Prayer scene from Wahzhazhe, an Osage Ballet, to be performed in Philadelphia

Randy Tinker-Smith, Osage, has been invited to attend the World Meeting of Families Congress next month in Philadelphia. The prayer scene from Tinker-Smith's ballet, Wahzhazhe, will be performed at the Festival of Families on Saturday, September 26, 2015.

The event per their website "is an international celebration offamily, community, and faith ... The nationally-broadcast main stage [will be a] program of music and spectacular visual arts performances by world renowned artists. Pope Francis will celebrate ... during this time ... a second stage will feature performances throughout the day by many cultural groups, educational institutions, and spiritual organizations.

The theme for this year's festival is "Love Is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive."

Roman Jasinski--the son of Moscelyne Larkin, an accomplished ballerina of Peoria and Shawnee descent--will be one of the dancers to perform," said Randy Tinker-Smith.

The Osage people have a long history with the Catholic Church first documented in 1673 when the Osages met Father Jacques Marquette.

The Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception is located in Pawhuska, OK. This is also the headquarters for the Osage Nation's government.

This church has the only stain-glass windows, in the world, to depict the Jesuit Priests who first met the Osage people and evangelized to them. These stain-glass windows were commissioned by Osages, crafted in Europe and hidden during World War II, and then later shipped to the church.

Randy Tinker-Smith, created and privately raised the funds to produce the Osage Ballet. Tinker-Smith said, "I sought to continue the legacy of two Osage women, the late Prima Ballerina Maria Tallchief, and her sister, Marjorie Tallchief--following the path paved by them, by telling the story of the Osage people through ballet seemed natural."

For more information: or find on Facebook at Osage Ballet. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Bettinger.