About St. Katharine Drexel Mission

St. Katharine Drexel is in the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, and is a Mission Church of St. Stephen the Martyr in Middleburg, VA. The first Mass was celebrated at Pace West Elementary School in Haymarket, VA, on September 10, 2000. Fr. Joe Binick, 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.

Our History

Approximately 135 people attended the first Mass in Haymarket. In those first days, volunteers transported everything for Mass from Middleburg to Haymarket in a van each week. One of the parishioners designed and built a portable altar, cross and lectern that could be taken apart for transporting. By the end of 2000, attendance had grown to over 300.

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

To accommodate growth, the community moved to Bull Run Middle School in December 2002. Additional Sunday Masses were added as needed because of growth. A cadre of visiting priests, as well as the pastor, served on a rotating basis to assure that Mass could take place each Sunday.

Designation as a Mission Church

What began as a Mass of Convenience officially became St. Katharine Drexel Mission in June of 2005. Upon Fr. Joe’s retirement, Fr. Sean Rousseau served temporarily to St. Stephen the Martyr to act as Administrator. In 2005 Fr. Sean became Administrator of Corpus Christi Mission in Chantilly, founded at the same time as St. Katharine Drexel.

In 2005 Fr. William Schardt became Pastor of St. Stephen the Martyr Church in Middleburg.

In 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.

In June 2014, Rev. Christopher Murphy was assigned as Pastor of Saint Katharine Drexel and Saint Stephen the Martyr.

In February 2018, St. Katharine Drexel moved its offices once more to a beautiful property on Mill Creek Road, just down from the site of the future home of St. Katharine Drexel Church.

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?