Today is the feast of another American saint, Katharine Drexel, who lived until this date in 1955, dying at the age of 97 years. Coming from a rich family in Philadelphia, Katharine was taught generosity in her home. From the experience of caring for her step-mother through a three-year terminal illness she learned that all the money in the world cannot save a person from suffering and death. Rather she used her inherited money to care for those in need, especially Native Americans and people of color, finally founding the congregation of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament to serve those two underserved populations in the United States.
This seems a good day to reflect on those people in our midst who still suffer from prejudice simply because of the color of their skin or living the traditions of their ancestors. With the present-day rise of racism in our country, we would do well to get to know Katharine Drexel and pray to her for those who are being treated unjustly. Moreover, we ought to examine our own hearts for the prejudice that causes bad behavior and even violence – perhaps hidden even from ourselves. May we follow the example of this sainted woman in welcoming all others into our circle of life and love.