Holy Family Catholic Church, located off Lower Roswell Road in Marietta, will reflect on the church’s history on July 10. The special Mass is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by a reception in the Parish Center.
Holy Family was founded in 1973 by the late Father John Mulroy, who was the church’s pastor for 11 years.
At that time, the Atlanta Archdiocese purchased land from the Gant family to build the church at 3401 Lower Roswell Road in Marietta, which was eventually completed in 1976.
Holy Family was the first Catholic church in the area.
Since then, Transfiguration Catholic Church on Blackwell Road and St. Ann’s on Roswell Road were formed from Holy Family to accommodate the growing Catholic population in Cobb County.
Since its opening, church records show that 4,497 people have been baptized, and 3,678 first communions, 3,064 confirmations and 1,183 wedding ceremonies have been performed at Holy Family.
Mary Jane Slone, 79, of Marietta has had the privilege of being a part of the church since it was founded.
She and her husband joined 40 years ago after moving to the metro Atlanta area from New York for his job.
“We didn’t have a church, school or what we were used to like we had in metropolitan New York where everything you need is on every other corner,” she said. “It became really community oriented at Holy Family, though.”
She said she has thoroughly enjoyed watching the church grow, expand to help other parishes form and see new, young families join.
Father Darragh Griffith has led the church for the past six years.
“And as I began my pastorate at Holy family, I was advised above all else to just love the people. I continue to work on this journey of love,” he said.
Griffith is appreciative of the church’s diverse membership.
“We have folks from many cultures,” he said. “Holy Family was the first parish in Cobb County to host Masses in Spanish for the Hispanic community. Also more recently, we began a mass in Portuguese for the Brazilian community. We also have people from African and Asian culture.”
John Babish, who serves on the Pastoral Council at Holy Family, originally joined the parish in 2000.
He and wife Heather, who has been a parishioner there since 1997, have served in the church for the last 13 years because it feels like home.
“We’ve made many friends at the parish and enjoy seeing familiar faces at parish events,” he said. “As our family has grown, all four of our kids — Sophia, Joseph, Teresa, and Peter - have been baptized at Holy Family and are continuing their faith formation at the parish.
“We’ve become involved with various ministries at the church — youth faith formation, adult enrichment studies, parish council and Eucharistic adoration.”