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Local nuns head to Rome to celebrate canonization of Sister Katharina Kasper

Happening this weekend in Rome: The founder of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ is being canonized a saint.

The religious community has a base in Marshall County. Sisters from the order are in Rome right now for the celebration.

WSBT 22 spoke to one of the sisters, who say it's about time the world knows about soon-to-be Saint Katharina Kasper, who they describe as humble and simple. But the legacy of service is something we can all learn from.

The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ departed for Rome Thursday to witness the canonization of Sister Kasper.

“This is our first full day in Rome,” said Sr. Judith Diltz, provincial of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. “We are a little bit weary at the moment. We’ve been up well over 24 hours but it’s been delightful.”

Born in 1820 in Dernbach, Germany, Kasper dedicated her life to helping the poor.

Later she founded a religious community that expanded all over the world.

Locally, the Poor Handmaids helped to create St. Joseph Hospital and St. Monica's parish. Following the example set by the sister who started it all.

“She used to walk very simply walking everywhere in Germany, and when she would wear her shoes out she would just trade them one foot for the other foot so that they would wear down more evenly,” said Sr. Deborah Davis.

Kasper died in 1898, leaving behind a legacy of service.

Sister Deborah Davis was in Rome for her beatification. That's when Kasper was given the title "Blessed." 40 years later they say the required miracle occurred to move her forward in canonization and sainthood.

”We think she herself would never have asked to be recognized like this, but she also believed in the holy will of God. And if this is God’s will she would be open to it.”

Provincial Sister Judith Diltz says this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and she's honored to be a part of it. She hopes Kasper's story can set an example for the future.

“Maybe today our world does need people who have less ego and more care and more compassion, and if this is a message we can bring to the world today – that our leadership comes through service.”

Sister Katharina Kasper will be canonized this Sunday, along with six other people.

A special mass to celebrate will take place on November 4 in Plymouth at the Ancilla Chapel.

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