Wednesday, April 28
There are St. Katharine Drexel Parishes all across the country. Here, we feature four parishes and their work to continue St. Katharine’s mission of social justice.
St. Katharine Drexel Parish – Weston, FL
St. Katharine Drexel Catholic Church in Weston, Florida, led by Bishop Enrique Delgado, intentionally organizes ministries that reflect the spirit of self-giving of their patron Saint Katharine Drexel. How do you minister in your daily life?
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St. Katharine Drexel Parish – Sugar Grove, IL
Many area Catholics knew nothing about St. Katharine Drexel when the Diocese of Rockford, Illinois announced the formation of a new parish in 2008 named after her. The parishioners quickly became inspired in a big way by St. Katharine’s spirit and charism. “Very quickly we knew this was a saint we could all love,” Kathy Scott said. In 2013 seven members were commissioned as Associates of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. Now, they continue St. Katharine’s social justice mission by collecting and donating school supplies to a Native American Lakota Reservation in South Dakota.
St. Katharine Drexel Parish – Alton, NH
New Hampshire Parish links with Navajo Reservation
“Justice ceases to be just when it ceases to be human. What do we mean by justice? Be just and fair to each person.” ~ St Katharine Drexel
St Katharine Drexel Parish in Alton, New Hampshire was formed in 2002 and our church was completed and dedicated in July 2005.
Our Pastor at that time was Rev George Ham and he provided the parishioners with four possible choices to think about and vote on, as a name for this new parish was being prepared to be chosen.
Being so soon after the canonization of St Katharine Drexel, it appeared that without a lot of in-depth knowledge of her life, St Katharine Drexel was a very motivating saint to learn about and develop a mission that would guide this new parish into the future. So, the merging of two churches became St Katharine Drexel Parish.
The Ladies of St Katharine Drexel women’s group was formed in 2008 and is still going strong with 30 -35 members. A keen interest was taken up to know as much as possible about our patroness and so began an ongoing learning experience of the life and mission of Katharine Drexel. Members of our parish traveled to the Shrine (when it was in Bensalem) on two parish pilgrimages – 2010 & 2016. Thus began the long standing relationship and support of the Sisters who are missionaries in New Mexico and Arizona. When we had visiting Sisters to our parish in NH we learned much about the poverty and needs of the Navajo people.
Four parish ministries led by the Ladies of St Katharine, collect for the Navajo at every monthly meeting since the fall of 2011. A steady small contribution is sent every month to Sr. Zoe Brenner, SBS to assist her with the needs of the people in her parishes. Once or twice a year additional surplus funds from special collections and donations are sent from our parish. Over ten years we have contributed $24,000. Our parish sent a special collection of over $3000 this year to help with supplies during this devastating Covid crisis. Along with financial support, we remember them in prayer always. Pictures have been sent to and from Navajo so a visual sense can be felt.
St Katharine Drexel Parish in Alton, NH has grown in its parish family mission by knowing the life mission of St Katharine under the guidance of our present pastor, Rev Robert F Cole since 2008. From that early beginning of choosing a name for our new combined parish we have done and will continue to do our best to “follow in her footsteps”.
-Martha Horton, Ladies of St Katharine Drexel
St. Katharine Drexel Parish – Mechanicsburg, PA
St. Katharine Drexel Church in Mechanicsburg, PA was the first parish ever to be named in honor of St. Katharine Drexel. Before their official dedication in their new Church, the parish celebrated their first Mass in 1988. A few short months later, Mother Katharine was beatified by Pope John Paul II, and the parish was dedicated in 1991. Since then, the parish has continuously walked in St. Katharine’s footsteps through their vibrant parish life and ministries.