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Better Know A Parish: Church of Saint Katharine Drexel, Ramsey, Minnesota

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Parish Name: Church of Saint Katharine Drexel

Location: Ramsey, Minnesota

Founded: 2004

Diocese: St. Paul and Minneapolis

Pastor: Rev. Paul Jaroszeski

Number of Parishioners: 350 households, around 1,050 people


What makes your parish different from other parishes?

St. Katharine’s is the youngest parish in the archdiocese and has a wonderfully welcoming and hospitable spirit. Our liturgy, faith formation programs, and events are what draw most people to our parish. With uplifting music and relevant and inspiring homilies, our community engages in rich and meaningful liturgy each week and during the holy seasons. And our young people are deeply engaged as lectors, servers, ushers, and musicians. Generations of Faith, our monthly parish wide faith formation program, invites the youngest to the oldest of our community to continue growing and exploring their faith. Additionally, our sacramental preparation classes provide meaningful instruction in small group settings. Finally, because we are a relatively young parish, there is a wonderful desire to build community beyond the weekend liturgy. We host a variety of well attended social events throughout the year that continue to strengthen our parish.

What’s the most distinguishing characteristic of your church building?

While we have the land for an eventual church building and parish center, presently we are renting space in a warehouse. Our parishioners designed and built out this space we affectionately refer to as "our warehouse turned prayer house." A warehouse may be a challenging concept to some, but we believe what happens inside our walls is what brings people back. It is amazing how quickly people forget their surroundings when they feel inspired and engaged.

Who is your most interesting parishioner, and what makes them so interesting?

That is a difficult question to answer adequately because all of our parishioners are unique in that they left well-established faith communities to join us. For some, they have left the parishes they grew up in and belonged to for decades in order to venture out and risk starting all over again in a new effort to build the church. They are committed, patient, dedicated, hopeful, and rely on God's providence.

What’s the most popular event, ministry, or holiday tradition at your parish?

We have many people involved in outreach ministry, charity, and social justice efforts on many levels. One of our efforts to get our name out there in the surrounding community has become a very popular event: "Beer, Brats, and Bingo." You can't get more traditionally Catholic than that! We also have had a popular Advent/Christmas event: an evening of entertainment by a local boys’ choir and a Christmas silent auction.

If we asked parishioners what they love most about the parish, what would they say?

Most would say first, our vibrant, faith-filled liturgies with exceptional music. Second would be the friendly, welcoming nature of our parishioners—here there is always someone who knows your name and who you are. Third, our efforts to involve everyone as much as they are willing and able; especially the youth and children.

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