Saint John the Apostle


Founding Pastor: ?
Parish Founded: Mission of Harpers Ferry 1878 Established as Parish in 1926
Church Dedication: Original Church, now Chapel dedicated in 1878 Parish Center, which was also Worship Site: 1992 Present Church 2012

Parish Cemetery Information:

St. John the Apostle Cemetery
Established: 1988
Interred: 100, in graves and columbarium

What Makes This Parish Unique?

The parish is unique in being a Mission Parish of St. Peter's Parish in Harper's Ferry for over 20 years, and then a Mission Parish of St. James in Falls Church until 1926. The parish's growth is a testament to the Church responding to the practical and spiritual needs of the people in the area...particularly in light of the large and explosive growth that continues to be a reality in Loudoun county.

Parish History:

The "Little Church" on King Street has been known throughout the years by several names, including its most familiar name of Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, plus Mary of the Immaculate Conception, St. Mary and Our Lady of Lourdes. It first operated as a mission of St. Peter Church in Harpers Ferry, W.Va. Then it was later transferred to a mission of St. James Church in Falls Church. St. John's "Little Church" of 1878 was a simple rectangular structure on the corner of King and Union Streets, about 25 feet by 40 feet. It was constructed by Norris and Sons, master builders of Leesburg's historic district, using simple hand tools, and without electricity. Its capacity was about 80-100 people. In 1927, after nearly 50 years, the Chapel was enlarged by extending the back wall out 20 feet and creating room for a sanctuary and two sacristies. Wings were added to the sides, forming a miniature transept, and making room for a few more pews. It was renamed St. John the Apostle at which time it was established as an independent parish. From 1936-39 St John the Apostle Catholic Church underwent its most drastic renovations both inside and out: Without changing its 1927 footprint, it was transformed into a historically accurate reproduction of a medieval French chapel, and a soaring Gothic spire was added to adorn its steeple. Today, Eucharistic Adoration is still held at the, now, chapel. Its intimacy, warmth, and preserved past make it rare privilege to visit. A Cemetery was added to the property in the late 1980's and a Parish Center, was completed in 1992. This building served our parish community well into the next decade and beyond. In addition to being a place of worship, it housed the business offices, religious education classrooms, plus a preschool. But once again, our Catholic Community had grown proportionally with fast-growing Loudoun County, and the space was outgrown. Overflow from Sunday Masses routinely filled the church narthex and extended into the hallways. Plans to build a new Church were undertaken in the early 2000's and were finalized in 2010 with the groundbreaking of the new Church, which was dedicated in August 2012. The property of the parish is a beautiful, park-like, setting in the historic section of the Town of Leesburg which encompasses the Church, with the Chapel across the street, the 171 year old Rectory House, the Parish Center, Cemetery, and other historic outbuildings. The Catholic Church's presence here in Leesburg, over the past 143 years, has responded to the growing spiritual and practical needs of the people...and St. John the Apostle Parish continues to be a thriving community of Faith!

To learn more about Saint John the Apostle Parish, please visit: