CHURCH OF SAINT KATHARINE DREXEL
The Church of Saint Katharine Drexel was established on June 1, 2000, by
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio and the Board of
Consulters. The new parish boundaries were drawn from sections of seven
surrounding parishes very symbolic of the Seven Hills of Rome.
The founding pastor, Reverend Joseph R. Ferrara, was appointed June 20,
2000. In December of 2004, our second Pastor, Rev. John J. Vignone was appointed by Bishop Galante.
The history of the Church of St. Katharine Drexel begins with John McKee
born 1821 in Alexandria, Virginia. John McKee was the son of slaves and
worked as an apprentice to a bricklayer through his teens. Throughout his
life he worked hard and acquired many pieces of property which included
4,000 acres in Atlantic County, of which 2,500 are in Egg Harbor
Township. Much of the property acquired in Egg Harbor Township became known
as McKee City. Colonel John McKee died in 1902 before his dream city was
finished. At the time of his death his obituary read, Colonel McKee is
said to be the wealthiest colored man in the United States. In his Last
Will and Testament, he bequeathed the remainder of his estate to the Most
Reverend Patrick John Ryan, Archbishop of Philadelphia and his successors
in Office, to be used for various uses and trusts.
The Diocese of Camden, under the Leadership of Bishop DiMarzio,
began work on creating this new parish in collaboration with Egg Harbor
Township officials. After establishing the parish in March 2000, the next
step was to obtain this property from the Philadelphia Archdiocese. The
property (#of acres)was conveyed by the
Archbishop of Philadelphia to the Bishop of the Camden Diocese by Court
Order dated March 9, 2001; thus the Church of Saint Katharine Drexel
began its own distinct ministry as the 141st parish in the Diocese of
In little more than five years, the Church of St. Katharine Drexel has
grown to over 1,028 families with 3,825 members. The parish family has
built a Rectory, which includes the Pastors residence, a meeting room,
and a chapel. In 2004, the Parish Life Center (PLC) was completed. It
consists of Drexel Hall, 3 offices, and 8 Instr. /Mgt. rooms.
We are a vibrant, worshiping community, which celebrates the presence of
Christ Jesus through liturgy, many ministries, and an extensive religious
education program. The future looks bright as we continue to Build Gods
House; Build Our Home!
Status of Parish
The Church of Saint Katharine Drexel was established on June 1, 2000. We
celebrated our first set of weekend Masses on July 29/30, 2000 at the
Intermediate School in Egg Harbor Township. We moved into our Parish Life
Center with the "Walk of Faith" May 28, 2004 and celebrated a
dedication Mass with Bishop Galante June 1,
2004. During our first five years, we have....
+the canonization of our patron saint on October 1,2000
(Pope John Paul II, Vatican City, Rome)
+the institution of a "Strategy Team" to organize and plan
+the installation of our first "Pastoral Council"
+the completion of our "Parish Residence & Annex"
+the creation of our "Parish Chapel"
+moving into our new "Parish Life Center"
+the formation of our "Finance Council"
+the installation of our present "Pastoral Council"
+the celebration of our "Ninth" Anniversary
The Future: Family and Community
The Church of Saint Katharine Drexel is a parish for the third Christian
era. Our parish is dedicated to the family and the community at large.
Through the intercession of our patron, St. Katharine Drexel we hope to
live out our baptismal calling through the parish mission and vision
We are committed to each and every family within our boundaries and
parish registry. We are in constant catechesis to assist our people in
becoming well informed Catholic Christians in this new age. We are
companions on the journey, sharing all that we have with one another to
prepare ourselves for the time when we are with God in the Kingdom.
Gift is our blueprint to carry out this call and live
out our faith. Let us be Gift now and forever.