Cathedral plans to transfer remains of St. Katharine Drexel

Mark Abrams
July 24, 2018 - 4:22 pm
A conceptual view of the shrine for St. Katharine Drexel at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul.

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The remains of St. Katharine Drexel will be transferred from the site of the motherhouse convent she founded in Bensalem to a new resting place.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia said the saint's crypt will be moved from the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament motherhouse to the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in the next several weeks.

Father Dennis Gill, the cathedral's rector, said some preparatory work — such as a stand for the crypt and other stone work — has to be completed first. She will be placed near the Drexel family altar at the left rear of the cathedral. 

"The construction will take just a few weeks," he said, "and during that time there will be a private transfer of the sacred remains of St. Katharine Drexel."

The transfer will happen by sometime in September.

Gill said the Archdiocese has high hopes for raising the saint's profile once she arrives.

"We also hope to provide flexible seating and opportunities even for groups to come and pray and be present to our saint as she's buried here in this new place in the cathedral," he added.

A conceptual view of the shrine for St. Katharine Drexel at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul.
Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Sister Donna Breslin, president of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, said her fellow sisters are grateful for their founder's new home and believe the public exposure will remind the pious of her mission. 

"Today more than ever, St. Katharine speaks to us to remind us that we are, each and every one of us, children of a loving God, no matter what our faith, and no matter what our race, and no matter what our ethnicity or social status," she said.