by Sr. Susan Helen Wallace, FSP
Katharine Drexel was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on November 26, 1858. When Katharine grew up, she was a very active Catholic. She directed her energies and her fortune to helping the poor and forgotten. Her work for Jesus would be among the African American and Native American people. In 1891, Katharine began a new religious community of missionaries. They were called the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. Katharine became known as Mother Katharine. Mother Katharine inherited her family's great fortune. She used the money for wonderful works of charity. She and her sisters built schools, convents, and churches. In 1915, they established Xavier University in New Orleans. Mother Katharine died on March 3, 1955, at the age of ninety-seven. She was declared "blessed" by Pope John Paul II on November 20, 1988, and canonized on October 1, 2000. She is the second native-born United States citizen to be declared a saint. The story of Saint Katharine will help children rethink the value of money and how it is best used, and value treating people with compassion.
Ages 8 – 12