Now that St. Katharine Drexel in Frederick has been elevated from an independent mission to full-fledged parish status, Cardinal William H. Keeler has named Father Keith Boisvert the faith community’s first pastor effective July 1.
Father Boisvert has served as administrator of the growing church since it started as a mission of St. John the Evangelist in Frederick in 1998.
“My role as a pastor is to call together the gifts of the community that are present” said Father Boisvert, who grew up in St. Dominic parish after his family moved to Baltimore from Rhode Island.
“Because this is a new parish, there’s a vitality and energy associated with people forming something new,” he said. “It’s exciting to be a part of it.”
Ordained in 1979 after studying at St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Roland Park, Father Boisvert served as an associate pastor of St. Pius X in Rodgers Forge and St. Anthony of Padua in Baltimore. He spent seven years as director of campus ministry at Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg and one year as temporary administrator of St. Joseph in Hagerstown.
While serving as associate pastor of St. John in Frederick, Father Boisvert was instrumental in getting St. Katharine Drexel started as a mission that initially worshipped at Frederick Community College. The faith community became an independent mission in 2003 and currently celebrates liturgies in the new school building for St. John Regional Catholic School, located on parish property along Opossumtown Pike in Frederick. A new church and other parish buildings will be erected in coming years, the new pastor said.
There are currently 700 registered families in the parish, Father Boisvert said, with about 100 new families joining the community every year.
“Our parishioners are so enthusiastic about being church and creating church,” Father Boisvert said. “Everything that goes on here is to bring about God’s kingdom. It happens by worshipping, welcoming people and taking formation and education seriously.”