Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


New Acworth mission named for St. Clare

By NICHOLE GOLDEN, Staff Writer | Published October 30, 2014

ACWORTH—The new Acworth mission is now officially named St. Clare Church for St. Clare of Assisi.

After conducting a parish survey and consulting with Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, Father Mark Starr, mission administrator, announced the selection of the name Oct. 20.

“We provided a list of many contemporary saints, those canonized by Pope John Paul II as well as Pope Benedict, along with two more traditional names, St. Clare being one of them, and this was our selection,” said Father Starr.

Mission members made the choice. Enthusiasm for the current pope and his spiritual leadership may have contributed to the choice, Father Starr said.

This is a mosaic in Rome in 2008 that depicts St. Clare of Assisi holding a palm frond, a symbol for her entering religious life. CNS photo/Octavio Duran

This is a mosaic in Rome in 2008 that depicts St. Clare of Assisi holding a palm frond, a symbol for her entering religious life. CNS photo/Octavio Duran

“I think the appeal to St. Clare may have come on the heels of the ‘Francis effect,’ as Clare was a true disciple of St. Francis of Assisi,” he said.

The namesake was abbess of the Monastery of San Damiano, on the outskirts of Assisi, living there for more than 40 years with sisters of the order she founded, known as the Poor Clares, after leaving her aristocratic home and family to follow St. Francis. The Poor Clares are the second order of St. Francis. She was proclaimed a saint in 1255, two years after she died. Her spirituality will be an inspiring one for the new mission, Father Starr said.

“St. Clare had a love for the Eucharist, as well as a desire for complete poverty and simplicity of life. As a new Catholic community in Acworth, my desire is that we go forth to reach out to our many brothers and sisters in our community, those who have fallen away and those who have no personal relationship with Jesus Christ,” said Father Starr.

The priest also recalled the words of Pope Francis in his exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium,” (“The Joy of the Gospel”), to go forth and evangelize.

“An evangelizing community knows that the Lord has taken the initiative, he has loved us first and therefore we can move forward, boldly take the initiative, go out to others, seek those who have fallen away, stand at the crossroads and welcome the outcast,” Pope Francis wrote.

Mass is celebrated for the St. Clare Mission community on Sundays at 8:15 a.m. and 10 a.m. in English and at 12 noon in Spanish. Until a permanent property is obtained, the Masses are being celebrated in the North Cobb High School auditorium, 3400 Old 41 Highway, Kennesaw. The permanent site for the mission is still being determined.

Archbishop Gregory will celebrate All Souls Day Mass for St. Clare Mission on Sunday, Nov. 2, at 10 a.m. Bishop Luis R. Zarama celebrated Mass in Spanish for the mission on Oct. 19.

A children’s Mass will be offered Sun., Nov. 9, at 10 a.m. Children’s Masses will then be celebrated on the first Sunday of the month. A school of religion for the Acworth mission is expected to be available during the 2015-16 school year. Mass intentions are being accepted now.

Father Mark Starr, administrator of the new St. Clare Mission in Acworth, addresses parishioners gathered for Sunday Mass at North Cobb High School’s auditorium. Archbishop Wilton Gregory will celebrate Mass on Sunday, Nov. 2, at St. Clare at 10 a.m.

Father Starr also announced the launch of the mission’s website at Volunteer opportunities and other information may be found there.

The three feeder parishes for the Acworth mission are St. Joseph Church in Marietta, St. Catherine of Siena Church in Kennesaw, and St. Michael the Archangel Church in Woodstock.

Registration forms are available at all Masses for those wishing to register with the new mission or to move their registration from another parish.

Mass was celebrated for the first time at the mission on Sept. 14 and more than 800 people attended the three Sunday Masses.



Learn more about St. Clare Mission in Acworth at To request a Mass intention at St. Clare, email Carol Donofrio at St. Joseph Church, Marietta, at or call 770-422-5633 during business hours.