Loading
Church to celebrate feast of American millionaire turned religious sister
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- On Wednesday, March 3, the universal Church celebrates the feast of St. Katharine Drexel, a Philadelphia heiress who abandoned her family’s fortune to found an order of sisters dedicated to serving the impoverished African American and American Indian populations of the United States.

Katharine was born November 26, 1858, into the affluent Philadelphia Drexel family. Despite their wealth, the family was very pious and Katharine was taught charity at an early age. Her mother opened up the family house three times a week to feed and care for the poor and her father had a deep personal prayer life. During the summer months, Katharine and her sisters would teach catechism classes to the children of the workers on her family’s summer estate.

The young heiress was considering a vocation to the contemplative life when she was given the opportunity to travel to Europe and have an audience with the Pope. During the audience, she asked Pope Leo XIII to send missionaries to Wyoming. He replied by asking her why she didn’t found an order to do exactly that.

Upon her return home, Katharine began working as a layperson for the improvement of the conditions and education of African Americans and Native Americans. Eventually her work led her to found the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament who are dedicated to sharing the message of the Gospel and the Life of the Eucharist with African Americans and American Indians.

During her lifetime, she oversaw the opening and maintenance of almost 60 schools and missions, mostly located in the western and southwestern United States. She is well known for founding Xavier University, in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1925.

Katharine was forced into retirement for the last 20 years of her life due to a severe heart attack. Though she was not able to actively lead the order, she left the sisters with her charism of love and concern for the missions.

She died on March 3, 1955 and was canonized by Pope John Paul II on October 1, 2000.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
26

Liturgical Calendar

October 26, 2014

THIRTIETH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 22:34-40

Gospel
Date
10/26/14
10/25/14
10/24/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Ex 22: 20-26
Second Reading:: 1 Thess 1: 5C-10
Gospel:: Mt 22: 34-40

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/26/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 22:34-40

Homily
Date
10/26/14
10/25/14
10/24/14