Whether you are a newcomer, an old-timer, or just a curious visitor, welcome to our parish web site.
Although we are a large parish—some might say too large!—our Pastoral Council and parish leadership join me in hoping that your experience of St. Lawrence will be like that of a sister or brother, in a close and vibrant relationship with a family of faith. We are certainly not a perfect parish. But as in your own family, it is our love for Christ and our commitment to one another that allow us to remain faithful even in our sinfulness and imperfection.
Over the years, we have grown more interested in having a real faith family at St. Lawrence than in merely maintaining a registry of passive and inactive members. Since the Second Vatican Council, we have been learning daily what it means for the Church to be the People of God. Embedded in that beautiful and ancient name is the realization that we are the Church, that in baptism we all share responsibility for the Church's inner life and its mission in the world.
One of the principal ways we experience that vocation at St. Lawrence is through Small Christian Communities. Since 2004 we have been slowly refashioning our parish into a “community of small communities.” In these informal home gatherings of small groups of adults, parishioners listen to the scriptures, reflect on how those scriptures impact their lives, pray together, support one another and take concrete actions to live out the gospel in all aspects of their lives. If you are now or might soon be a parishioner, please consider making a Small Christian Community your first parish commitment after mass and the sacraments.
Once again, welcome to our web site. The pages and links that follow will give you a brief glimpse into the life of a vibrant parish family. Wherever you are and whatever your circumstances, may we be for one another true brothers and sisters, the living Body of Christ, accompanying and supporting one another on the journey of faith.
Your brother in Christ’s word and work,
Rev. Monsignor Albert W. Jowdy, V.F. Pastor
Albert W. Jowdy, a North Carolina native, has called North Georgia home since 1966. He studied philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and theology at St. Vincent de Paul Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida, receiving the master of divinity degree with honors.
Father Jowdy was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Atlanta in 1984, and served as parochial vicar at All Saints parish in Dunwoody and St. Thomas Aquinas parish in Alpharetta, and then as pastor of the latter from 1991 through 2002. During 2002-2003, he pursued postgraduate studies in the psychology of religion at Heythrop College, the Jesuit faculty of the University of London. He was appointed pastor of St. Lawrence in July 2003. In 2013 Pope Benedict XVI named him a Chaplain to His Holiness, with the title of Monsignor.
He is a judge on the ecclesiastical Court of Appeals for the Atlanta province, a member of the archdiocesan Council of Priests and College of Consultors. He is Vicar Forane, or Dean, for the 18 parishes of the Northeast Metro Deanery. He is a member of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians and Pax Christi, the international Catholic peace movement.
Monsignor Jowdy’s personal interests include theater, music, reading, cooking, travel—and Tarheel basketball!