Sugar Grove Parish Patroness Offers Response to Racism
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
June 25, 2020
SUGAR GROVE—Father Robert Jones, pastor of St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Sugar Grove, points to the patroness of his parish as a model for addressing racism in America.
St. Katharine, he says, “devoted her life to teaching children. She was especially devoted to African American and Native American children.”
St. Katharine spent her inherited fortune founding schools (grade schools, high schools and colleges) throughout the country for Native and Black Americans. Xavier University in New Orleans is probably the best known of her schools, Father Jones says.
“She received a number of death threats throughout her life for her work with African Americans, but it never deterred her from her mission, Father Jones says. “She once said, ‘If there is any prejudice in the mind, we must uproot it, or it will pull us down.  If we live the Gospel, we will be people of justice.’ ”
St. Katharine also founded a religious order, the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. Father Jones says he “felt a responsibility to include” a recent quote from the sisters in his homily on Trinity Sunday:
“In the spirit of St. Katharine Drexel we join our voices with those who (peacefully) march against injustices demanding accountability from those who have the obligation to create (preserve and protect) a just society. 
“All of us are accountable for our response to the Gospel message of Jesus Christ,” he continued, “a message that challenges us to love, and to model that love daily in our interaction with our fellow brothers and sisters (regardless of their race, ethnicity, or heritage).  We pray that justice will be served.”
He also says he quoted from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who said, “We must learn to live together as brothers and sisters or perish together as fools.” 


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