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Katharine Drexel
The Riches-to-Rags Story of an American Catholic Saint
POD; Published: 8/3/2014
ISBN: 978-0-8028-6992-0
Price: $ 25.50
283 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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Fascinating "riches to rags" life story of a wealthy nun who effectively served marginalized minorities

On October 1, 2000, Pope John Paul II proclaimed Katharine Drexel (1858-1955) to be a saint of the Roman Catholic Church. Only the second American-born Catholic saint in history, Drexel founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament in 1891 and established more than sixty Blessed Sacrament missions and schools.

In this biography Cheryl Hughes chronicles the remarkable life of St. Katharine Drexel, exploring what drove her to turn away from her family's wealth and become a missionary nun who served some of the most underprivileged and marginalized people of her time. Through her inspiration and effort "Mother" Katharine improved the lives of untold numbers of Native Americans and African Americans, overcoming open hostility to her work from various quarters, including the Ku Klux Klan. Her saintly legacy lives on today.
Catholic Press Association 2015 Book Award Second Place in Biography
Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
— Archbishop of Philadelphia
"This is an extraordinary flesh-and-blood portrait of sainthood. Cheryl Hughes captures the drama of real holiness that set Katharine Drexel apart and appealed so powerfully to Pope John Paul II in canonizing her. . . . As Pope Francis calls each of us today to a new spirit of simplicity, austerity, and missionary zeal, this book makes perfect reading for the hungry soul."
Russell Hittinger
— University of Tulsa
"Katharine Drexel stands as perhaps the greatest American example of the fruitfulness of evangelical poverty. This excellent biography of the second American-born saint seems perfectly in key with the evangelical themes sounded by Pope Francis."
Paul A. Rahe
— Hillsdale College
"This book is a wonder - deeply researched, closely reasoned, and gracefully written - which does justice to a neglected but vitally important subject."
Edward J. Slattery
— Bishop of the Diocese of Tulsa
"Katharine Drexel is a modern-day saint. This well-written, well-documented work by Cheryl Hughes promises to reward the reader who searches for holiness in the twenty-first century."
Denise Carmody
— Santa Clara University
"A delightful and insightful account of the life of Mother Katharine Drexel, America's 'riches-to-rags' saint. The prose is clear and accessible; the scholarship reveals the warmth and care that Hughes brings to this work. Not only a tale about the religious maturation of a Catholic heiress who founded an order, this book is also a lively probing of the mystery underlying Drexel's motivations. Often through Drexel's own words, Hughes lets us see the strength and fragility, the confidence and insecurity, the scrupulosity and utter reliance on God that mark Drexel's spirituality."
Catholic Books Review
"Hughes' work is one that was much overdue; few thorough biographies about Saint Katherine Drexel's life have been published until now. The book is an excellent choice for any academic study on religious women in America, the Roman Catholic Church in America, Religion in America, and even just for a seeker looking to be spiritually nourished. Katharine Drexel: The Riches-to-Rags Story of an American Catholic Saint is a book that will fully engage readers, who will not want to put it down."
"A compelling mix of historical data, theological analysis, and contemporary reflection. Hughes raises questions about the intersection of American and Catholic identities and uses Drexel to analyze the relationship. . . . Hughes's admiration of Drexel is clear from the beginning, though this does not cloud her intellectual integrity. Instead, it animates the writing and captures readers' imaginations."
St. Placid Priory Newsletter
"A wonderful biography of Saint Katharine Drexel, only the second American-born canonized Saint, telling of her life and conversion, her spirituality, and the founding of her order, the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament."