St. Katharine Drexel: Educator, Philanthropist, and Catholic Foundation Patron
Join us March 3rd in celebrating the feast day of St. Katharine Drexel, the patron saint of the Catholic Foundation of Michigan.
St. Katharine (1858-1955) was born in Philadelphia as the second daughter of a prominent banker and was no stranger to philanthropy. When Katharine’s father passed away, he donated a portion of his estate to various Catholic charities and left the rest to his three daughters.Shortly after their father’s death, Katharine and her sisters made a significant contribution to the St. Francis Mission on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. Later in an audience with Pope Leo XIII, the pope suggested to Katharine that she become a missionary and support American Indian missions.
Katharine responded to that invitation and at age 33 she established a new religious congregation, the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. Her order opened numerous schools to serve American Indian and African American communities and also founded Xavier University in New Orleans.
The Vatican cites four notable aspects of St. Katharine’s legacy: a love of the Eucharist; courage and initiative in addressing social inequalities among minority groups; a belief in quality education for all people; and selfless service, including the donation of her inheritance.
Patrons are considered protectors and advocates for particular causes. The Catholic Foundation of Michigan is honored to have St. Katharine Drexel as our patron because of her inspiring commitment to philanthropy and to serving the needs of under-resourced communities in the United States.
Celebrate the Feast of St. Katharine with us by generously contributing to one of our Field of Interest Funds that build up our local Catholic community through annual impact grants to Catholic schools, parishes, and community organizations.
We are blessed by your support and your partnership; please continue to keep the Catholic Foundation of Michigan in your prayers.