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Monday, June 9, 2014

St. Katharine Drexel

This is a "guest post" from my mom, Hunter's Nana:
This past weekend Elise, myself and Mrs. Karen Bonin (Principal of St Edward Catholic elementary school) took Hunter to Bensalem, Pennsylvania to the Shrine of St. Katharine Drexel.  We have a special place in our hearts for St. Katharine as both Elise and her brother went to elementary school in New Iberia (at one of the schools that her Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament founded),  They have been an active part in praying for Hunter and supporting his journey.  St. Katharine founded schools for children and young adults all over the USA and Haiti.
Hunter did awesome on the airplane rides both there and back.  We were so happy about that, because he is quite active.  The cochlear implant device that he wears has a place to plug in earphones, so we brought a portable DVD player and he watched movies when he wasn't watching the clouds, playing games or snacking.  Really, he just did so well. 
We were welcomed by the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament when we arrived there, several of whom used to be at St. Edward school years ago.  We went to mass Sunday morning in their chapel and to our great excitement and surprise (but not Mrs. Karen's surprise, as she had arranged it for us), a man named  Robert Gutherman was there.  He was St. Katharine's first Vatican-approved miracle that was necessary for her to be canonized as a saint.  In 1974 at age 14, Mr. Gutherman was cured of deafness in one of his ears (the other ear was fine) after a long and painful infection in that ear which finally culminated in an unsuccessful surgery.  He was told by the surgeon,  while in the Recovery Room, that he would never hear again out of that ear.  Young Robert continued to tell the surgeon that he actually COULD hear out of that ear, and finally his hearing was tested and they discovered indeed that he did have hearing in that ear.  The medical experts called the cure medically inexplicable.  Enter God, right?  Because with God all things are possible!
Mr. Gutherman had been an altar boy at the Mother Katharine Drexel chapel (where we met him) and his very large family had prayed often to Mother Katharine for his healing and relief of his severe pain.  Their local priest had them document all that had happened and it was eventually forwarded  to Rome.  He was interviewed and examined many times, and in 1988, 14 years after the miracle happened, Pope John Paul II declared his as the first documented miracle of Katharine Drexel.  AND WE MET THIS MAN!!!!!  He told us he had been praying for Hunter for 2 years and following his blog, since Mrs. Karen told him about Hunter. She had met him there on a visit two years prior.   We were overwhelmed with gratitude.  It was such an honor and privilege to meet him.  He came with us to the crypt of St. Katharine where we sat Hunter on it, prayed for him and then Hunter said a Hail Mary and Glory Be like a pro!  Mr. Gutherman stayed and visited with us a little longer, such a kind and interesting man.  We are so very grateful for his prayers and keep him in ours.
St. Katharine's second Vatican approved miracle was also a cure of deafness in Amy Wall, a one-year-old girl.
The rest of our trip included wandering around the beautiful grounds, visiting with the sisters and........entertaining an active 3-year-old.  He had them all so charmed, especially when he would say his prayers.  And he didn't knock anyone over who was in a wheelchair or using a walker, that was a grand success.  Because running is what he does, there is very little walking.  lol.  We also brought him to the altar at the chapel and sat him up there where Sr. Agnes had him touch the tabernacle, telling him  that Jesus lived in there and asking for prayer and healing.  It was such a beautiful witnessing. 
We are thankful to Mrs. Karen for accompanying us and giving us so much history (and help with Hunter)  and the sisters for their hospitality and letting us be a small part of their lives.  There are many sisters who live there in various states of retirement/active work/good health/bad health.  They devoted and still devote their whole lives to serving God and community , and we were blessed just to be in their presence. 
Hunter went on the elevators there about 172 times.  It was ALLLLLL he wanted to.  Well, except go on the bus, the train, the escalator and the airplane at the airport.  We soaked up so much from this experience and all too soon had to return home.  God is good.
Here are a few of the pictures from the trip-

Here are a few pictures of the grounds:


And the breathtaking Chapel:
Here is a picture of Mr. Gutherman and Hunter at the Shrine:
And the wonderful principal at SES, Mrs. Karen in there as well :)
 This was when Hunter was saying his prayers at the Shrine:
And a few more at the Shrine:

Hunter, Nana and Sister Agnes at the Altar:
Saint Katharine Drexel:

Hunter with Sister Michelle who was principal when I went to SES:
Hunter with Sister Agnes:





  1. Great post! Seems like y'all had a great time! What an amazing experience it sounds like!


  2. Thanks for the post! It was interesting to see and read!