Saint Katharine Drexel Research Paper

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Saint Katharine Drexel, S.B.S., was an American heiress, philanthropist, religious sister, educator, and foundress. She was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church in 2000; her feast day is observed on March 3. She is the only canonized saint to have been born a United States citizen. Katharine Mary Drexel was born in Philadelphia on November 26, 1858, the second child of investment banker Francis Anthony Drexel and Hannah Langstroth. Her family owned a considerable fortune. She was born into a tradition of philanthropy. Her uncle was the founder of Drexel University. Hannah died five weeks after her baby's birth. For two years Katharine and her sister, Elizabeth were cared for by their aunt and uncle, Ellen and Anthony Drexel. When Francis married Emma Bouvier in 1860 he brought his two daughters home. A …show more content…

She wanted to do something specific to help. Thus began her lifelong personal and financial support of numerous missions and missionaries in the United States. After her father died in 1885, Katharine and her sisters had contributed money to help the St. Francis Mission on South Dakota’s Rosebud Reservation. For many years she took spiritual direction from a longtime family friend, Father James O’Connor, a Philadelphia priest who later was appointed vicar apostolic of Nebraska. When Kate wrote him of her desire to join a contemplative order, Bishop O’Connor suggested, “Wait a while longer....... Wait and pray.” Her uncle, Anthony Drexel, tried to dissuade her from entering religious life, but she entered the Sisters of Mercy Convent in Pittsburgh in May 1889 to begin her six-month postulancy. Her decision rocked Philadelphia social circles. The Philadelphia Public Ledger carried a banner headline: “Miss Drexel Enters a Catholic Convent—Gives Up Seven Million". In all, Drexel established 50 missions for Native Americans in 16

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