Nourishing the Body of Christ by nurturing one another through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Our Parish History
The “family” of St. Peter Chanel began in the spring of 1998, when Archbishop John F. Donoghue asked Fr. Frank McNamee to become the administrator of the newly announced mission formed from St. Ann’s in Marietta. It was to be named after the Marist martyr, St. Peter Chanel, as an expression of gratitude to the Marist Order for their service here in the archdiocese. And it was decided to be located in Roswell, Georgia.
The search began for a Rectory, which in the beginning would serve not only as a residence, but also the parish office and a place to celebrate week-day Mass. In September 1998, Fr. Frank began celebrating Mass four days a week. Plans began to renovate the lower level into a day chapel and a staff office, which was completed in May 1999.
In November, 1998, as attendance grew, the cafeteria at Roswell North Elementary School became the next home for St. Peter Chanel. We celebrated our first Sunday Mass there on the First Sunday of Advent, 1998. At the same time, construction was underway for Queen of Angels School, the first building on the Archdiocese property on Woodstock Road, which subsequently opened in August 1999. St. Peter Chanel began to celebrate weekend Masses in the school’s gymnasium in September, and our first year of religious education classes, including PSR, Adult Education, and RCIA were underway.
With the blessing of the Archdiocese, a building committee was formed in mid-1999 to plan a permanent home for the community of St. Peter Chanel to be built on the same campus as Queen of Angels School and the future Blessed Trinity High School. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Fr. Frank McNamee, Deacon Martin Lampe, and the entire committee, the firm of Preston Phillips was selected as architects, and the construction contract was awarded to Dudley Barrett Construction Company. The groundbreaking ceremony was held on June 5, 2000, with Archbishop Donoghue presiding. Construction of the temporary sanctuary, administrative offices and classroom wing began in the fall of 2000.
Elevated to Parish and Our First Pastor
In his Decree of Establishment, Archbishop Donoghue elevated St. Peter Chanel to parish status effective September 24, 2000. On January 6, 2001, the Archbishop celebrated the installation Mass of Fr. Frank McNamee as the first Pastor of St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church. In appreciation of the tremendous support of the Archbishop and the Archdiocese of Atlanta, the Parish Council and Fr. Frank presented Archbishop Donoghue with a framed rendering of the new facility, and pronounced it the Archbishop Donoghue Pastoral Center. The Archbishop Donoghue Pastoral Center was completed in early September of 2001. On December 1, 2001, Archbishop Donoghue celebrated the Dedication Mass and instituted Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration.
New Pastor and Permanent Church
The construction of our main church was completed in 2008 and our first Mass was celebrated on August 15, 2008, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The parish church was dedicated on November 29, 2008. November 29th will now become for us the Solemnity of the Dedication of St. Peter Chanel, Roswell.
In January, 2009, Fr. Peter Rau, appointed by Archbishop Gregory, arrived as the second Pastor of St. Peter Chanel.
St. Peter Chanel continues to grow from the original 6 families to over 2685 families as of the Fall of 2010.
What you find at SPC is a very alive, spirit-filled young parish. We have such a mix from our young families to our friends at the retirement community of St. George Village.
St. Peter Chanel prides itself on Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration. From that we have over 60 ministries that you can be a part of. Building a strong community is based on a strong spiritual life in our parish. We try to do this through the grace of the Sacraments, our own personal prayer, good works of Charity and education.
Our goal is to make you feel part of the Body of Christ here in Roswell so that you too may become better witnesses to your true call to lead and live a holy life, and to follow the example of our Patron, St. Peter Chanel... may he pray for us.
Our Patron - Saint Peter Chanel, priest and martyr
Feast Day: April 28th (Optional Memorial)
(From 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia - Vol XI, by Joseph Freri)
Born at Cuet, Diocese of Belley, France, 1802; died at Futuna, 28 April, 1841. He was ordained priest in 1827, and engaged in the parochial ministry for a few years; but the reading of letters of missionaries in far-away lands inflamed his heart with zeal, and he resolved to devote his life to the Apostolate. In 1831 he joined the Society of Mary [MARIST], and in 1836 he embarked for Oceania. He was assigned by his bishop to the Island of Futuna, and landed in Nov., 1837. No Christian missionary had ever set foot there, and the difficulties Peter encountered amidst those savage tribes were almost incredible. Nevertheless, he was beginning to see the results of his efforts, when Niuluki, king and also pontiff of the island, already jealous of the progress of the new religion, was exasperated by the conversion of his son and daughter. At his instigation, one of the ministers gathered some of the enemies of Christianity and Peter was cruelly assassinated without uttering a word of complaint. Through his death, the venerable martyr obtained what he had so ardently desired and earnestly worked for, the conversion of Futuna. In 1842, two Marist missionaries resumed his work, and nowhere has the preaching of the Gospel produced more wonderful results. Peter was declared Venerable by Pius IX in 1857, and beatified by Leo XIII on 17 November, 1889.
(From 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia - Vol III, by By J.P. Sollier)
Proto-martyr of Oceanica, born at Cuet, dep. of Ain, France, 1803, died at Futuna, Friendly Islands, Oceanica, 28 April, 1841. Being of humble parentage, a zealous priest, M. Trompier, assisted his education. Ordained priest in 1827, he went as curate to Ambérieux and later as pastor to Crozet. His desire to serve in the foreign missions drew him, in 1831, into the newly-founded Society of Mary which, having been formally approved, 29 April, 1836, was entrusted with the evangelization of Occidental Oceanica. Chanel, after taking the three religious vows at the hands of Father Colin, founder and first superior of the Marists, embarked that same year for his distant mission under the leadership of Bishop Bataillon, and was sent to the island called Horn, or Allofatu, by geographers, and Futuna by the natives. War between rival tribes and the practice of cannibalism had reduced its population to a few thousands when Chanel landed on its shores. The religion he found there was a worship of terror offered to evil deities. Chanel laboured faithfully amid the greatest hardships, learning the native language, attending the sick, baptizing the dying, and winning from all the name of "the man with the kind heart". Niuliki, the then ruler, showed first an amicable disposition towards the missionary and even declared him "taboo", or sacred and inviolable; but when he saw that his subjects were being drawn away from the idols into the white man's religion, he issued an edict against him to avert the movement towards Christianity. At that very time his son Meitala joined the missionary.
Musumusu, Niuliki's prime minister and an implacable enemy of Christianity, then concocted a plot with the petty chiefs against the Christians, which was carried out with great cruelty. At day-break, on 28 April, 1841, the conspirators assembled together and, after wounding many neophytes whom they had surprised sleeping, proceeded to Chanel's hut. One shattered his arm and wounded his left temple with a war-club. Another struck him to the ground with a bayonet. A third beat him severely with a club. The missionary was uttering the while words of gentle resignation: "Malie fuai" (it is: well for me). Musumusu himself, enraged at the tardiness of death, split open the martyr's skull with an adze. The remains of the martyred missionary, hurriedly buried, were later claimed by M. Lavaux, commander of the French naval station of Tahiti, and taken to France on a government transport, 1842. The cause of the beatification of Father Chanel, introduced 1857, terminated by the Brief "Quemadmodum" of 16 Nov., 1889. The solemnities took place the following day in the basilica of St. Peter, Rome. "Oceanicæ protomartyr" is the official title given Blessed Chanel by the Congregation of Rites in the decree declaring: "tuto procedi posse ad solemnem Ven. servi Dei P. M. Chanel beatificationem".
[Note: Peter Chanel, the proto-martyr of the Society of Mary, and of Oceania, was canonized in 1954 by Pope Pius XII.]