Sharing our call to be a sign
of the power of the Eucharistic Christ
to effect unity and community among all peoples…
St. Katharine Drexel wrote to the sisters in ministry outside of the Motherhouse: “It must be that you depend on lay apostles to bring the Celestial Fireworks into the market. Jesus comes to “set fire on earth,” and what wills He but that it be enkindled? … Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament … becomes the immense factory for the Celestial Fireworks, and you the instruments to manufacture or develop lay apostles as living advertisements displaying in themselves the qualities of these fireworks and as instruments distributing them and sending forth sparks to set them ablaze.”
Throughout our Congregation, we are blessed with many lay people and other religious who work side by side with us sharing the Gospel especially with the poor among the Black and Native American people. Others run with the values lived by St. Katharine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and bring them into the market place, government offices, homes and neighborhoods. By promoting justice, they foster peace and harmony.
Throughout the years, we were blessed at the Motherhouse to have two groups who served quietly behind the scenes — our Honor Guards and our Craft Volunteers. The presence of Honor Guards in the crypt and chapel of the National Shrine helped visitors to feel comfortable and safe. The Gift Shop’s attractive displays owed much to the nimble fingers and creative imagination of the women who turned creative ideas into wonderful creations that filled the shelves of our Mission Center Gift Shop for years. Both of these groups were comprised of outstandingly generous individuals who volunteered their time, energy, and even supplies, to assist the SBS.
On the national level there are the Associates of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament (ASBS) and many local chapters of our Alumni Organization. While the Alumni Organization has grown smaller as the number of schools run by our sister has declined over the last 35 years and due to the aging of our Alumni members, there are still seven active chapters. During the year the chapters hold fund-raising and social events to help support the ministry of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. The groups used to come together for an annual picnic at the Motherhouse each July to have fun together and celebrate their oneness with each other and the Sisters at Mass in the afternoon.
The number of ASBS, meanwhile, has been growing. While most of these faith communities were organized in areas where SBS have served, some have sprung up elsewhere. ASBS can be found from Illinois to Louisiana, from Georgia to Arizona and from Maine to California. There is also a group in Haiti that has taken on the responsibility of the SBS mission there.
St. Katharine relied on the assistance and encouragement of her relatives and friends, but especially the support of her sister Louise Drexel Morrell. The Associates see Louise as the first ASBS member.