Noelker and Hull Associates, Inc. recently joined the clergy and parishioners of Saint Katharine Drexel Catholic Church at the dedication of the parish’s new worship space in Frederick, Maryland.
The new 18,100 sq. ft. church houses a 654-seat worship space with a loft and custom liturgical furnishings including altar, ambo, baptismal font and tabernacle platform. The ceiling of the nave highlights elliptical vaults soaring 32 feet above the floor at the apex, punctuated by stained glulam beams. The church also includes multi-purpose space, sacristies, meeting and classroom areas, a commercial kitchen, and office space. The east-facing windows feature stained glass that was reclaimed and repurposed from a former church in Baltimore.
With its high ceilings and clerestory light, the narthex offers a spacious gathering area before and after mass, and is flanked by a café and information center. An interim space connecting the narthex and nave creates a sense of reverence with a water feature that recalls the water of baptism in preparation for the mass.
The Saint Katharine Church building project originated in 1998 as a mission to accommodate overflow from the nearby St. John Evangelist Church in downtown Frederick. The congregation began meeting in a theater at Frederick Community College, and later moved to the multipurpose room of St. John Regional Catholic School in 2005.