Our Lady of the Blue Ridge


Founding Pastor: Fr. Eugene G. Neyer
Parish Founded: 1977
Church Dedication: 1992

What Makes This Parish Unique?

Our Lady of the Blue Ridge is small, with about 150 families, so there is spiritual and social interaction. It also has a wonderful outreach program where several parishes in the Diocese assist the parish greatly.

Parish History:

The church may look new, but the parish is much older than the 1992 dedication date of the building. 

1943: A few local Catholics inquired into using of the facilities at the Madison Presbyterian Church for Sunday services. 

March 31, 1974: On Easter Sunday, Fr. John Janssen, CICM, pastor of Saint John Catholic Church in Orange, celebrated the first Mass in Madison County. 41 people attended at the Madison Volunteer Fire Department. This first Mass came only 18 days after the formation of the Diocese of Arlington. For that Mass, parishioner Frank Barnett supplied the Crucifix, which he had rescued while in the Coast Guard from a ship right before the ship's scheduled destruction.

November 8, 1977: The Parish of Our Lady of the Blue Ridge was established with Fr. Eugene G. Neyer as its first pastor. 

November 25, 1979: Most Rev. Thomas J. Welsh, Bishop of Arlington, blessed the house that is now the parish rectory and education center. Until the dedication of the current church, it also served as a chapel. 

May 1981: The services and support of the Missionhurst Community provided the parish with the appointment of pastors: first Fr. Paul De Wolf, CICM, followed by Fr. Albert Verbeke, CICM, in July 1984, and Fr. Robert Timperman, CICM, in January 1987. 

July 1, 1989: Fr. John Morel, CICM, accepted appointment as pastor. Father John, a native of Belgium, had earlier served in Falls Church, Virginia; Detroit, Michigan; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During his first two years at the parish, Fr. John helped parishioners in their efforts of developing the financing and planning for the new building. 

August 4, 1991: Groundbreaking took place. 

June 11, 1992: Bishop John Richard Keating blessed and dedicated Our Lady of the Blue Ridge. Four locations in the nave and sanctuary display a wooden cross and a pair of matching sconces; in these locations, the Bishop blessed the walls of the church with Holy Oil.