Saint Catherine Labouré, Jefferson
Saint Catherine Laboure
In 1986, local Catholics in the Jefferson area had to drive to distant parishes to attend mass until a handful met with Father Richard Kieran in the spring to celebrate mass in the Newbury home. This would mark the first meeting for many Catholic families in the area. Following that first mass, the families began to meet weekly in different locations celebrate mass until they established a semi-permanent home base in the Freyon Vacuum Cleaner Center in August of 1987.
In 1987, Father Jack Druding, the pastor of Saint Mary in Toccoa, became responsible for the mission in Jefferson and Father Bill Calhoun from Saint Mary became the pastor for Saint Mary Mission. A Sister Catherine Concannon would drive down from Clarkesville to help the mission with bible studies and religious education. However in 1990 when Sister Catherine was reassigned by her order and Father Bill became busier at Saint Mary, the mission reached out for help. With the community growing larger, the mission purchased a former Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall in 1993 and dedicated it as “Saint Catherine Laboure”. The next year Father Flood was named pastor.
As the Catholic community continued to expand, they outgrew the old Jehovah’s Witness hall and purchased thirteen acres of land in 2005 to build larger church structure. However, the location was not suitable for the needs of the Catholic community in nearby counties, and a new location was found in Jefferson. In 2009, the doors finally opened on the church’s new location, and the building was dedicated on December 6, 2009, by Bishop Luis Zamara.
On January 10, 2010, the church was elevated in status to a parish and Father Terrence Crone was named as its first pastor.