St. Katharine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, the religious order she founded, were dedicated to serving African-American and indigenous communities, who were often shunted to the margins of society.
St. Katharine established schools across the country to provide a high-quality Catholic education to Catholics and non-Catholics alike. The three schools she founded in Nashville, Immaculate Mother Academy, Holy Family School, and St. Vincent de Paul School, educated generations of African-American students, who went on to live accomplished, productive lives.
Deacon Bill Hill, himself a product of St. Vincent de Paul School, wanted to provide the same opportunity he received from St. Katharine and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament to a new generation of students. He established the Katharine Drexel Scholarship Fund at his alma mater, Father Ryan High School, to provide tuition assistance to African-American students in need.
He exceeded his original goal for the size of the endowment to fund the scholarships and has zeroed in on a new goal. “We’re $35,000 from a quarter of a million, which will allow us to award at least $10,000 a year to deserving students in need as long as the school exists,” Deacon Hill said.
Father Ryan is still accepting donations to the Katharine Drexel Scholarship Fund. For more information about the scholarship fund and how to donate, visit the Father Ryan website, fatherryan.org, or call Director of Advancement Brooke Reusch at 615-269-7926 or Deacon Hill at 615-496-5797.