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 Virginia: “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.
Here at the Motherhouse we have two groups who serve quietly behind the scenes — the Honor Guards and the Craft Volunteers. The presence of Honor Guards in the crypt and chapel of the National Shrine helps visitors to feel comfortable and safe. The Gift Shop’s attractive displays owe much to the nimble fingers and creative imagination of the women who can take a few scraps of cloth, a bit of lace and a glue gun and voila! a doll graces the shelves.
On the national level there are the Associates of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament (ASBS) and the National Alumni Organizations. While the National Alumni Organization has grown smaller as the number of schools run by our sister has decline over the last 35 years and Alumni members are growing older, 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 come together for a picnic at the Motherhouse in July, 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 encouraged of her relatives and friends, but especially of her sister Louise Drexel Morrell. The Associates see Louise as the first ASBS.