Saint Luke


Founding Pastor: Msgr. (later Bishop) J. Louis Flaherty
Parish Founded: 1961
Church Dedication: 1983

What Makes This Parish Unique?

The parishioners of Saint Luke Parish are actively engaged in their faith each day. The parish hosts a variety of prayer groups and Bible studies for all ages to engage more deeply in their faith. There are numerous small groups meeting nearly every day of the week where parishioners assist one another in growing as disciples. Saint Luke parishioners are also passionate about outreach, both locally and globally. The parish outreach committee receives requests for assistance from around the world. Saint Luke Parish is particularly engaged in mission work in Jamaica, having supported the Saint Patrick Foundation in Kingston for a number of years and more recently working with priests in the Archdiocese of Mandeville. The magnificent pipe organ in the sanctuary of the church is symbolic of the parish's love for beautiful liturgical music. The music director has recently introduced a special program for young people to become more familiar with Church music. The parish hosts a "Music in McLean" concert series throughout the year as well.

School Information:

Saint Luke School
Founded: 1962
Founding Pastor:  Monsignor Flaherty

Saint Luke School opened its doors to students on September 4, 1962. The parishioners of Saint Luke Parish had encouraged their pastor to build a school first. When the school opened, it was comprised of eight classrooms and a gymnasium, which was also used for Sunday Masses for the parish. The school was staffed by the Felician Sisters from Lodi, New Jersey. The first year, the school had just grades 3-6, with 50 students in each grade. Grades 1, 2, 7, and 8 were added in the years that followed. In time, the Felician Sisters had to leave the school and were succeeded by lay faculty members. The school eventually added a middle school wing and has expanded to include a preschool and grades K-8, with a maximum of 250 students. Saint Luke School was named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2014. Today, it is a thriving community where young people grow in their knowledge and love of God and his creation.

Parish History:

The first Mass at Saint Luke Parish was celebrated by Msgr. J. Louis Flaherty on May 27, 1961, with four parishioners in attendance. Saint Luke Parish had been established to cover a roughly three-by-ten mile region running along the Potomac River and stretching from Chain Bridge Road to the Loudoun County line. The parish was formed from the northeast sector of Saint John Church in McLean and covered the northwest corner of Fairfax County. This portion of Fairfax County was made up of the small but rapidly growing town of McLean and the still-rural farming community of Great Falls. Regular Sunday Masses began being celebrated on June 4, 1961, with 730 parishioners in attendance in the cafeteria of Franklin Sherman School. The official residence of the church was a small house on Congress Lane in the neighborhood adjacent to the church property. The house served as rectory, parish center and the location for weekday Mass. It was decided by parishioners that the first parish building to be completed would be a school; once the school was completed, it was thought that a church would soon follow. In August 1962, the construction of the school and gymnasium was completed. Masses were now offered in the school's gymnasium/cafeteria. In order to make room for the sisters who were coming to staff the new school, the priests moved into a two-bedroom apartment that was built into one of the classrooms in the new school. The parish offices were moved from Congress Lane to what would eventually become the school library. The next several years saw much change in the growing parish.

Monsignor Flaherty left the parish to become a seminary rector, and Fr. Joseph Wingler was named his successor in 1963. Father Wingler purchased another home to serve as the new rectory and parish center. This allowed the priests to move out from the cramped quarters in the school. A convent was completed in 1966, and the house of Congress Lane was sold. Father Wingler had hoped to begin construction on a church building, but he was soon transferred in 1965. He was succeeded as pastor by Fr. Albert Pereira. With the school and convent established, the parish began to focus on outreach, helping neighbors in need. It was Fr. Jack Hughes who finally oversaw the construction of Saint Luke Church, which was dedicated by Bishop Thomas Welsh on February 10, 1983. Under the leadership of Fr. Stewart Culkin, the church sanctuary was embellished with a mosaic depicting the second coming and a statue of Christ the High Priest. Father Culkin also directed the construction of the parish's hall, named for the founding pastor, Bishop Flaherty. The church's magnificent pipe organ was added in 1998 during the tenure Fr. Martin McGuill, who was pastor from 1992 through 2011. Father McGuill also beautified the Blessed Sacrament chapel with the addition of a triptych depicting the supper at Emmaus. Father McGuill was succeeded as pastor in 2011 by Fr. David Martin, who served the parish until his retirement from active ministry in 2020. Fr. Richard Guest was installed as the eighth pastor of Saint Luke Parish by Bishop Michael Burbidge in July 2020.

To learn more about Saint Luke, visit