Church History

Saint Clement Catholic Church is a Catholic community located in Gordon County of Northwest Georgia.  As a diverse Catholic community with Anglo and Hispanic members, we are blessed by our God with this diversity.  Saint Clement Parish strives to offer programs, activities, and worship that bring together all parish members in their journey to know and love Jesus Christ.

The first mass for Catholics in the Calhoun area was held in 1949 in the log cabin used by the Calhoun Women's Club in downtown Calhoun by the missionary fathers of LaSalette. That log cabin was on the site of today's Calhoun Gordon County Library.  By 1958 five families attended services in the old WEBS radio station building which was located on the site of today's Wachovia Bank Branch near downtown Calhoun.  Other times it was in the conference room of the downtown Calhoun First National Bank (now BB&T) and even at Lewis DiPrima's original shoe shop.  In the 1960s, they relocated to a building on Highway 53 that today is the W.C. Burdette Real Estate/Calhoun Welding Supply buildings.   Mrs. Godon asked her husband to set aside a building for the growing mission community.  Early members of the group included Lois Silks, Lewis DiPrima, and Erna Wyatt who remain members of Saint Clement's today.  Marquita Smith's mother, Mrs. R. K. Smith was also a founding member.

Ground was broken at the present location for construction of a church in 1969, and on December 7th, the first Mass was held in the new church.  Fifteen families made up the original parish at that time.  They had doggedly raised funds for construction of the church in many ways, but the best remembered method was through the sale around town of Mr., DiPrima's famous spaghetti sauce, which was personally delivered by other parishioners! 

The original church is where the parish office and the Pastor’s offices are. That church was built in 1968-69 and was a red brick church whose western wall came to about the entrance to the “new church.” When you go over the little ramp before going downstairs, that is the dividing line between old and new.

                The original parish hall is today’s kitchen and café. The parish in 1968 had 15 registered families. The rectory was about a mile away off Maplewood Drive. That served as the parish rectory till 1999-2000 when it was sold.

In 1998, the LaSalette Fathers turned the parish over to the Archdiocese of Atlanta.  Today Saint Clement's parish consists of nearly 800 families and the church has undergone several renovations and expansions.

 

Decree Of Establishment: St. Clement's, Calhoun  (Georgia Bulletin, Sept. 20, 1984)

 

“The seeds of the Catholic Faith were planted in Bartow and Gordon Counties back in 1949 when Mass was celebrated in a log cabin used by the Calhoun Women’s Club. Spiritual care continued under the guidance of the Redemptorist Fathers from Saint Joseph’s Church in Dalton until Father Dennis Dullea, the new Pastor in Dalton and a priest of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, planned the construction of a church building that was completed in 1969.

At the 1969 dedication of the building, Father Joseph J. Loftus, MS., a LaSalette priest, was the first pastor along with Father Peter T. McKeown, M.S., his assistant. The Mission of Saint Clement was comprised of fifteen families that year.

The parish has grown steadily over the past fifteen years, reaching one hundred fifty families in 1983.

Now, after consultation with the Presbyteral Council, according to the prescription of Canon 515.2, the Pastor of Saint Francis of Assisi Church, Cartersville, and the Dean of the area, it is in the best interest of the Faithful and the Church-at-large to accord this mission full parish status.

Therefore, the canonical consultation having been made, I now decree the establishment of Saint Clement’s Parish, Calhoun, Georgia.

The boundaries of the Parish of Saint Clement shall coincide with the boundaries of Gordon County in the State of Georgia.

The first pastor will be its present administrator, Reverend Michael J. Flanagan, M.S. The effective date is September 20, 1984.

 

Given in Atlanta, Georgia this 14th day of September 1984.

Most Reverend Thomas A. Donnellan

Archbishop of Atlanta

Reverend Peter A. Dora, Ecclesiastical Notary”

Antidotes about the formation and history of St. Clement's Catholic Church as told by parishioners or related in documents.

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