Saint William of York


Founding Pastor: Rev. John S. Wysocki
Parish Founded: May 6, 1956, Bishop Ireton dedicated Saint William of York Church building, but it was a mission of Saint Mary in Fredericksburg until June 1, 1971.
Church Dedication: May 6, 1956.
Additional Dates of Importance:  A large Crucifix was erected in 1930, 1 mile north of the church on Route 1 to commemorate the first Catholic settlement in Virginia. September 14, 1980, the parish activity center was dedicated. In 1992, the parish school was dedicated. In August 2002, the new school wing and gymnasium was dedicated. In January 2020, the new church narthex was dedicated.

What Makes This Parish Unique?

Saint William of York is a vibrant and growing parish and offers various opportunities for faith formation, liturgical worship, service to the community and a full social calendar. It is a family-oriented parish that remains loyally committed to the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church, in communion with Pope Francis and with Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Arlington.

School Information:

Saint William of York Catholic School
Founded: 1992
Founding Pastor: Rev. Gerald Weymes

Saint William of York Catholic School was founded in 1992 under the pastoral leadership of Rev. Gerald Weymes and the school leadership of Mrs. Claire Dougherty. Initially run as a preschool, Saint William of York Catholic School grew to a full preschool through eighth grade school, with its first graduating class in 2001. As a small single-track school, it experienced fluctuating enrollment through the years and is now near capacity. Included in the mission is that Saint William of York Catholic School is a Christ-centered academic community instilling Catholic beliefs and gospel values, nurturing students' gifts of faith and intellect by surrounding them with a family of faculty, staff and volunteers whose vocation it is to serve. The students and families have been faithfully served by the following principals through the years: Mrs. Claire Dougherty (1992-2005), Sr. Lisa Lorenz, FMIJ (2005-2010), Mr. Frank Nicely (2010-2017), Mr. David Lima (2017-2021), and Mrs. Jennifer Schiller (2021-present). Pastoral leadership has included Rev. Gerald Weymes (1992-1999), Msgr. Roy Cosby (2000-2001), Rev. Michael Duesterhaus (2001-2004), Rev. David Meng (2004-2008), Rev. Robert DeMartino (2008-present).

Parish History:

The parish of Saint William of York traces its origin back to 1647, when the Brent family moved to Stafford County to escape religious intolerance. In 1785, Bishop John Carroll of Baltimore reported about 200 Catholics in this area. In 1930, a large Crucifix located on Route 1 near the parish was dedicated to commemorate the early Catholic settlement. In the early days, Mass was celebrated in the homes by the priest from Fredericksburg. In 1943, a mission station named Saint Therese was established at the Midway Island government housing project. During these times, 1920-1956, the Catholic community of Stafford County, which had been a mission since colonial times, was served as a mission of Saint Mary in Fredericksburg. On June 1, 1971, Saint William of York Catholic Church was established as an official parish, with Fr. John S. Wysocki as the first pastor, and 25 families were registered at that time. Rev. Edmund Kollar was assigned to Saint William of York in 1976, Rev. Charles Ryan became the pastor in 1986, Rev. Gerald Weymes became the pastor in 1988, Rev. Charles Merkle became the administrator in 1999, Msgr. Roy Cosby became the administrator in 2000, Rev. Michael Duesterhaus became the administrator in 2001, Rev. David Meng became the pastor in 2004, and Rev. Robert DeMartino became the pastor in 2008 and is to this day.

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