From Jan. 7 through Feb. 1, 2013, students across the Diocese of Wichita are learning about St. Katharine Drexel and following in her footsteps. Walk in Sister's Shoes is a diocese-wide effort to educate students of all ages about this American saint and her legacy of giving to support education.
From Epiphany through the end of Catholic Schools Week students will be encouraged to place a donation in the shoe boxes located in their classrooms. All proceeds will be divided among the diocesan parishes currently qualified for distributions from the St. Katharine Drexel Catholic School Fund.
From Superintendent of Schools, Bob Voboril:
In his “Leading Like Jesus” seminars, Father Kent Hemberger teaches that Catholics who lead must become servants, stewards, and shepherds; servants who understand “it’s not about me;” stewards who understand “it’s not mine;” and shepherds who understand, “it’s all about others, especially the lost, the lonely, and the frightened.
The St. Katharine Drexel Catholic School Fund was established by Bishop Michael O. Jackels to assist the parishes which educate a high percentage of low-income children. These schools, located in the urban city center or in struggling rural areas, often lack essential resources to meet the greater needs of at-risk students. The Drexel Fund, then, tries to help equalize the resources of our schools so that low-income children and their families can access the same quality Catholic education that middle and upper class Catholic families enjoy.
The fund is named for St. Katharine Drexel, an early 20th century American nun who was one of the richest women in America. She gave up all her wealth to found an order of nuns who would serve the poorest children of her time – African-Americans and Native-Americans. Her passion to use every penny of her inheritance for the poor was so relentless that she would wear her shoes up to ten years at a time, and when the cobbler would refuse to repair them any further, she would nail them together herself.
For the second consecutive year, the Catholic school children of the Diocese of Wichita have been challenged to walk in Sister Katharine Drexel’s shoes by contributing their own money to classroom shoeboxes. All proceeds will be distributed back to the parish schools who serve the poorest of today’s poor. The school which has the highest per capita gift will host a press conference on March 3, the feast of St. Katharine Drexel, when the final tally for Walk in Sister’s Shoes II is announced. The chairperson for this year’s campaign is Sheryl Baker of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish.
Throughout the month of January students in Catholic schools across the Diocese will listen to this special audio message from Bishop Jackels about the Walk in Sister's Shoes campaign.