“Through guidance of the Holy Spirit, St. Katharine Drexel knew that God was calling her to change the lives of others,” said Bishop Curtis Guillory, SVD, during his homily at the St. Katharine Drexel Mass.
Bishop Guillory celebrated Mass honoring St. Katharine on March 5 at St. Therese, Orange. The African American Ministry sponsored the celebration.
St. Katharine was born in Philadelphia in 1858 as the second child of a wealthy banker. After traveling with her family to the Western states in 1884, she saw the poverty and struggles of Native Americans and African Americans.
“She saw the poverty and God used her to change that,” Bishop Guillory said.
St. Katharine became a missionary in 1887. She gave herself and her inheritance to God through service to Native Americans and African Americans.
One thing that she focused on was education. She founded many schools including Xavier University in New Orleans.
St. Katharine died in 1955 at the age of 96. She was beautified in 1988, and canonized in 2000 by Pope John Paul II.
“St. Katharine gained her strength and guidance from the Blessed Sacrament and the Eucharist,” Bishop Guillory said. “We must follow her example.”