Welcome to ST. MARK Catholic Church
a Catholic community called by Christ
to Worship God, to Invite all with love,
to Nurture our faith, and to Serve others.
Barn on the farmland which later became ST. MARK
ST. MARK was established in May of 1965 at the request of the Most Reverend John J. Russell, Bishop of Richmond, at a time of change in the Catholic Church as the results of Vatican II began to be incorporated into everyday parish life. Under the guidance of Fr. Robert J. Walsh and with the spirit of Vatican II and 400 families, the parish began with their first Mass on August 1, 1965 held at James Madison High School. In August of 1968, the parish moved to its own church building on the present 20 acres on Vale Road. In 1984, the current church sanctuary complex was completed and dedicated. And in 2003, the parish facilities were made complete with the Christian Formation Center.
Since 1965, the parish has been guided by the special gifts of four pastors, Fr. Walsh, Monsignor Thomas Cassidy, Fr. Anthony Justs, Fr. Stewart Culkin and currently Fr. Patrick Holroyd.
Fr. Walsh called us to see and act upon the vision of the just-completed Second Vatican council, for lay involvement, lay participation and lay leadership. His practical requests looked to the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine Program (C.C.D.) for our children’s religious education; the Neighborhood Group Structure of small group meeting, praying, and sharing together in a pyramid toward the large parish community; and the commitment by all parishioners to tithe and so provide for the material needs of the parish – which itself would tithe and so provide for the service needs of the poor and disadvantaged. In his seven years, Father Walsh guided us through the renovating of the farm house for the Rectory and Parish Offices, the building of the original Church and School of Religion, and the developing of the Parish Council.
There has, unfortunately, been struggle in our history, as with Fr. Walsh’s reassignment, and the unfulfilled assignment of Fr. Robert Brooks. But Fr. Thomas Cassidy’s appointment began and resulted in a healing and blossoming for the parish. He worked with the new Pastoral Council and the newly-formed Finance Council to strengthen us as a parish. He asked us to work through our five Commissions of Worship, Religious Education, Community Growth, Service and Youth Ministry, our committees, Parish Staff and organizations to serve as Christ among us. And as the neighborhood kept growing and our presence kept expanding, the need of a larger facility meant the building of the new church with the provision for Pastoral Offices, as well as the refurbishing of the original church and School of Religion to the Activities Center, Administrative Offices, and the Parish library. Following another experience at “Saint” James Madison, we entered into the wonderful new surroundings in 1984. And in thanksgiving of Father Tom’s ministry to us, Bishop Thomas J. Welsh designated him Reverend Monsignor Thomas J. Cassidy, Honorary Prelate of the Pontifical Household — and we designated the original church the Monsignor Thomas J. Cassidy Activities Center.
Then the coming of Fr. Anthony Justs reminded the parish to keep sharing the faith, especially as a “Mission of Love”. His three years culminated in his accepting the request of the church in Latvia to come and rebuild the church, so long persecuted by atheistic Communism.
Next came the Parish’s “Back to the Future” moment as Fr. Stewart Culkin, an associate pastor here in the mid-1970’s, became the new pastor. As he settled in and time passed, he asked the parish to consider the need for increased space for the educational and community efforts of the parish. With the decision to include a parochial school within the Christian Formation Center, struggle within the parish itself and then with the local neighborhood increased and tested the forbearance of everyone. But once the building permit was granted, and the Diocesan loan was approved, and the construction was started – and completed – the Christian Formation Center, a facility, offers so many ways for children, youth, and adults for sharing the faith.
And with Fr. Patrick Holroyd as our present pastor, the parish has achieved the honor of our 50th anniversary in 2015, and the joy of a fully-paid mortgage and a debt-free parish. Let us thank God to be the ST. MARK Catholic Church, witnesses of Christ’s love and mercy by Serving others through our ministries and outreach as we proclaim the Gospel in our community and to the world.
Original Church Building Completed in 1968
Rev. Patrick Holroyd
Rev. Ignatius Chung
Deacon John P. Allen
Deacon Charles H. Duck
The Pastoral Council is an advisory body for the Pastor, serving as the Pastor’s “eyes and ears”. There are no votes, and the Council does not make policy. The Council must advise by consensus. Heads of each of the five Parish Commissions are ex-officio members of the council. Parishioners elect 4 at-large members for a 2 year service each Fall resulting in a total of 8 at-large members for a 2 year service. The Pastor may also appoint two additional members of the Parish resulting in ten at-large Pastoral Council members.
All registered parishioners 18 years or older are eligible to vote and run for election for the at-large seats on the council.
The Pastoral Council typically meets on the third Thursday of each month (except in July/August).
The meetings are always open to all parishioners.
Officers / Executive Council
1st Vice Chair
2nd Vice Chair
At Large Members
Susan “Sue” Heard
Friends of the Pastoral Council
Eduardo R. Sevilla
Finance Council Chair
9970 Vale Rd., Vienna, VA 22181
Not sure if you reside within ST. MARK’s parish boundary? Click here to visit the Diocese of Arlington Parish Boundary Map.
From the Capital Beltway: Rte 66 West to first Vienna exit (Rte 243 North-Nutley Street) Stay on 243 to Malcolm Rd. Left on Malcolm. Malcolm Becomes Vale Road after town limits. ST. MARK is on the right.
From Rte 66 West (Front Royal): Stay on Rte 66 to Rte 123 exit Vienna/Oakton. Go towards Vienna to Hunter Mill Rd. Left on Hunter Mill Road about 2 miles. Right on Vale (do not turn left on Vale Road). ST. MARK Church is on the left side.