Friday, February 15, 2013

Blessed Katharine Drexel

My mother, Augusta, and her sister, Onita, attended the cannonization of Mother Katherine Drexel in Rome in 2000.  It was a banner year for my mother: she had her first plane ride; she went to a foreign country for the first time; and she had her first birthday party at the age of 80.  The trip to Rome was an early birthday gift from Onita.

Augusta was chosen to read her composition to Mother Katherine in 1934 at St. Monica. The assigned subject for the composition was "Building for Eternity."  Augusta wrote about doing chores for an ederly neighbor.  She was in the eighth grade and who knew that Mother Drexel would become a saint.

Mother Katherine Drexel was a Philadelphia heiress who founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and started school such as St. Monica to educate poor African Americans and American Indians. Mother Katherine was the daughter of Francis Drexel, whose firm became the investment giant Drexel Burnham Lambert. She used her trust fund to fight poverty and racism through education. Mother Drexel died in 1955.

"When you look back on it, that is great to know somebody who has become a saint," Mom said. "I feel blessed."

15 February 2013

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