Meet our foundress: Saint Katharina Kasper

an interview with Sister Germaine Hustedde, PHJC about the amazing woman who started the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ

Q. Who was Saint Katharina Kasper?

If Saint Katharina’s patched and worn shoes could speak, they would have many tales to tell. From her youth, Katharina was untiringly ready to help the needy, the sick, and the children. She was a person with a loving heart.

Q. How has Saint Katharina inspired you to follow her vision?

Katharina had a burning love of Jesus and His Blessed Mother. The Heilborn Chapel, a short distance from her home, was a place of listening and conversation with her God. It was there that she felt more and more drawn to love and service. Her attentive ear and courageous heart inspires me.

Q. What values and works do you find especially important? 

In her own words, Katharina said in 1884

The path we should tread …is namely to seek our loving God in greater perfection, to serve and love Him more.” 

Her mission and ministry knew no bounds or borders. She reached out wherever possible to tend to the sick, the suffering, the needy, and the children.

Q. Do you have a favorite story about Saint Katharina?

Mr. Gerresheim, in Germany, created a large bronze statue of Saint Katharina. She is lovingly depicted attending to a homeless worker, characterized by hunger and exhaustion. Katharina lovingly offers him a Rosary and a coin – a dual expression of embracive love – both spiritual and physical.

Q. What three virtues exemplify Saint Katharina?

I think Katharina’s compassion, humbleness, and dedicated service characterize her well.