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Catholic population on the rise in Bible-belt entrenched Atlanta

.- Notre Dame Academy in Duluth is a symbol of the growth of Catholicism in metro Atlanta, Archbishop Wilton Gregory told the students and staff during a recent visit.

The school, which has Grades K-8, has more then 200 students and school officials expect enrollment to double to about 400 for the next school year. The growth of the Catholic community has meant that the demand for Catholic schools has outstripped the supply.

After touring the school, consecrating altars in a chapel and in the school auditorium, and celebrating mass, Archbishop Gregory pointed to more growth in the archdiocese. He said he has already participated in the consecration of three new churches in his first year since being appointed to Atlanta. The Catholic population is currently 5 percent.

Notre Dame opened as an independent Catholic school in August. Its board purchased a converted office park. Operational expenses are financed independently by the fundraising efforts of laypeople who wanted to make a Catholic school available to families in the northern part of Gwinnett. The school is not supported financially by the archdiocese.

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