The National Shrine of St. Katharine Drexel welcomes final visitors

The National Shrine of St. Katharine Drexel welcomes final visitors

[The “springtime of Vatican II” comes to Bensalem, Pennsylvania]

By Joan Hellyer
Posted 12/30/17

Members of the general public visited the National Shrine of St. Katharine Drexel in Bensalem on Friday before it was set to close permanently late Saturday afternoon.

The Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament order announced in May 2016 it would reduce its financial burdens by selling the Bensalem property where Drexel’s body is entombed. The saint’s remains will be moved in early 2018 to the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia.

The heiress, who used her inheritance to serve the black and Native American communities, died in 1955. Drexel became the second American-born person to be canonized in 2000 after two miracles involving hearing were attributed to her intercession.

The Bensalem property off Route 13 became a shrine during Drexel’s canonization, and faithful from around the world flocked there to pray for her intercession with God. It is one of two sites the nuns are in the process of selling. The other is a 2,200-acre property they own in Powhatan, Virginia, that previously had been the site of two schools for black students.

The order, which has missions in the United States, Haiti and Jamaica, has worked with a Michigan-based real estate agent to sell the properties. The sisters are awaiting approval from Pope Francis at the Vatican before they announce the transactions.

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