Katharine was born in Philadelphia, PA, in 1858, one of three daughters of wealthy banker Francis Drexel. Her mother, Hannah, died within five weeks of her birth. Having travelled out west with her family as a young girl, she was touched by the deplorable conditions of Native and African Americans. Following this emotion and her desire to serve God, she entered the Convent of the Sisters of Mercy in 1887. She received her final vows in 1891 and established the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored and applied her love, motivation and inheritance to the fulfilment of the religious order’s mission. She died in 1955 at the age of 96. At the time of her death, her order’s accomplishments were monumental. They had started 50 missions for Native Americans in 16 states, opened 63 schools and founded Xavier University in New Orleans, the first Catholic university in the U.S. for African Americans.
|Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament motherhouse|
|St. Edward's School|
Katherine Drexel’s body lies enshrined at the S.B.S. motherhouse in Bensalem, PA. For the good she brought to the poor and for the curative miracles attributed to her, she was beatified in 1988 and canonized a saint in the Catholic Church in 2000. Her feast day is celebrated on March 3.
|St. Katharine Drexel crypt|