In 2002 the Pastors of Epiphany, Coon Rapids; St. Stephen, Anoka; and St. Patrick, Oak Grove along with officials from the Anoka County Board of Commissioners met with Father Kevin McDonough, the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. In that meeting the pastors described the present burgeoning demographics of their parishes as well as the anticipated growth in this area. It was clear to all that a new Catholic parish was needed in this part of Anoka County. That is the message Father McDonough brought to Archbishop Harry Flynn, who in turn prayed about it, asked more questions and invited his staff to explore it. Archbishop Flynn decided in late March of 2004 that indeed there should be a new parish created and that it should be established in the City of Ramsey.
In April Father McDonough asked Father Paul Jaroszeski if he would be interested in becoming the Pastor of this new parish; without hesitation Father Paul said “YES”! Shortly thereafter, the Archbishop made this formal on May 17, 2004, when he officially appointed Father Paul the founding pastor effective August 15, 2004. Also in May of that year the Archbishop gave this new parish a name, an identity: “THE CHURCH OF SAINT KATHARINE DREXEL.” Saint Katharine, an American saint who died in 1955 was canonized on October 1, 2000.
The Archdiocese encouraged Father Paul to begin thinking about forming a staff to minister together as the parish began. Knowing that Sister Dianne Perry, SSND was open to discerning a new ministry, she was asked if she would be interested in joining in this adventure. She was excited and after approval from her religious superiors, said “YES”!
On June 21, 2004 the State of Minnesota established the Church of Saint Katharine Drexel as a “corporation,” as are all parishes in the Archdiocese and that is the actual date of our founding. The rest, as the saying goes, is history! Well, history to be made that is. What a magnificent opportunity for us all! We have the privilege of founding a new community of faith in this great city of Ramsey. As Disciples of Christ we are being called to bring the message of the Gospel to help influence the life of this city along with our brothers and sisters in the other faith communities of Ramsey. We are being called to evangelize and spread the Good News! Strengthened by God’s Word and nourished by the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist we go out to be the presence of Christ, in the marketplace, in our schools, in our homes and neighborhoods. What an awesome and blessed call!