native American Contextual ministry movement, which seeks to express the Christian faith in a way that is authentic to Native American culture and traditions.

·  Helpfulness in Ministry: Understanding the history and principles of the Native American Contextual ministry movement can help you effectively enculturate the Gospel message and Christian practices for the Native American community you serve.

Dreamcatching: Following in the Footsteps of Richard Twiss by Sue and Ray Martell and Richard Twiss (2017)

·  Central Theme: The Martells’ faith journey and lessons learned about Indigenous ministry, culture, and ceremony.

·  Summary: This book shares Sue and Ray Martells’ faith journey and includes insights from Dr. Richard Twiss. Part 2 focuses on what the authors have learned about Indigenous ministry, culture, and ceremony, which can be used by the next generation of practitioners. Dr. Casey Church (Potawatomi) served as a cultural advisor for the book.

·  Helpfulness in Ministry: This book's insights and lessons can help you navigate the complexities of Indigenous ministry, culture, and ceremony, enabling you to better serve and connect with the Native American community.

Finding a Way Home: Indian & Catholic Spiritual Paths of the Plateau Tribes by Fr. Patrick Twohy (2009)

·  Central Theme: Enculturated Catholic rites and ceremonies for ministry to Native people.

·  Summary: Fr. Patrick Twohy provides excellent descriptions of Catholic rites and ceremonies enculturated for ministry to Native people, developed in collaboration with Native elders.

·  Helpfulness in Ministry: This book can serve as a guide for incorporating Native American cultural elements into Catholic liturgy and ceremonies, helping you create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for Native American Catholics.

First Nations Version: An Indigenous Translation of the New Testament translated by Terry Wildman (2021)

·  Central Theme: A New Testament translation that honors the traditions of Native peoples.

·  Summary: Published by InterVarsity Press and favorably reviewed by "U.S. Catholic," this New Testament translation by Terry Wildman seeks to honor the traditions and cultural context of Native peoples.

·  Helpfulness in Ministry: Using a Bible translation sensitive to Native American culture and traditions can help make the Gospel message more accessible and relatable to the Native American community you serve.

The Crossing of Two Roads: Being Catholic and Native in the United States, edited by Marie Therese Archambault, Mark G. Thiel, and Christopher Vecsey (2023)

·  Central Theme: Exploring the intersection of Catholic and Native American identities in the United States.

·  Summary: This book, edited by Marie Therese Archambault, Mark G. Thiel, and Christopher Vecsey, delves into the experiences and perspectives of individuals who identify as both Catholic and Native American in the United States.

·  Helpfulness in Ministry: Understanding the unique challenges and opportunities faced by Native American Catholics can help you better minister to and support this community, addressing their specific needs and concerns.


Black Elk: Colonialism and Lakota Catholicism by Damian Costello (2005)

·  Central Theme: An insightful exploration of Black Elk's Catholicism.

·  Summary: Damian Costello provides an in-depth analysis of Black Elk's Catholicism, examining the intersection of Native American spirituality and Catholic faith in the life of this influential Lakota holy man.

·  Helpfulness in Ministry: This book can help you better understand how Native American spirituality and Catholicism can coexist and inform each other, providing insights into the complexities of faith and culture in the Native American context.

Holy Smoke: The Contextual Use of Native American Ritual and Ceremony by Casey Church (2016)

·  Central Theme: Enculturated Native American ministry practices.

·  Summary: Edited by Sue and Ray Martell, this book by Dr. Casey Church (Potawatomi), Pastor of "Good Medicine Way," United Methodist fellowship in Albuquerque, NM, provides valuable information about enculturated Native American ministry practices.

·  Helpfulness in Ministry: Dr. Church's insights and experiences can help you incorporate Native American rituals and ceremonies respectfully and meaningfully into your ministry, fostering a deeper connection with the Native American community.

Education for Extinction: American Indians and the Boarding School Experiences, 1875-1923 by David Wallace Adams (2020)

·  Central Theme: The impact of boarding schools on Native American communities.

·  Summary: David Wallace Adams examines the experiences of Native American children in boarding schools from 1875 to 1923, shedding light on the devastating impact these institutions had on Native American communities and cultures.

·  Helpfulness in Ministry: Understanding the historical trauma caused by boarding schools can help you approach your ministry with greater sensitivity and compassion, acknowledging the pain and loss experienced by many Native American families and communities.

Together We Heal: A 12- Step Approach for the Healing of Sex Abuse.  By  Archbishop Emeritus Sylvain Lavoie, OMI, (2014)

  • Central Theme: A 12-step approach to healing from sexual abuse, drawing on the author's extensive experience working with Indigenous communities of North America.

  • Summary: Archbishop Emeritus Sylvain Lavoie addresses the unique cultural and historical context of sexual abuse among Native Americans, incorporating traditional healing practices alongside contemporary therapeutic methods. Lavoie emphasizes the importance of community support and spirituality in the healing process, recognizing the collective trauma experienced by many Indigenous peoples.

  • Helpfulness in Ministry: While primarily focused on healing from sexual abuse, the book also touches on related issues such as substance abuse and intergenerational trauma, making it a comprehensive resource for Native American communities dealing with the aftermath of abuse.

Pause in Wonder: Learning to Delight in God and His World by Deacons Eddie Ensley and Robert Herrman, (2020)

  • Central Theme: A spiritual guide that, while rooted in the Catholic tradition, resonates with many Native American spiritual practices of finding sacredness in the natural world.

  • Summary: Deacons Eddie Ensley and Robert Herrman emphasize the cultivation of a sense of awe and appreciation for the divine presence in creation which aligns with traditional Indigenous teachings about the interconnectedness of all living things.

  •  Helpfulness in Ministry: This book encourages readers to slow down, observe, and reflect on the beauty of the earth, echoing the Native American tradition of respecting and learning from nature as a path to spiritual wisdom. Included at the end of each chapter are devotional guides for meditation.



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