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Hidden History-Holy Rosary Catholic Church

The roots of the current parish of Holy Rosary go back to the late 1940s. During that time, the Redemptorist Fathers, after having gathered at the home of George Pollard for prayer and worship, established what was then called the Church Hill Catholic Mission on North 27th Street. The Mission was an outgrowth of St. Augustine’s parish, which was located in the Fulton section of Richmond. The Redemptorists found great interest among the African American families to further develop the mission into a full parish. Continued progress motivated Bishop Peter Ireton, Ninth Bishop of Richmond, to formally establish Holy Rosary Parish in 1953


Over the next few years, property earlier purchased at North 33rd Street between R and St Streets was developed. The first “church” on our current property was built at 33rd and R Streets. It served as Church Office, worship center, and Child Care Center, run by the Missionary Sisters of Verona (now known as the Comboni Missionary Sisters.) The parish grew and in the early 1960s, the previous Church was built; in the 1970’s the Child Care Center was built and the Bishop Russell Center (formerly the Church) was renovated and became the Parish Hall. Most recently, we have completed at $2.5 million dollar expansion including a new Sanctuary and Chapel, new offices, and renovated Parish Center and Commons.

► Holy Rosary is more than several separate buildings. It is a celebration of people who have gathered to give praise and thanks to God for almost fifty years. During that time, through the births and deaths, baptisms, and marriages, the opportunity has been given to deepen our relationship with God and one another. The transformations occurring in society and in the Roman Catholic Church universally, are reflected in both our worship space and our worship gatherings.  The growth of the Holy Rosary has encouraged a greater layperson involvement in the life of the Church.

► The following priests have served Holy Rosary:

Joseph Hart, Clem Tackeny, John McCarthy, John Keegan, James O’Malley, Francis Brennan, Edward McDonough, Charles Morawski, Joseph Driscoll, Thomas Grimmer, James Gaffey, A. Schauhart, Charles O’Leary, John Huston, Robert J. Smith, J. Terlinski, J. Mollen, Joseph T. Hemighaus, Peter A. Washington, T.J. Norton, John Stevens, G. A. Wickland, J. McGonagle, Alphonse Noll, Charles Tehunbach, Michael J. Spinella, Alfred DeFazio, Thomas Harte, Luke Doheny, Edward O’Dowd, Joseph Driscoll, L. Haver, Thomas Radley, John Schiminsky, James Parke, Vince Douglas, George W. Hughes, Robert Quirin, Lester Silva, Bp. John Joyce Russell, Art Conrad, Lou Ruoff, Bob Brownell, Raymond Schantz, Pat Apuzzo, Walter Barrett, Jr. Fr. David Stanfill and currently, Fr. Jay Wagner.

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