Diocese: Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.
Deanery: Washington, DC Deanery
433 Liberty St
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740
Rockville, MD 20852
Hagerstown, MD 21740
Smithsburg, MD 21783
From the East
Take I-70 to Rt 40W (exit 32). Go about 3 miles to Cannon Ave. Turn right. Go 1 block and turn right onto Liberty. The Church is on the right.
From the South
Take I-81 to route 40E. Go through town. After Potomac Ave (center of town), go 3 blocks to Cannon Ave. Turn left and proceed as above.
From the West
Take I-70 to 81N to 40E, then proceed as above.
From the North
Take I-81 south to Route 40E and proceed as above.
Schedule of Services
Services are in English; other languages are used as needed.
6:30 PM Great Vespers.
10:00 AM Divine Liturgy.
7:30 PM Vespers.
Eves of Great Feasts
10:00 AM Divine Liturgy.
Mornings of Great Feasts
7:00 PM Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.
Wednesday Evenings in Great Lent
Confessions are heard on Saturday Evening or by appointment.
For a complete list of upcoming services, please visit the Monthly Calendar on the parish website. To arrange special services, call the church at 301-790-2616 or the pastor at 301-424-7730.
St Catherine Parish began in December 1981 when Fr Basil Summer of St Mark’s in Bethesda offering monthly Saturday Liturgies at the Hagerstown Sheraton, in response to inquiries from Western Maryland faithful. The location of services changed a couple of times before settling for a while in a small storefront on Franklin St in the middle of town. Soon, Liturgy was offered twice a month, and the congregation also met Sundays for readers’ services and church school.
In July 1983, Fr Dennis Buck, newly graduated from St Vladimir’s Seminary, was assigned to serve St Catherines. With his arrival, weekly Sunday Liturgy plus Saturday Vespers began, as well as Festal and Lenten services. The first census of the parish, at the end of 1983, counted 8 supporting adults, with 4 children in church school.
Soon, the mission outgrew the storefront, and members began searching for a new location. Finally, Grace Baptist Church on Liberty St in the east end of town was purchased for $31,000.00, largely thanks to a loan from St Nicholas Cathedral, Washington DC, and regular suppot from St Mark’s in Bethesda and St Andrew’s in Baltimore. The building was paid off in 1989, largely due to the Cathedral forgiving the debt. This building remains the home of St Catherine’s.
Parish life picked up as numbers increased with the purchase of the building. The first Baptism was that of Tessa Lind in September 1985; the first Chrismation, Robert Rodkey in June of that year. Sadly, one of the community’s founders was the first death and funeral at St Catherines, Ann Brody, in April of 1985.
The service schedule also picked up as the parish grew. Presently, worshippers gather at St Catherines for Saturday Evening Vespers and Sunday Matins and Liturgy; Vespers and Liturgy for Great Feasts, Liturgy for several feasts of lesser rank, and an extensive Lenten and Holy Week Schedule. Services at St Catherines are marked by a high degree of participation, both in the singing of hymns and responses and in the reception of the Sacraments.
Presently, over half the membership of about 50 adults and 30 children consists of converts to the Orthodox faith, while the rest reflects almost every national tradition within American Orthodoxy.
Instruction classes in the faith are held regularly, as well as other sudy and discussion groups—especially during Lent following the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts. Various parish activities and organizations include parish council, church school, choir, youth group and sisterhood. Social events throughout the year include the Meatfare Sunday ethnic dinner, All Saints Sunday Welcome Day in honor of newcomers, and the annual parish picnic.
In 1995 a new Iconostasis was designed and built by parishioners with new iconography by Nicholas Papas of Greensburg, PA. In 1996, extensive renovation was done on the exterior of the church building. His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius consecrated the building in June 1997. In 2006, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman joined with St. Catherine’s to celebrate the parish’s 25th anniversary.
St Catherine’s is now a thriving community serving parishoners from four states. It is becoming the “mother Church” of Western Maryland and the Cumberland Valley, as members have gone on to be founders of parishes in Frederick (Greek Archdiocese), Chambersburg, PA (Antiochian), and a second parish in Hagerstown (OCA Romanian Episcopate). In its short history, St Catherines has already sent 7 priests from among its sons into the service of the Holy Orthodox Church. Expect further growth, spiritual as well as numerical, in the coming years.