Albanian Catholic Community

Throughout the years, starting in 2007, Albanian American Community in Washington DC Metro Area has had Masses in Albanian language and other events, highlighting the rich Albanian traditions, culture and the return to the Faith after Communism collapse. Most of the Masses were celebrated in Virginia but some also in Washington DC. The events were organized mostly at the Library of Congress and local restaurants. All these were contingent on available visitor catholic priests and speakers. This was done with the initiative of Mrs. Merita McCormack, an Albanian American parishioner at St. John the Beloved Catholic Church in Mclean, VA. Merita, who now serves as the Coordinator for this Community with the Diocese , noticed the lengthy process of clearing a priest and securing a church for Mass, says that she had been praying for a set place and a simpler process. Little did she know that there was a structure in place and that great help was on the way!  

Heavenly Liturgies have always have been followed by some beautiful and bountiful receptions, which are organized and directed by Mrs. Enlkelejda Balliu Popa, a strong supporter and  encouraging Albanian -American  from day one, who greatly contributes to the flourishing of our community. During one of those receptions held after the Mass in honor of St. (Mother) Teresa of Calcutta said by the Saint's Albanian biographer, Msgr. Lush Gjergji, Vicar General of Prishtina-Prizren Diocese, Mrs. Mirela McDonald, an Albanian-American of Bethesda, MD, inquired about having a set place in the area, where such Albanian language Masses and events could take place. Based on the guidance from Msgr. Lush Gjergji, who said to petition our local bishop, and encouraged by Mrs. Edlira "Eda" Zhiti of Washington DC and Mr. Denis Guma of Maryland, Merita made an initial inquiry to the bishop's office, through her parish priests who had greatly aided and assisted with logistics and other relevant items pertaining to previous Albanian language Masses. That initial contact was made on January 13 , 2018 and communication was established with the Diocese's Office of Multicultural Ministries shortly after. This was a project that was assigned to Ms. Bridget Wilson, the current Director of Multicultural Ministries Office and thus we had the Albanian Catholic Community founded and integrated into the Diocese on Feb 7th, 2018, which was the Ash Wednesday 2018. Our Bishop is Rev. Michael Burbidge.

Currently, we try to have 3-4 Masses and receptions each year, based on the availability of the Priests. Masses are usually held at St. John the Beloved Catholic Church in McLean, VA and St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in Leesburg, VA and are announced through diocesan channels our facebook page, email and word of mouth. We participate in MCM Office Masses, events and activities and organize an annual pilgrimage to the chapel of Our Lady of Good Counsel (Patroness of the Albanians) at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Basilica in Washington DC which concludes with a prayer in Albanian. Our Community organizes prayer services, educational and some service projects throughout the year. Most prominent service project is one during the months of September and October, which are named the "Months of Mother Teresa" for our Community During those months we join forces and do Corporeal Works of Mercy, by helping at the Missionaries of Charity Convent and Soup Kitchen in Washington DC on the weekends for those two months. We also collect food and clothing for the needy in our area. We do fundraising for the needs of Albanians at home and more. 

The team members who organize the Masses and the events are all volunteers and serve on a pro-bono basis. Also important to note is that Masses, events and works of Mercy are attended by local Albanian Americans of all faith traditions, a very poignant and exemplary custom of the Albanians, a custom which Mother Teresa grew up with. In that regard we appreciate and thank MrsEnkelejda Balliu Popa, Mrs. Valbona Aliaj Selimaj, Mrs. Kreda Boçi,Mrs. Ehsen Zajmi, Nela & Joe Crnkovic, Liljana Pali Luku , Pari Hoxha and Anisa Papadhima from the Albanian Community for their collaboration, continuous help and support.

Some history of Albania can be found here in English!

If you are interested to help with Mass, activities and any events relevant to this Community, please send us a direct message on Facebook or contact us through email at

Thank you!


Albanian Martyrs

Albanian Martyrs of Faith Venerated In USA

On Saturday, November 5th, on the feast day of Albanian martyrs the relics of ten Albanian Martyrs were present during a Mass in a parish in Northern VA, USA. A presentation on their lives and heroic deeds was also held. Tens of people lined up before and after Mass at the church of St Catherine of Sienna in Fairfax County to venerate the first-class relics of ten martyrs of Albania. Among them Maria Tuci’s.

Mother Teresa2

St. Teresa of Kolkata's Birthday Not Forgotten by Missionaries of Charity

KOLKATA, India — Missionaries of Charity nuns in India celebrated the birthday of their order's founder, St. Teresa of Kolkata, three years after her canonization, breaking a Catholic convention.

Altar with Crucifix

Multicultural Mass Information

Discover when and where to attend a Mass in a different language or with a specific culture. The Catholic Diocese of Arlington offers multiple, regular Masses for the following communities: Brazilian, Cameroon, Deaf Ministry, Eritrean (Ge'ez Rite), Filipino, Irish (Gaelic), Ghanaian, Indian Syro-Malabar Rite, Indian (Tamil), Korean, Sierra Leone and Vietnamese.

View Our Mass Schedule