Father Hathaway’s weekly column – June 28, 2020

A new Saint Mary parish Apostolate, the Saint Katharine Drexel Society, has been founded in response to recent events of racial injustice. The society prays for the healing of our nation, especially for the historical and continuing wounds inflicted by slavery, and in reparation for the sins of racism, past and present. The group prays the rosary during the Basilica’s Holy Hour on Wednesdays from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. and meets at other times for prayer and fellowship. Father David is the group’s chaplain.

Catholic teaching encourages reparation for our own sins and, through the virtue of the Communion of the Saints and the oneness of the mystical Body of Christ, for the sins of others. Through our prayers, we ask God to repair the spiritual damage done in the past and to heal our community, state, country and the world.

The patroness of the society, Saint Katharine Drexel (1858-1955), was the second American-born saint canonized by the Church. Born in Philadelphia to a wealthy family, she gave up her affluent lifestyle to enter religious life, using her inheritance to minister to the poor and oppressed. She founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, which established more than 100 schools serving Native American reservations and Southern African American inner-city and rural communities. The Sisters never wavered in their mission, even when threatened and their buildings vandalized.

When he canonized Katharine Drexel in 2000, Saint John Paul II said, “She taught a spirituality based on prayerful union with the Eucharistic Lord and zealous service of the poor and the victims of racial discrimination. Her apostolate helped to bring about a growing awareness of the need to combat all forms of racism through education and social services. Katharine Drexel is an excellent example of that practical charity and generous solidarity with the less fortunate, which has long been the distinguishing mark of American Catholics.”

For more information about the Saint Katharine Drexel Society, please contact Monica Favela at mfavela8@gmail.com.

Saint Katharine Drexel, Patron Saint of Racial Justice, pray and intercede for us!


The Papal document, Domus Ecclesiae, spells out specific privileges granted to Saint Mary and other Minor Basilicas throughout the world. The most important of these is the Plenary Indulgence, which you may receive, under the usual conditions, when you devoutly visit the Basilica on certain days and participate in any sacred rite “or at least recite the Lord’s Prayer and the profession of faith.”

One of those days is the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Monday, June 29. If you can, please join us for Mass at 6:30 a.m., 8 a.m. or 12:10 p.m. to honor Saints Peter and Paul. If you meet all the “usual conditions,” you gain a Plenary Indulgence, the “remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1471) Learn more at https://stmaryoldtown.org/basilica/privileges-responsibilities.


Parish offices are closed on Friday, July 3, a federal holiday, with one Mass at 9 a.m. Mass at our regular times on Saturday, July 4: 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. (Vigil for Sunday). Have a relaxing, safe and very Happy Fourth of July!

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