Celebrating Women’s History Month: Pioneers of the Faith, Caterina Gardella (Palma), 1885-1958

In celebration of women’s history month, I’d like to share once again the story and legacy of my great-grandmother, Caterina Gardella (Palma). We named our little “Kat” (twin A) after her.

Paul J. Palma

I wrote this bio in honor of the legacy of my paternal great-grandmother, Caterina Gardella. She was a church founder, the first Secretary-Treasurer of the Christian Church of North America, and a gifted pianist. It was originally published on the website, Explorations in Italian Protestantism, edited by noted historian Mark P. Hutchinson (Alphacrucis College).

Caterina (Kathryn) Gardella was born in New York City on 24 February 1885, the second oldest of ten children born to Paolo Carlo Gardella (b. 1856, Favale di Malvaro, Genova; d. 1952, Chiavari) and Rosa Anna Lidia Cereghino (b. 1859, Favale di Malvaro, Genova; d. 1922, at sea). Of Waldensian background, shortly after her parents immigrated in 1880 the family joined the First Italian Presbyterian Church in Chicago. Gardella was trained under the able ministry of the evangelist Michele Nardi and Waldensian pastor Filippo Grill. Due to differences over the Presbyterian mode of baptism (by…

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Published by Paul J. Palma

Paul J. Palma is a professor of Christian history and theology at Regent University. He is the author of the books "Embracing Our Roots: Rediscovering the Value of Faith, Family, and Tradition," "Italian American Pentecostalism and the Struggle for Religious Identity" (Routledge Studies in Religion series), and "Grassroots Pentecostalism in Brazil and the United States: Migrations, Missions, and Mobility" (Palgrave Macmillan). He is also a contributing writer for CBN.com. Paul enjoys spending quality time with his family on walks together, going to the beach, fishing, and doing work around the yard.

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