About St. Katharine Drexel Mission

St. Katharine Drexel Mission is in the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, and is a Mission Church of St. Stephen the Martyr in Middleburg, VA. The following is a brief history of our Mission:

September 2000
Father Joe Biniek, Pastor of St. Stephen the Martyr Catholic Church, realized his parish covered a large and rapidly growing area and sought an opportunity to reach out to his parishioners. On September 10, 2000, he celebrated the first “Mass of Convenience” at Pace West Elementary School in Haymarket. Weekly Mass set up required regular participation from many dedicated parishioners who, among other things, drove a horse trailer from Middleburg to Haymarket, filled with folding chairs, Amish benches used as pews, a lectern and a portable altar built by a parishioner.

It’s estimated  that approximately 135 people attended the first Mass in Haymarket.  By the end of 2000, attendance had grown to over 300.

March 2002
A Steering Committee is formed to work in an advisory capacity to the pastor and to help guide the community growth. The community rented space in the commercial building next to Pace and the “Catholic Center” opened. Catechesis of the Good Shepard was held in the space, and the Hospitality Crew started “Bagels after the Blessing” on Sunday mornings where parishioners gathered, enjoyed coffee and got to know each other. This did much to foster a family feeling that continues to mark the community.

November 2002
The first Gala dinner and auction was held, organized by a dedicated group of volunteers. The gala was held annually 2002 – 2004.

December 2002
To accommodate growth, Mass is moved to Bull Run Middle School and additional Sunday Masses were added. A cadre of visiting priests (including Fr. Jon O’Brien), as well as the pastor, served on a rotating basis to assure that Mass could take place each Sunday.

Designation as a Mission Church

June 2005
The community formed around the “Mass of Convenience” in Haymarket is named St. Katharine Drexel (SKD) Mission by Arlington Diocese Bishop Paul Loverde. Father Sean Rousseau served as St. Stephen the Martyr Administrator, then is transferred to Administrator of Corpus Christi Mission in Chantilly, founded at the same time as St. Katharine Drexel.

June 2005
Father William Schardt is named Pastor of St. Stephen the Martyr Catholic Church and SKD Mission.

2009
A new Mission Office opened on John Marshall Highway in Gainesville. Larger and handicap accessible, the office offered additional space for meetings and other Mission functions.

June 2014
Father Christopher Murphy is assigned as Pastor of St. Stephen the Martyr and St. Katharine Drexel.

December 2015
The Diocese of Arlington purchases a 28-acre parcel of land at Route 15 and Waterfall Road in Haymarket for use for a future church building.

February 2017
SKD rekindles its annual gala, previously held in 2002-2004, in support of the building fund. The theme is Mardi Gras.

July 5, 2017
Father Jon O’Brien Council of the Knights of Columbus is chartered.

August 2017
Legion of Mary, Our Lady of Fatima Presidium is established.

October 2017
First annual Knights of Columbus Fall Festival held.

February 2018
St. Katharine Drexel moved its office to Mill Creek Road, a beautiful property near the site of the future home of St. Katharine Drexel Church.

June 2018
SKD takes its own group of WorkCampers to the Arlington Diocese WorkCamp.

2019
Although a “Church without Walls,” St. Katharine continues to celebrate its existence as a vibrant worshiping community.


Find out the latest on our new permanent church home on the corner of Route 15 and Waterfall Road in Haymarket, VA.

Who is St. Katharine Drexel?