Description: The Saint Katharina Kasper Award for Outstanding Service to the Poor is a $1,500 award established in honor of the Foundress of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. These awards are typically given to agencies that typically do not qualify for the St. Joe Foundation’s regular health and wellness grants, but who provide exceptional service and/or basic needs for the poor in Allen County.
Saint Katharina Kasper was born in 1820 in Dernbach, Germany. Though poor in earthly goods, social standing, and formal education, she was rich in compassion and love for the poor and sick, and her mind was alert to the needs of the day. With only $1.50 in her pocket, she built a Center from which she nursed the sick of her village and in which she provided a home for a widow and eight orphans. Other women began joining her work and established the Congregation of Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ in 1851. The religious community has continued to grow and prosper. Today, Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ minister in Germany, England, the Netherlands, India, Mexico, Brazil, and the United States. In recognition of the work Mary Catherine Kasper began and continues to inspire around the world, Pope Francis canonized her as a saint on October 14, 2018.