Holy Rosary Parish Celebrates 50th Anniversary and Makes $25,000 Gift to Archdiocese’s Saint John Paul II Seminary

Monday, October 17, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Catholic community of Holy Rosary in Upper Marlboro, Md. celebrates their fiftieth anniversary this year. Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington marked the special milestone anniversary by celebrating Mass with the parish faithful on Sunday.

Cardinal Wuerl reflected in his homily on the rich history of the parish community that preceded the canonical establishment of the parish a half century ago. This faith community of Holy Rosary parish was recognized back in 1710 as Boones Chapel and in 1859 as a mission church. Because of the large number of Catholics in Upper Marlboro, the parish was formally founded in 1966. The description of the ancient Church in the Acts of the Apostles that Pope Benedict XVI referenced in his 2005 encyclical, Deus caritas est (God is love), can still be used to describe Church life today, said cardinal, and explained that all faith communities in the Catholic Church gather to pray, to hear the teaching of the Apostles, to build community and to join in breaking of the bread. “What we celebrate today, then, is the fidelity of this portion of God’s family to the mission of the Church, to God’s plan, to God’s word, to God’s sacramental presence with us, and to the recognition of our identity as God’s family. But we do not just celebrate the past and look back on the accomplishments of the parish. Today we look also to the present moment and to the future,” said the cardinal.

At the end of the Mass, Cardinal Wuerl was presented with a gift from the parish for the archdiocese’s Saint John Paul II Seminary. “I was particularly gratified with the extraordinarily generous gift of the parish to the Archdiocese of Washington for our Saint John Paul II Seminary,” said the cardinal. “The check for $25,000 represents, as Father Roger Soley pointed out to the applause of the parishioners, the confidence of the faithful at Most Holy Rosary Church in the future with so many men being prepared for priesthood. The celebration was not just looking back over fifty years, but also looking forward well into the future and an opportunity to thank God for both possibilities.”

Currently, there are 71 men who are preparing to become priests for the Archdiocese of Washington. Cardinal Wuerl formally established Saint John Paul II Seminary in 2011 to allow young men discerning a call to the priesthood an opportunity to begin their priestly formation and studies within the archdiocese, while being part of the local Catholic community in Washington. Five years later, the seminary is undergoing its second phase of expansion.


The Archdiocese of Washington is home to over 620,000 Catholics, 139 parishes and 95 Catholic schools, located in Washington, D.C., and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.

Chieko Noguchi,
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