. . . and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
- Acts 2:38
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. - Ps 23:1
For you had gone astray like sheep, but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.
- 1 Peter 2:25
I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly. - John 10:10
Feast Day: March 3
The daughter of a wealthy Philadelphia banker, Katharine received marriage proposals but wanted to become a contemplative nun. After inheriting a fortune, she visited the Dakotas and witnessed American Indians’ poverty, subsequently pleading with Pope Leo XIII to send them more missionaries. But he and others encouraged her to found a congregation to work among people of color. In 1891, she and thirteen companions became the first Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. For more than forty years, she led the order, using her fortune to establish numerous missions and schools for Native Americans and African Americans. Following a heart attack in 1935, which limited her missionary travel, she retired to a life of prayer. Canonized in 2000, she is the patron of home missions.
"Katharine Drexel is an excellent example of that practical charity and generous solidarity with the less fortunate which has long been the distinguishing mark of American Catholics. May her example help young people in particular to appreciate that no greater treasure can be found in this world than in following Christ with an undivided heart and in using generously the gifts we have received."
—St. John Paul II, Homily, October 1, 2000
Copyright © 2017, Catholic News Service–United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved. Quote from St. John Paul II, copyright © 2000, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Vatican City State. All rights reserved. Used with permission. Image: CNS photo, courtesy of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.