St. Katharine Drexel History
St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Brunswick created two mission chapels that were operated during summer months. They were: Chapel of St. Mary by the Sea in Harpswell and the Chapel of Precious Blood at Bailey Island. The former is a testimony of deep faith of those who, living in other places, wished and worked hard to create a chapel at a place where they would spend a part of their leisure and vacation time. The Bailey Island chapel was a gift of Mrs. Elizabeth M. Barry of Ayer, MA, in memory of her husband, John J. Barry. Over the years the two chapels underwent building enlargement and modifications and, in September 2000, were closed permanently due to age. In 1999, plans began to replace these chapels with a single chapel on the Mountain Road in Harpswell, named Saint Katharine Drexel. Construction was accomplished largely by the talents and dedication of St. Charles Parishoners, under the Volunteer General Contractor, parishoner Claude Phillipon. This chapel was completed in the Spring of 2001 and was dedicated and opened by the Portland, Maine Diocese Bishop Joseph Gerry, on May 27, 2001. It continues the rich tradition of operating as the summer mission chapel extension of Brunswick's St. Charles Borromeo Parish.
In 2005 Bishop Richard J. Malone's Pastoral Letter "Telling Anew the Story of Jesus Christ set the stage for the former parishes of Cluster 15 to plan a new future together. After much work, communication, compromise, and planning the historical day of July 1, 2009 happened. More than 200 years of parish histories came together. On this date St. Katharine Drexel (Summer Chapel) of St. Charles Borromeo Parish became part of the new All Saints Parish comprised of St. Charles Church, St. John the Baptist Church, St. Mary Church, St. Ambrose Church, St. Patrick Church, and Our Lady Queen of Peace Church.