The Catholic Church celebrates the feast day of St. Katharine Drexel. She founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. She ministered to both African and Native Americans who have been marginalized by an ever-changing society. She even made a fourth vow of service while serving as a Sister of Mercy before finding a new order.
Despite coming from the third wealthiest family in the United States, he detached herself from wealth by using the money to build schools and missions throughout the country for the minority.
What many don’t know about her is the fact that she was a public enemy of the Ku Klux Klan.
In 1922, Mother Katharine received a letter from the Klan that “‘threatened to tar and feather the white pastor at one of Drexel’s schools and bomb his church.”
Her response? She prayed. According to one account: “The nuns prayed, and days later, a tornado came and destroyed the headquarters of the KKK, killing two of their members.”
In the end, the Klan never threatened the sisters again.
St. Katharine Drexel even outsmarted many of the Jim Crow laws that were in effect in many of the southern states. She was a big critic of lynching laws and was not afraid to call out biased newspapers when race was the subject. She even took part in letter-writing campaigns to help support and protect minorities.
She reminds us to, “Have a cordial respect for others in heart and mind; if there is any prejudice in the mind we must uproot it, or it will tear us down.”
“Christ wishes the Christian Community to be a body that is perfect because we work together towards a single end, and the higher the motive which actuates this collaboration the higher, no doubt, will be the union. Now the end in question is supremely exalted: the continuous sanctification of the Body for the glory of God and the Lamb that was slain [Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament].” – St. Katharine Drexel
St. Katharine Drexel, pray for us.