SBS Special Features
The SBS Special Features page highlights noteworthy information about our mission,
ministries, and recognition received by the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament &
Associates for their work to effect unity and community among all peoples.
A Black History Month Special Feature
Sr. Beulah Martin, SBS, Award Recipient for Exemplifying the Liberating Spirit and Courage of Harriet Tubman
At an award banquet held on Jul 12, 2017, during the National Black Sisters Conference in Orlando, Florida, Sr. Beulah Martin received the Harriet Tubman Award. This award is presented to a member of the National Black Sisters Conference who has demonstrated the service and dedication as a liberator of African Americans and/or peoples of the African Diaspora. Sr. Beulah was recognized for responding to the call to be “Moses to Her People”, just as Harriet Tubman was called to be “Moses to Her People.”
Sr. Beulah Martin, SBS, the 2017 recipient of the Harriet Tubman Award, has embraced her service to God as a liberator, too. Sr. Beulah experienced her education in Crowley, Louisiana, where she unselfishly aspired like Harriet to assist others. For Sr. Beulah, she achieved this through the education of young children. Just as Harriet led others to liberation Sr. Beulah did likewise, leading many young children to receive a fair education like they deserved.
Who is Sr. Beulah Martin?
Sister Beulah Martin, S.B.S. has been a member of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament since 1979, an order founded by Saint Katherine Drexel to bring racial justice and empowerment through education to Native and African Americans. She has been a member of NBSC (National Black Sisters Conference) for 38 years.
Sister Beulah is the ninth of twelve children born to the late Lawrence and Enola Martin. Her parents and grandparents taught her to put God first in her life. Sr. Beulah began her faith training at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Crowley, Louisiana. She is a graduate of Crowley High School and the University of Southwestern Louisiana where she earned a B.A. in elementary education.
She has two masters degrees, one in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Workshop Way©
(a method of teaching that concentrates on human growth in education) from Xavier University in New Orleans, LA; and another in Early Childhood Advocacy from National Louis University in Chicago, IL. She knew she would need to educate herself if she were to help educate God’s children.
She was called to religious life while teaching at Rayne Catholic Elementary in Rayne, LA. Her first education ministry was at Holy Ghost Catholic School in New Orleans, LA followed by ministries at St. Ignatius Catholic School in Philadelphia, PA; St. Elizabeth Catholic School in Chicago, IL; St. Patrick Catholic School in Memphis, TN; Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School in Birmingham; St. Charles Borromeo Church in New York, NY and Resurrection Catholic School in Montgomery, AL and Francis Emma, Powhatan, VA. Sr. Beulah has served as a consultant for Workshop Way — a system of human growth education that helps children and adults to focus on building self-esteem and now is Director/Teacher at Little Zion Workshop Way Preschool, Powhatan, VA.
Sr. Beulah Martin poses holding the Harriet Tubman Award plaque. Celebrating with her
are Sr. Stephanie Henry, SBS; Sr. Nathalee Bryant, SBS; and Sr. Roland Lagarde, SBS.
Who is Harriet Tubman?
Araminta “Minty” Ross (later known as Harriet Tubman) was born into slavery in Maryland. Since birth records were not kept, it is by her own accounting that her year of birth was 1825. Defiantly, as a slave, Minty sang songs about freedom and planned her own escape in 1849.
Never fearful of the personal risk to herself, Harriet exhibited great courage, determination, and stubbornness throughout her life…traveling over 90 miles on foot to gain her own freedom from slavery and making many return trips to lead other slaves to safety and freedom. She freed 300 plus people from slavery.
SBS Award Recipients
Since the inception of the Harriet Tubman Award in 1984, the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament have had five Sisters honored for their individual achievements…
SBS Award Recipients of the Harriet Tubman Award:
1992, Sr. Roland Lagarde, SBS
1994, the late Sr. Beatrice Jeffries, SBS
2002, Sr. Jane Nesmith, SBS
2008, Sr. Donna Banfield, SBS
2017, Sr. Beulah Martin, SBS
Sr. Christine Smith, SBS,
Receives Robert L. Ruffin Award
Entering the novitiate of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament in 1963 and later taking her vow of commitment in 1966, Sr. Christine Smith, SBS, was just at the beginning of her journey of following Jesus to work for justice within the Black and Indian communities. That lifelong journey has lead her to ministries in Louisiana, Alabama, Washington, D.C., Georgia, New Mexico, New York and finally Boston, where she received well-deserved recognition for her multiple ministries of community outreach and evangelization within the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.
Sr. Christine is one very busy woman with a fire of the Eucharist in her heart. Sister’s dedication to that “total gift of self” ministry of the SBS has lead her to visit the sick and shut-ins at homes, nursing care facilities and hospitals as the Pastoral Associate at both St. Patrick and St. Katharine Drexel parishes. Some other responsibilities assigned to her Pastoral Ministry work include directing RCIA and conducting Bible Study prayer groups. As if that is not keeping her schedule busy enough, Sr. Christine’s weekly ministries in Social Services at St. Patrick Senior Club (TWL) and St. Katharine Drexel Senior Club include assisting with guest speakers, cultural and entertainment trips and monthly health care screenings. She also participates in weekly gatherings in the Cyber Cafe with Emmanuel College Students and edits a column in the weekly bulletin entitled “Living the Liturgical Year with the words of Sr. K.D.”
Still amazingly, Sr. Christine sets time aside in her busy schedule to provide community outreach as a member of the Mount Pleasant Avenue, Vine and Forest St. Association. She has even been known to stand on local street corners with a placard in 3 languages reading…Catholic Church! God Loves You! Come Back! — keeping evangelization alive within her community. She also makes her religious presence known through the rosary and prayer as well as walking and talking with others throughout the neighborhood.
It is no wonder why she was selected to receive the Robert L. Ruffin Award at the 24th Annual Bishop James Augustine Healy Award Dinner for her “selfless sacrifice, creative vision and significant service to the Black Catholic community.” Some of her fellow Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament attended the event with her including SBS Vice President, Sr. Jane Nesmith, who gave the formal introduction at the awards presentation held on Nov. 18, 2017 in Massachusetts. Sister and the other award recipients, Sr. Joyce McMullen and Tchintcia Barro, have truly “fostered educational opportunities, demonstrated strong personal faith and compassion, and have reflected in their lives active concern for the unity of the Church”, some of the criteria required to received the award recognition.
Congratulations to Sr. Christine Smith, SBS! Be blessed as you continue to keep the charism of St. Katharine alive through your fruitful ministries. To view all of these photos, visit the album on our SBS Facebook page by clicking here.
Three SBS Recognized at Xavier University Founder’s Day Convocation Ceremony in New Orleans
Long-time biology professor and athletic faculty representative,
Sr. Grace Mary Flickinger, S.B.S. (center); Xavier President, Dr. Reynold Verret (left); and President Emeritus, Dr. Norman C. Francis ’52 (right) during the annual Founder’s Day Convocation honoring Sr. Grace Mary for her 50 years of service to the University. Sr. Grace Mary was awarded Professor Emerita status by XULA at the ceremony on October 10, 2017. Sister Grace Mary has recently retired to live out her ministry at Paul’s Run in northeast Philadelphia.
Also honored at the Xavier University Convocation Ceremony were two other Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament who have reached milestones in their teaching ministry at the school. Sr. Jean Marie Craig, SBS, marked her 35th year teaching Physical Education and working as an Associate Professor of the Division of Education & Counseling. Sister Jean Marie also celebrated her 12th year as the Director of Student Teachers. Fellow Sister, Sr. Donna Gould, SBS, was recognized for 20+ years in Academics as an English professor at the University (29, to be exact).
Congratulations to all three of these Sisters on receiving recognition for reaching these milestones, as well as for their hard work and dedication to providing excellence in education. We applaud your efforts!
NAACP Golden Feather Recognition
On Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, the NAACP Bucks County Branch #2253 acknowledged St. Katharine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed with the Pioneer Award for 2017 for being “one who goes before, showing others the way to follow” and for the many distinguished contributions made throughout the years. U.S. House Representative for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Gene DiGirolamo presented this citation,“…Throughout its history, Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament has made inestimable contributions to the welfare of society through a sense of fellowship and through its programs, which are designed to enhance the quality for all. A succession of dedicated leaders and members has made this possible, keeping ever mindful of noble maxims of the organization.” State Senator, Robert Tomlinson, gave congratulations and recognition to the SBS for their “adherence to the highest standards of service which contribute in a meaningful way toward a better and more productive society.”
The Sisters also received a U.S. flag flown over the U.S. Capitol presented by Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick in recognition of achieving the NAACP Pioneer Award. Sr. Jane Nesmith and Sr. Patricia Downs represented the SBS in accepting the flag, the Pioneer Award, and the citations at the 66th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet hosted at Parx East. During Sr. Jane’s acceptance speech, she reminded the attendees of the importance of the words of St. Katharine Drexel 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 pull us down.”
Special congratulations to Joyce Hadley who was one of the Community Service Award Honorees. Joyce has a lengthy history of service throughout Bucks County and is a Life Member of the NAACP, where she has formerly served as Secretary and Vice President of the Bucks County Branch. Joyce is the Assistant Director of the Associates of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament (ASBS), serves on the Social Justice Committee for the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament (SBS), and has been honored with many other awards for her community service. Congratulations, Joyce, on a well-deserved honor.