A visit to the Shrine honoring St Katharine Drexel

My ongoing recovery from surgery has me doing some minimal blogging and writing… I’m a little late for Katherine Drexel’s feast day, but maybe you’d still enjoy the blog post below that hopes to honor her!


Last fall I enjoyed a marvelous visit, alongside my good friend, Lisa Hendey, to the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia and to see Pope Francis. One of the bonuses of driving there was that on the way home to Boston we got to visit with our mutual friend, Barb Szyszkiewicz. Barb is a blogger at Franciscan Mom, and together with Lisa, is an editor and contributor with over 300 articles over at Catholic Mom.com. We journeyed as a threesome to the National Shrine honoring St Katharine Drexel.

Here’s a few photographic highlights: (Click on any photo to make it larger.)

The Shrine attached to the motherhouse of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, Bensalem, PA.

The Shrine attached to the motherhouse of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, Bensalem, PA.



PA road sign at the Shrine



Outside the chapel with Barb (l) and Lisa (r)


The Visitor's Center and mission offices

The Visitor’s Center and mission offices



Stained glass illustrating the mission and work of St Katharine and the Blessed Sacrament sisters.



More stained glass in a stair well in the visitors center that welcomes pilgrims.



Chapel interior



Chapel altar, note the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in the monstrance.

St Katharine is buried in the crypt area of the Shrine, and there is also a small museum with artifacts from St Katharine’s life.


It was an honor to pray at St Katharine’s tomb.



Above her tomb is a lovely representation of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament being perpetually adored by angels.



The description… “she fell asleep in Christ, March 3, 1955.. in the 97th year of her life.”



Some of the diorama describing the mission of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament… to imitate Jesus in making a “total gift of self” to Him and to those the sisters serve in their apostolate.



Katharine is a modern saint, so we have the saint’s baptismal record!



A place to leave prayer intentions under the saint’s most recognizable portrait.



Katharine’s ring



Chapel kneeler and pew that Katharine used.



John Paul II’s papal bull declaring Katharine a saint of the church.

“The Eucharist is the continuation of the Incarnation.
In it Jesus communicates Himself to me and to every human heart.”
St Katharine Drexel


Visit the National Shrine website.

You might also like this short video about her life…

You might enjoy this earlier Among Women podcast from 2009 in which I share Katharine’s biography. I intend to talk more about her writings and thoughts in an upcoming podcast later this week.