Katharine Drexel was one of three daughters of Francis Drexel, the head of an extremely wealthy family in Philadelphia. As a young girl of 17, she was deeply moved by the concern of Monsignor Stephan for Native Americans and decided to work closely with him. She committed thousands of dollars yearly (eventually over $20 million) from her family inheritance to be channeled through the Bureau for the Education of Indian Students.
Almost every Indian Mission has shared in Mother Katharine’s liberality at one time or another. Her timely and generous aid has often been the salvation in times of crisis.
Influenced further by Monsignor Stephan, Katharine decided her life work should be that of a religious Sister and she became the Foundress of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored People.
THE INDIAN SENTINEL magazine, in March 1941, commenting on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, said that “almost every Indian Mission has shared in Mother Katharine’s liberality at one time or another. Her timely and generous aid has often been the salvation in times of crisis.” The Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions continues to be supportive of many of the missions and schools founded by Saint Katharine Drexel.
Mother Katharine was honored by the Church when she was canonized by Pope John Paul II at St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, October 1, 2000.
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