Local Mission Church Celebrates 100 Years



June 12, 2017

Arlington, Va. – Saint Anthony Mission in King George County will celebrate its 100th year, Tuesday, June 13, 2017, with a Mass.  The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Arlington, will attend. 


When:                      Tuesday, June 13, 2017
                                  5 p.m.

Where:                     Saint Anthony of Padua Mission Church
                                  10299 Millbank Rd, King George

“In 1917, with the ongoing conflict of WWI unfolding, in a far off rural county of the Old Dominion a tiny band of faithful Catholics humbly planted the standard of Christ’s Church in the soil of King George County,” said Father Francis de Rosa, pastor of Saint Anthony of Padua Mission Church. And now, 100 years later that little country church, grown by leaps and bounds, begins its second centennial, he added.  “The darkness cannot overcome.”    Saint Anthony of Padua Mission church is a mission of St. Elizabeth of Hungary parish in Colonial Beach.  There are more than 2,300 members combined.


• The children of Fielding Lewis (1808-1871) – descended from George Washington’s sister, Betty Washington, and Mary Imogene Green (1871-1913) played a principle part in the founding of St. Anthony Church, on a plot of land then called John Burk’s Corner, purchased for $250 in 1916.  The land was deeded to Rev. Dennis J. O’Connell, the Bishop of Richmond at the time. 

• The architect was a Mr. Philip Stearn of Fredericksburg. The lumber was taken from the land known then, as now, as Claydael, where many of its present parishioners reside. 

• Mrs. Stella Dickenson of Berryplain, of the same clan of the Lewis family, asked that the church be named after St. Anthony of Padua, for whom she had a great devotion.

• Many of the stained glass windows contain the names of this first family of the church.

• On June 24th of 1917 the church was consecrated and dedicated by Bishop Dennis J. O’Connell of Richmond, with several priests assisting, including Fr. T.B. Martin of Fredericksburg, who in 1922 began to reside at St. Elizabeth’s in Colonial Beach, which had been established in 1922. 

• The Fredericksburg Daily Star of June 25, 1917 covered the event, stating that the church was filled to capacity and the ceremony was most impressive. The cost of construction was $2,150, that sum being raised by the ladies of the church holding “teas, card parties, suppers, picnics, strawberry festivals and all other things that rural churches use to raise money.”