On June 30, 1990 Bishop John J. Nevins of the Diocese of Venice in Florida, announced the creation of a new parish in Western Cape Coral. That parish was given the name Blessed Katharine Drexel. Fifteen acres of land were purchased south of Trafalgar Middle School for the parish campus. Father Arthur Hannaway was appointed pastor.
The first weekend Mass, attended by 430 people, was celebrated at Trafalgar Middle School on September 1, 1990 and one hundred seventy-five families registered in the parish that week. The first daily Mass was celebrated in the chapel at Coral Ridge Funeral Home on September 3, 1990 with six parishioners in attendance. The Diocese purchased a home in the Palmetto Pines neighborhood to serve as the first rectory. That house was the site of the first office until the second floor of Chiquita Animal Hospital was rented for the parish office. The "Upper Room" was also the location for Holy Day Masses.
Father Hannaway was transferred to Saint Ann's Parish in Naples in August 1992 and Father Herold Feltman was appointed interim priest.
The Augustinian Order from Philadelphia answered the Bishop's call for a priest to lead the community as pastor. Father John Deary, OSA was selected to be the new pastor and began his assignment on August 1, 1993.
On July 8, 1995, the first Mass was celebrated in the new hall, Father John announced that Father Tom Pohto, OSA has been appointed parochical vicar on August 25, 1995. Father Tom left us on June 1, 1997 to begin his new ministry as pastor of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal on Pine Island. Subsequent parochial vicars were: Father John Sheridan, OSA; Father Jim Wenzel, OSA and Father Frank Gallogly, OSA.
With the opening of the Church Hall, the office was moved to a trailer on the church property.
On April 12, 1999, the new permanent parish office was completed. In late September 2000, approximately 150 members and friends of the community flew to Rome for the Mass of the Canonization of Saint Katharine Drexel. Mass was celebrated in Saint Peter's Square on October 1, 2000.
During the celebration of Saint Katharine's Feast Day in 2003, groundbreaking was held for the church sanctuary and construction began later that year. The sanctuary was dedicated by Bishop John J. Nevins on November 13, 2004.
In May of 2009, construction began for a new Faith Formation Center on the west end of the property with a groundbreaking ceremony which included many parishioners, Faith Formation students, parents and teachers. On the weekend of October 31-November 1, 2009 the building was dedicated and named Deary Hall.
The parish family continues to grow, and our parish ministries are very active with new ministries starting every year. On September 1, 2015, we completed our 25th Anniversary year as a parish family with over 3,000 registered households and over 50 active ministries. There were many celebrations that year concluding with a dinner dance and a Mass celebrated by Bishop Frank Dewane with a reception following.
The Augustinians recalled Father John Deary, OSA to a parish in Philadelphia, and on May 31, 2016, we sadly said goodbye to our pastor of 23 years. Father Len Gioeli was appointed Temporary Administrator and Father Steve Clemente was appointed Parochial Vicar. In that same year, Father Piotr Zugaj was appointed the new Administrator and Father Mark Ruckpaul was appointed Parochial Vicar.
In September of 2017, Saint Katharine Drexel Parish sustained much damage due to Hurricane Irma. Through the leadership of Father Peter Zugaj and the generosity of parishioners, on November 17, 2018, the sanctuary was re-dedicated by Bishop Frank Dewane. Upon Father Ruckpaul's transfer to Ave Maria Parish, in 2018, Father Lawton Lang was appointed Parochial Vicar.
In 2019, Father Peter Zugaj was transferred. In the interim, Father Lawton Lang was appointed Temporary Administrator and Father Augustin Twum Obour was appointed Parochial VIcar. On August 1, 2019, Father Ricky Varner was appointed Administrator and Father Lang returned to the position of Parochial Vicar. Father Obour was transferred to Our Lady of Angeles in Lakewood Ranch.
In February 2020, Father Lawton was transferred to Saint Andrew, Cape Coral and Father Thobias Sabariar, M.o.C. was appointed Parochial Vicar on February 7, 2020.
As we continue to grow in the Lord and walk by faith, we look forward to celebrating our Parish’s 30th year as a faith community and ask God’s blessings upon us and our leadership of Father Varner and Father Sabariar.