Drexel, Katharine 
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Time Period
11/26/1858  - 3/3/1955
Katharine Drexel was born into a prominent Philadelphia family that specialized in banking. Inspired to take up missionary work among Native Americans after witnessing at first hand the plight of Indians in the American West, Drexel decided to forgo the inheritance left to her by her father.

Drexel founded in 1891 the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, a religious order devoted to the education as well as moral and practical uplift of Native Americans and African Americans. Drexel and her order of sisters established schools across the United States, the most prominent among them being Xavier University of Louisiana, an institution to provide education for African-Americans.

Drexel was honored for her pioneering work in home missions with beatification in 1988 and canonization in 2000 by Pope John Paul II.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Women and Religion
Catholic Religious Events and People in American History
Browse Related Timeline Entries
Women and Religion in American History
Catholic Religious Events and People in American History
Religious Groups
Catholicism (Western Liturgical Family): Other ARDA Links

Xavier University of Louisiana Founded

Katharine Drexel portrait- The Work of God's Children Educational Project

Katharine Drexel statue- Flickr- photo by indy_catholic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Katharine Drexel writing- Wikimedia Commons
Book/Journal Source(s)
Morris, Charles R., 1997. American Catholic: The Saints and Sinners Who Built America's Most Powerful Church. New York: Times Books.
Williams, Peter W., 2008. America's Religions: From Their Origins to the Twenty-First Century. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.Notes: 3rd ed.)
Web Source(s)
"Katharine Drexel (1858-1955)" Vatican Biography
Web Page Contributor
William S. Cossen
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in History

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