Our Mission Statement is based on Jesus' Great Commission given in Matthew 28:19-20*: "We, the members of St. Athanasius parish in Harrison, are dedicated to serving Christ by bringing the fullness of Catholic truth to our community. We help good Catholics become holier Catholics, bring former Catholics ‘home,’ and lead non-Catholics into the fullness of the Faith."
*Matthew 28:19-20, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age."
A Prayer for St. Athanasius Parish: St. Athanasius Parish is composed of intentional disciples like me. I help make it what it is. It will be welcoming if I open the door for others. It will be holy if I strive for sainthood. It will do great works if I volunteer. It will defend the defenseless if I do. It will be prayerful if I pray every day. It will be knowledgeable of the Faith if I study it. It will help the poor if I am generous. It will share the Catholic Faith if I am fearless. It will bring others into worship if I invite them. Its pews will be filled if I attend Mass faithfully. It will be a parish filled with faith, hope, and love if I, who make it what it is, am an intentional disciple. Therefore, with the help of God, I now dedicate myself to the task of being all the things that I want St. Athanasius Parish to be. Amen.
We come from humble beginnings. In the early 1890s Irish and German settlers built a small wooden church, barely seating 80 people. As our mission family expanded in the 1900s we outgrew the small building. Adequate seating was a problem, especially during the summer months when it was not unusual to have people standing outside for Mass on Sundays.
The building next door to Stocking Funeral Home was used for a brief time while the old church was torn down and a new church built. The year was 1959.
Through these early years we were served as a mission church and many priests were assigned to meet our pastoral needs. The Diocese of Grand Rapids assigned Fr. Raymond Moeggenberg as our first resident pastor in 1970.
In 1971 the dioceses were realigned and we became part of the Diocese of Saginaw.
Once again our church became inadequate and in 1986 a new one was built next to the old. It was dedicated by Bishop Kenneth Untener that same year and the old church was purchased by the Knights of Columbus.
Our church comfortably seats 400 people, and the adjacent social hall is easily converted to additional worship seating. We now have office space, conference rooms, and a kitchen.
The bell tower was added in August, 1997.
St. Athanasius is a parish of 200 families. As a resort community, there is a great mix of retirees, resident families, summer residents, and vacationers. We are a beautiful blend of the old and the new: a long history as a mission, a fresh start as a parish; the wisdom of retirees, the challenge of the young; the experience of long-standing residents, the enthusiasm of the newcomers; the beauty of the church of our youth. We continue to grow. We learn. We reach out to all in our praise to God.
Sacred Heart and St. Athanasius parishes are currently linked and are slated to remain canonically distinct, sharing a priest and cooperatively sharing as many functions as possible.
about st. athanasius the man
St. Athanasius of Alexandria is one of the most influential and illustrious saints of the early Church. Due to the importance of his teachings, he is one of only a handful of saints crowned with the title "Doctor of the Church." For a biography please click here.
“Jesus became what we are that He might make us what He is.” ~St. Athanasius
We Would Love to Have You Visit Soon. All saints and sinners are welcome!
Sacred Heart: M-Th 8:30-4:30 F 8:30-2:30 St. Athanasius: M-Th 9-3