Christ the Redeemer


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Founding Pastor: Fr. Norman Boyd, S.A.
Parish Founded: June 1, 1972
Church Dedication: June 22, 1980
Additional Dates of Importance: Feb 27, 2000 - Dedication of the current Church

What Makes This Parish Unique?

Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church in Sterling, VA is large multicultural parish. Our goal is to help all people to know Christ, to love Christ, to serve Christ, and to be with Christ forever in heaven. Jesus, present in the most Blessed Sacrament of the altar is the source and summit of our Faith and it is Jesus who strengthens us to Love God with all our heart, mind and soul and to love our neighbor as Christ has loved us. Our parish is welcoming and family friendly, there is intentional and active dedication to our brothers and sisters in need through social outreach, financial support, and cooperation with Link Against Hunger. We have a beautiful Bilingual parish and offer almost every program in Spanish and in English. After every weekday mass as well as on 1st Saturday devotions, we have a multilingual rosary prayed in 5 different languages (English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Filipino, and French). In our Guadalupe Chapel we have a large 6-foot image of El Señor de los Milagros (The Lord of the Miracles). This is a Peruvian devotion, and we have holy cards in the Chapel to help foster this devotion. The entire month of October is dedicated to the Lord of the Miracles. Our poor box ministry is amazing. During the pandemic, from April 2020 to October 2021, Christ the Redeemer has given over $800,000 through its poor box ministry to many families in our area to stay in their homes by paying rent and other expenses. This has only been possible through the generosity of our parishioners and those from many other parishes as well as collaboration with Catholic Charities.

Parish History:

1972: A small group of dedicated Catholics began to build interest in a Catholic parish in Sterling. They reached out to a missionary order: The Franciscan Friars of the Atonement from Graymoor in New York. Starting off worshiping in the basement of the Sterling Baptist Church, this small and dedicated group of lay people put down the foundation of what is today Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church. Fr. Ken Dougherty, S.A. celebrated the first mass in the cafeteria of Sterling Middle School on March 5, 1972, with 500 people in attendance. The need was great, and the desire was clear. Three months later, the community was established as a parish on June 1 and the first pastor was Fr. Norman Boyd, S.A. Northern Virginia area became the new Diocese of Arlington on August 13, 1974. Bishop Welsh gave enthusiastic support to the construction of a church for the parish on a site owned by the diocese on Route 7. The first church was constructed and dedicated on June 22, 1980. The parish saw remarkable growth. Daily and Sunday Masses were attended with great enthusiasm. The friars and the parishioners used their gifts and talents to provide a diverse array of ministries. Christ the Redeemer partnered with local churches and charities and introduced LINK, a program to combat hunger and need in the area and established a food pantry that distributed hundreds of thousands of bags of food to needy families. 2000: From a small group of several dozen families, it had blossomed to over 2300 households. Under the leadership of Fr. Donald Howard S.A. and Fr. Bill Schmidt S.A., a new church was built that could seat 1200 people and accommodate a complete religious education program for children and adults. It was dedicated on February 27, 2000. 2018: The parish had again almost doubled to 4500 households and was over 50% Hispanic. After 45 years of service to Christ the Redeemer, the Atonement Friars advised the bishop of the need to return to Graymoor. Bishop Burbidge thanked them for their many years of generous support and ministry. He said it was a legacy to be proud of in many ways. Fr. JD Jaffe and Fr. Mark Moretti arrived, becoming the first diocesan priests to staff the parish. Both priests embraced the idea of outreach and constant availability to the parishioners. Opportunities for Confession were expanded, weekly Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was begun, and a third Sunday mass in Spanish was made permanent. In March of 2020, the country was effectively closed due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Despite the suspension of public worship, the parish remained open for private worship. Exposition and Confessions were offered 4 hours daily and 8 hours on Sundays. Confessionals were erected in the main church to comply with social distance protocols. The church doors remained open to the faithful, and on May 31, 2020, regular public celebration of the Mass was reinstituted. During that same time, parishioners generously responded to those in need as donations to the food pantry and the poor box ministry increased dramatically. With the help of Catholic Charities, Loudoun Cares and many generous donors, Christ the Redeemer became a leader in the area to help people stay in their homes and pay their bills. Over the course of April 2020 to October 2021, the poor box ministry gave more than $800,000 in assistance to those in need. 2022: Christ the Redeemer parish consists of 4600 households over 60% of which are Hispanic. There are 7 masses on the weekends, 4 English and 3 Spanish. Daily masses are offered in both English and Spanish, and confessions are offered 7 days a week in both languages. The daily rosary is prayed in 5 languages, English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Filipino, and French, reflecting the diversity of the parishioners. There are on average 350 baptisms and 30 weddings each year. The community that started with a dozen or so dedicated families in 1972 has been blessed and multiplied. Blessed be God!

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