St. Katharine Drexel Church – Mechanicsburg, PA

On November 20, 1988, Mother Katharine Drexel was beatified at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome by Pope John Paul II.  On the following day, the Holy Father granted the request of Bishop William D. Keeler to name our parish in honor of Blessed Katharine Drexel, making it THE FIRST CHURCH IN THE WORLD NAMED IN HER HONOR.  Mother Katharine was canonized on October 1, 2000.  Our founding pastor was Father James R. O’Brien.

Our first Mass was celebrated on July 31, 1988, in the Silver Spring Fire Hall.  Sunday liturgical celebrations continued in the Fire Hall and Sunday Vigil Mass was celebrated at Saint Timothy Lutheran Church.  Bishop Nicholas C. Dattilo, D.D. dedicated our new church on September 8, 1991.

 On November 17, 2013 we celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving closing our 25th Anniversary celebration with several of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament in attendance.

The St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Mechanicsburg has a very healthy parish life and dedicated a lot of time and resources to different types of outreach. Below is an overview of outreach to their parishioners and local community.

  • Continue baptism classes for expectant parents and mentoring for engaged couples
  • We have had one vocation to the priesthood from our parish
  • Caring Community for our Parishioners –
    • Assists parishioners who have been discharged from the hospital are ill or elderly with meals
    • Offered funeral luncheons (before COVID) to parishioners on the death of a   loved one
    • Provide a Christmas card and potted poinsettia at Christmas and an Easter card    and lily at Easter to parishioners who lost a close loved one during the year
  • Continue to present prayer shawls crocheted or knitted by our ladies to those experiencing challenges in their lives
  • Host Evenings of Reflection – open to other local parishes
  • Provide spiritual and financial support to our diocesan seminarians
  • Had Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction, prayed the Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy on Divine Mercy Sunday
  • Have Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament before some daily Masses and on Sunday after 11:00 a.m. Mass
  • Yearly, during the month of May, we meet in front of the church to crown Blessed Mother and pray the Rosary
  • Support Respect Life Activities 
    • Baby Bottle Blessing – Baby bottles are distributed to parishioners and they return them with their monetary donations which are presented to Morningstar (pregnancy care center offering compassionate care and assistance to women, men and teens facing an unprepared pregnancy)
    • Yearly baby showers for expectant mothers
    • Sell flowers on Mother’s Day to support Pennsylvanians for Human Life
  • Our Giving Tree at Christmas supports:
    • New Hope Ministries – social service agency that shows the love and hope of Christ by serving neighbors in times of need
    • Catholic Charities: Lourdeshouse, Evergreen House, and Interfaith Shelter, all provide housing and care for vulnerable populations
    • The Hispanic Apostolate of the Harrisburg Diocese
    • The Racetrack Chaplaincy in the Harrisburg area
    • Silence of Mary Homes
  • Participate in the “Coats for Kids” coat drive
  • Support scholarship fund and golf tournament for students attending Catholic schools
  • Have monthly food drive to support New Hope Ministries
  • Sponsored parish Voter Registration drives
  • Donated materials to Xavier Society for the Blind 
  • Donated $4,000 to Saint Michael’s Indian School, Saint Michael’s, AZ (school founded by Mother Katharine) to be used in the virtual instruction of their student – met with staff via zoom and saw a power point presentation on the School 
  • Volunteer at the Soup Kitchen in Harrisburg (Before COVID)
  • Donation of Crochet and Weaved mats for the Homeless