Francis Anthony Drexel, the father of St. Katharine Drexel
It seemed to have come naturally for the Drexels to pray. In Katharine’s childhood it was part of their daily lives to pray together and separately. All her life she would recall the example of prayer given by her father. Daily after his return from a busy day at the bank, after greeting his family and before doing anything else, he would retire to his room for a half hour intimate converse with God. This busy banker found a source of peace and union with God in daily prayer. After his period of prayer he frequently poured out his soul in his favorite classics on the organ.
Many think that to be successful in business and society one needs to abandon prayer, virtue, and Faith and join the ranks of the impious, agnostics, skeptics, and the unconscionable. The witness of Francis Anthony Drexel proves the opposite.
He believed firmly in Our Lord’s words: “I am the vine; you the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
Through prayer and with a spirit of humility, Drexel nourished his union of soul with Christ, thus accomplishing much more than he would ever have done on his own. His good example should inspire the nation’s elites not just to lead, but to lead vigorously, armed with virtue and faith.