St. Edith Stein
Edith Stein was born in Breslau, Poland (formerly Germany). Her father died when she was only one year old. Her older sister, Else, spent a lot of time raising her younger siblings since her mother had to work.
As a child, Edith Stein enjoyed reading. Though she did not like having the reputation of being the "smart one", she devoted long hours to learning and became the top student in her grade.
Stein started to learn about the Catholic faith in 1911. Through her studies in philosophy and phenomenology, she eventually became interested in faith itself. Facing discrimination as a Jewish woman when she applied for teaching positions at universities did not prevent her from searching for the truth. Stein discovered the works of Saint Teresa of Avila which led her through a journey of faith and transformation. Until the Nazis banned anyone of Jewish descent from teaching in 1933, she taught at the pre-college level. She completed her vows as a Carmelite nun (the same community as St. Teresa of Avila) and took the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. This conversion was difficult for her family and became even more challenging as the Nazis moved into Germany. With growing concerns for her safety, she moved to a convent in the Netherlands on December 31, 1938. Her sister Rosa, who had also converted to Catholicism joined her. As the Nazis moved into the Netherlands in 1942, both sisters applied for a Swiss visa with the hopes of moving to a convent in Switzerland. Stein refused to leave her sister when Rosa did not get her visa. They were removed from their convent on August 2, 1942 by the Nazis and sent to the concentration camp in Auschwitz, Poland where they died on August 9, 1942.
She was canonized on October 11, 1998 by Pope John Paul II. St. Edith Stein holds an important place among both Jews and Catholics. Her legacy is one of resilience – the inspiration to search for the truth despite the challenges faced and to dedicate our lives to the truth.
St. Edith Stein Prayer
O my God, fill my soul with holy joy, courage, and strength to serve You. Enkindle Your love in me and then walk with me along the next stretch of road before me. I do not see very far ahead, but when I have arrived where the horizon now closes down, a new prospect will open before me, and I shall meet it with peace.
Together with the families of St. Edith Stein School and St. Josephine Bakhita Parish, we are responsible for building a community that expresses the joy and hope of our catholic faith and visibly symbolizes a deep commitment to academic excellence, life-long learning and faith development.
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Registration for First Reconciliation/First Communion and Confirmation is now open. Please see the September newsletter for more information. The deadline for registration is September 30th, 2023.