Under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the parishioners of St. Catherine of Siena strive to live as commited disciples of Jesus Christ through prayer, education, fellowship, and charity.
We the members of St. Catherine of Siena, dedicate ourselves to Jesus by serving our parish and community. We are called to share our gifts, talents and resources for the glory of God our Father. Our parish is a unique Eucharistic Community bound together by the love of Christ and His presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament. It is the very summit of our faith.
We seek to grow spiritually with the guidance of the Holy Spirit through ongoing prayer, sacramental celebrations, education and evangelization in union with the Holy Father and Magisterium of the Holy Catholic Church. We strive daily to live the words of our patroness, “Everything comes from love” and to be examples to everyone we encounter to love one another as He loves us.
The love of Christ is the interwoven thread which binds together many ethnic and cultural diversities into one strong spiritual community of Christian beliefs. Christ calls all of us to continue to gather our individual resources and to utilize these talents for the common good. He summons us daily to continue to guild and heal the Kingdom of God on Earth. “I have called you by name and you are mine.”
Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary we are called to emulate the premier apostle of Her Son as we witness to His gospel in this Third Millennium.
In 1981, in response to the phenomenal growth of Catholics in northwest Georgia, Archbishop Thomas A. Donnellan decreed the establishment of a new parish in Kennesaw, Georgia. Fr. Leo Herbert was appointed the founding Pastor. In May 1981, all Kennesaw area Catholics met to discuss the new parish and 90 families registered. The new parish had to have a name and after prayerful consideration St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380), doctor of the Church credited with restoring unity to the Catholic Church following the Great Schism of 1378, was selected as patroness of the new parish.
Fr. Herbert celebrated the first St. Catherine of Siena mass at 5:30p on Saturday, June 13, 1981 in space shared with the Kennesaw United Methodist Church in downtown Kennesaw. Shortly thereafter the Methodist church moved to its current location on Ben King Rd and the Archdiocese of Atlanta acquired the Cherokee Street property. Parishioners formed new ministries- Ladies’ Guild, Men’s Club, Teen Ministry, PSR (CCD), Choir, Altar Society, Liturgy Committee and St. Vincent dePaul Society.
By 1983 St. Catherine’s was the fastest growing parish in the Archdiocese and, by 1985, a fundraising drive had begun and pledges reached over $530,000. Archbishop Donnellan celebrated the groundbreaking on the current site on October 6, 1986. The new church, chapel and Narthex were dedicated on September 16, 1987. Later that year, the multipurpose building (Herbert Hall) was completed.
Rev. Terence Kane was appointed the second pastor of St. Catherine’s in 1990 and the parish continued to grow and thrive under his watch. In 1997, Rev. James Harrison became St. Catherine’s third Pastor. In response to the continued growth in the Kennesaw area, groundbreaking began in 1998 for the new Our Lady of Grace Building, designed to provide classrooms for St. Catherine of Siena’s Preschool and Parish School of Religion.
With the addition of OLG Building, St. Catherine’s was uniquely positioned to accept a new Catholic elementary school. St. Catherine of Siena school opened in August 2002 sharing classroom space with Preschool while the current facility was built. Mrs. Robyn Planchard was the first Principal. Upon her retirement in 2004, the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecelia were welcomed to the school as administrators and teachers. Sr. Maria Goretti, O.P. was the new principal and oversaw the opening of the new school facility in September 2005.
That same year saw the addition of one of St. Catherine’s most unique features, the stained glass window of the church. The window includes representations of Kennesaw Mountain, the Trail of Tears, and the Cherokee rose and celebrates the heritage of the Cherokee Indians who occupied the Kennesaw area.
The Rev. N. Brendan Doyle became the fourth Pastor of St. Catherine’s in the summer of 2005. Under his leadership the church underwent its first major renovation since its construction. A major addition to the Sanctuary was the addition of the hand carved Italian crucifix in 2008. St. Catherine of Siena school had it first graduating class of eighth graders in the spring of 2008.
In 2009 Rev. John M. Matejek, was named the fifth pastor of St. Catherine’s. Fr. John was a St. Catherine’s parishioner prior to entering the priesthood. On New Year’s Day 2010, Fr. John dedicated the parish to the Holy Mother. In 2011, as a part of the parish’s 30th anniversary, the St. Catherine of Siena statue was added to the Narthex along with the statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Church.
St. Catherine of Siena parish continues to grow and thrive through its parishioners who are dedicated to the Holy Eucharist through the intercession of Mary, the Mother of God. We continue to be in the top 10 of parishes throughout the Archdiocese.