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The Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament was founded in 1891 by Saint Katharine Drexel. Originally called the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored People, the religious institute is commonly known today as the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.

Crypt for "Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored People" in Saint Louis Cemetery #3, New Orleans.


The Third Plenary Council of Baltimore (1884), which at the time was the meeting of all Roman Catholic bishops in the United States, renewed the vigor for missionary work among the "Colored and Indian races". Archbishop James O'Connor of Omaha, acting alongside Katharine Drexel, decided with the approval of Archbishop P. J. Ryan of Philadelphia, to form a new congregation on behalf of Native Americans and African Americans.

The first sisters, including foundress Katharine Drexel, entered religious life under the tutelage of the Sisters of Mercy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They were also inspired by O'Connor, who served as Drexel's spiritual director until his death. After completing a two-year novitiate to learn the foundations of religious life and upon first profession of vows, these sisters were clothed in the habit of the new congregation of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament of the Indians and Colored People. Mother Katharine Drexel (now Saint Katharine Drexel) was installed as superior. Since then, the sisters have staffed a number of Catholic schools for Native American and African American children, which involved collaboration with the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, the Commission for the Catholic Missions among the Colored People and the Indians and other Catholic institutions. The SBS were founded by Katherine Drexel in Cornwells Heights, Pennsylvania and are also headquartered there at St. Elizabeth's Convent.[1] Saint Katherine is entombed there in a crypt in the chapel. The Cornwells Heights locations is currently made up of the Motherhouse of retired Nuns and the location of Saint Katharine Drexel Mission Center and National Shrine. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.[2]


The religious institute of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament has a twofold purpose: the devout honor and service of Our Lord in the Eucharist and the elevation of the Divinity of Jesus Christ to Native Americans and Black Americans through apostolate of prayer and work.


  1. ^ ""National Historic Landmarks & National Register of Historic Places in Pennsylvania"" (Searchable database). CRGIS: Cultural Resources Geographic Information System.  Note: This includes Sr. Mary Ellen Quilty and Sr. Elise Sisson with Charles Cromartie (July 1976). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: St. Elizabeth's Convent" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-10-29. 
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sisters_of_the_Blessed_Sacrament — Please support Wikipedia.
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5 news items

Catholic Online
Sun, 20 Jul 2014 23:10:11 -0700

An order for 350 Bibles for a Catholic school in Grenada has been shipped to the sisters free of international shipping charges, thanks to you, the readers of Catholic Online. The shipping charges stood at approximately $800, and was covered by donations.
Richmond Times-Dispatch
Wed, 09 Jul 2014 10:48:45 -0700

The learning is far from over at Belmead Mansion, where the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament are embracing the educational roots of the historic property. The former plantation turned school is once again welcoming students, albeit in a much younger ...
Tue, 22 Jul 2014 23:11:15 -0700

St. Katharine Drexel founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, who established missions and schools for American Indians and African Americans. George C. Marshall of Uniontown won the Nobel Peace Prize for his ambitious proposal to rebuild Europe ...
Mon, 30 Jun 2014 08:21:05 -0700

He was quick to praise the school, founded by St. Katharine Drexel and her Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, not only for its educational accomplishments but also for quickly getting itself out from under 6 feet of floodwater from the breached levees ...
Canton Repository
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 04:15:00 -0700

Fred has been a practicing Catholic since his 1952 graduation from Xavier University of Louisiana. Operated by the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, Xavier is the only university in the United States that is both black and Catholic. “I have been to ...

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