St. Katharine Drexel, American National Catholic Church

The parish patron, St. Katharine, was the first U.S.-born citizen to be canonized. Born into a wealthy Philadelphia family, she gave up her economic and social privilege to found the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, an order devoted to ministering to African and Native Americans. St. Katharine, who died in 1955, was canonized in 2000.

Fr. Donald Simon, a Minnesota native who’s lived in Fargo for over three decades, is Pastor of the new parish. He says that St. Katharine was chosen as the parish’s patron because “she is a model of what an American Catholic Christian should be. She was born into all of the advantages that living in this country has to offer, yet in her upbringing and adult life, she gave back to those who were disadvantaged and disenfranchised so to make their lives better. She used both her material and spiritual gifts to help those in need.” “Our vision and hope,” notes Fr. Donald, “is to build a welcoming, inclusive, independent Catholic community that focuses on social justice issues” in the spirit of St. Katharine.

The Most Rev. George R. Lucey, FCM, Presiding Bishop of the ANCC, welcomes the addition of St. Katharine Drexel parish to the ANCC. “I’m overjoyed that the faith community in Fargo, ND has reorganized to continue the ministerial presence of the ANCC in the Fargo/ Moorhead area. They have chosen St. Katharine Drexel as their patron. Just as Mother Katharine dedicated her life to the poor and the marginalized, the new parish community recommits itself to the care of those who are in most need. St. Katharine Drexel, Pray for us.”

The American National Catholic Church is an inclusive Catholic community dedicated to making the world a more caring place. Guided by a presiding bishop, the ANCC celebrates the same sacraments as the Roman Church and follows the spirit of reform initiated by the Second Vatican Council. Although sharing core theological and liturgical practices with Roman Catholicism, the ANCC differs on several major points, such as married clergy, female priests, divorce and re-marriage, same-sex marriage, and lay leadership. The Church has parishes across the U.S. and a host of ministries to the alienated, under-served, and forgotten. For more information, visit