Friday 28 September 2018

Saint Katharine Drexel The Total Gift - Susan Helen Wallace & Barbara Kiwak - Encounter the Saints Series Book 15

Saint Katharine Drexel
The Total Gift
Encounter the Saints Series Book 15
Susan Helen Wallace
Barbara Kiwak (Illustrator) 
Pauline Books and Media
ISBN 9780819870681

This series is amazing! Between my three children and I we have now read 29 of the books in this series. Either by myself, or with one or more child. My children ages 12, 10, and 8 love these books. My son keeps asking to buy his own set so he can keep them in his room. And as soon as we finish one book he wants to begin on another. With each of the books we read we appreciate this series more. And to be honest hope there will be even more books in the future. But now back to this specific book on Saint Katharine Drexel.

I must admit I was familiar with the name Katharine Drexel but beyond the name I knew little of her story. My son and I were amazed as we worked out way through this book. About her devotion, her faith, her generosity, and her service. My son was particularly fascinated by her family's prayer room their house. She travelled so far and wide in an age when travel was not nearly as easy as today. She was friends with numerous bishops, and met Popes. But her greatest achievement was founding an order of religious sisters that specialized in schools for black and natives. Whenever there was a request for her nuns she found a way. She worked hard, she travelled to each school and each house of the order every year. She gave of her own inheritance and supported the ministry of others also. 

The chapters in this book are:
Hannah's Gift 
Life on Walnut Street 
Learning to Help 
Happy Memories 
The Grand Tour 
Peace in Suffering 
Unexpected Sorrow 
Friend of the Missions 
"Why Not You?"
No Turning Back 
A Share in the Cross 
Growing Pains 
Southern Beginnings 
To the Navajos 
A Dream Come True 
Louisiana Adventures 
When Saints Meet 
So Much to Do 
A Matter of the Heart 
"Do You See the Children?"

This book is deeply moving. Often my son asked for one more chapter when we should have been done reading for the night. The story of Katharine and her nuns really encouraged and challenged both of us.

The prayer in this volume is:

"Saint Katharine, there's so much I can learn from you.  Even though many persons today act as if money is the most important thing in the world, you show me that it isn't.  It's people who are more important than anything else.  And you teach me how to treat them with care, compassion and love, just as Jesus would.

I want to become as unselfish as you were, Saint Katharine.  It's not always easy, so I need your help.  Ask Jesus to show me how I can use the gift of my own life to make the world a better place for everyone.  Thank you, Saint Katharine.


This is one of eight books in the series written by Susan Helen Wallace. And one of seven illustrated by Barbara Kiwak. It follows the format of the series in that there are 5 illustrations sprinkled throughout the book. They appear to either be pencil drawings or charcoal sketches. My son was fascinated by the sketches and went over them almost every time we read the book. 

Reading this book you will find out many details about Katharine's life. About her sisters. The loss of her mother at a young age. About her step mother. And her fathers and step mothers devotion. You will find out a lot about this second US born saint. But what will move you most is her commitment to following Jesus. Where ever God led she followed. And that is what we took away most from the book. Our personal need to live for God and follow where he leads.

My son and I loved this book, and all three children and I love this series! We have now read 28 of the books in the Encounter the Saints Series from Pauline Books and Media. And every one has been a gem. Another amazing read in an wonderful series!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!

Encounter the Saints Series from Pauline Books and Media:
Blessed James Alberione Media Apostle
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati Journey to the Summit
Journeys with Mary Apparitions of Our Lady
Saint André Bessette Miracles in Montreal
Saint Anthony of Padua Fire and Light
Saint Bakhita of Sudan Forever Free
Saint Bernadette Soubirous And Our Lady of Lourdes
Saint Catherine Labouré And Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
Saint Clare of Assisi A Light for the World
Saint Damien of Molokai Hero of Hawaii
Saint Edith Stein Blessed by the Cross

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Daughter of America
Saint Faustina Kowalska Messenger of Mercy
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini Cecchina's Dream
Saint Francis of Assisi Gentle Revolutionary
Saint Gianna Beretta Molla The Gift of Life
Saint Ignatius of Loyola For the Greater Glory of God
Saint Isaac Jogues With Burning Heart
Saint Joan of Arc God's Soldier
Saint John Bosco Champion for the Young
Saint John Neumann Missionary to Immigrants
Saint John Paul II Be Not Afraid
Saint John Vianney A Priest for All People
Saint Juan Diego And Our Lady of Guadalupe
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha: Courageous Faith
Saint Katharine Drexel The Total Gift
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque And the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Saint Martin de Porres Humble Healer
Saint Maximilian Kolbe Mary's Knight
Saint Paul The Thirteenth Apostle
Saint Pio of Pietrelcina Rich in Love
Saint Teresa of Avila Joyful in the Lord
Saint Teresa of Calcutta Missionary of Charity
Saint Teresa of Kalkota Missionary of Charity

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