Saturday, March 03, 2012

An American Saint

Sometimes God leads us to a train in good time--then wishes us to wait

Not many young women who grew up with the luxury of great wealth and are destined to inherit millions of dollars in family fortune would consider giving it all up to help poor Native and African Americans. Katharine Drexel was one such heiress who did just that. I suppose that's why she's a saint.

When she met Pope Leo XIII in 1887 and asked him to do more for Native Americans, he challenged her to become a missionary herself. Long story short, she founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and got busy establishing schools and colleges for deprived Americans. St. Katharine Drexel died in 1955 at the age of 96, and her church feast day is today, March 3.

The saints all seem to have one thing in common. Their life stories always involve doing something a bit more worthwhile than tossing an envelope into the collection basket. Just some food for thought on this weekend in Lent.