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|Saint Katharine Drexel|
|Born||November 26, 1858Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,|
|Died||Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania|
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Beatified||November 20, 1980 by Pope John Paul II|
|Canonized||October 1, 2000 by Pope John Paul II|
|Major shrine||Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania|
|Patronage||philanthropists, racial justice|
Katharine Mary Drexel (November 26, 1858 – March 3, 1955) is a Roman Catholic Saint. Katharine dedicated her life and inheritance to the needs of oppressed Native Americans and Blacks in the West and Southwest United States, and was a vocal advocate of racial tolerance. To address racial injustice and destitution and spread the Gospel to these groups, Katharine established a religious order, the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored People. Because Katharine felt a universal need for education, especially among Blacks and Native Americans, she financed more than 60 missions and schools around the United States. Because of her lifelong dedication to her faith and her selfless service to the oppressed, Pope John Paul II canonized her on October 1, 2000, to become only the second recognized American-born saint (after Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in 1975).
Katharine was beatified by Pope John Paul II on November 20, 1988. The Vatican identified in Katharine a fourfold legacy: A love of the Eucharist and her perspective on the unity of all peoples; courage and initiative in addressing social inequality among minorities; her efforts to achieve quality education for all; and her selfless service, including the donation of her inheritance, for the victims of injustice. She is known as the Patron Saint of racial justice and of philanthropists.
Her feast day is March 3, the anniversary of her death. She is buried in Cornwells Heights, Bensalem Township.
Saint Katharine Drexel Mission Center and Shrine
The Saint Katharine Drexel Mission Center and Shrine is located at 1663 Bristol Pike, Bensalem, Pennsylvania. The Mission Center offers retreat programs, historic site tours, days of prayer, presentations about Saint Katharine Drexel, and lectures and seminars related to her legacy. Furniture and exhibits tell the story of St. Katharine Drexel, the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, and the accomplishments of black and Native American people.
The saint's tomb lies under the main altar in St. Elizabeth Chapel, where visitors may pray daily.
Parishes and schools named for St. Katherine Drexel
Numerous Catholic parishes and schools bear the name of St. Katherine Drexel.
- St. Katherine Drexel Parish of Cape Coral, FL
- St. Katherine Drexel Parish of Venice, FL
- St. Katharine Drexel Parish of Weston, FL
- St. Katharine Drexel Parish of Frederick, MD
- St. Katherine Drexel Parish of Roxbury, MA
- St. Katherine Drexel Parish of Alton, NH
- St. Katherine Drexel Parish of Burlington, NJ (with two worship sites: All Saints Church and St. Paul Church)
- St. Katherine Drexel Parish of Egg Harbor Township, NJ
- St. Katherine Drexel Parish of Chester, PA
- St. Katherine Drexel Parish of Lansford, PA
- St. Katherine Drexel Parish of Mechanicsburg, PA
- St. Katherine Drexel Parish of Sioux Falls, SD
- St. Katherine Drexel Parish of Hempstead, TX
- St. Katharine Drexel Parish of Kaukauna, WI
St. Katharine Drexel School of Philadelphia, PA
- Roman Catholicism in the United States#American Catholic Servants of God, Venerables, Beatified, and Saints
References and notes
Tarry, Ellen (1958). St. Katharine Drexel - Friend of the Oppressed. New York: Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, Inc.