“Here we are assembled on the very fields which not many years ago was the scene of the most bloody battles of the war. When not only man fought against man, but relations against relations, whose blood still, we may say, rests upon this earth.”
With these words Bishop William Elder dedicated the first All Saints Church on a hot August day in 1879.
The corner stone was laid by Richmond Bishop J.J. Keane on November 29, 1878. Placed in the stone was a relic of the Civil War dug up from the church’s foundation. Silver coins, copies of the Catholic Mirror, Catholic Review and the Manassas Gazette were also included. The corner stone was moved to the chapel of the present church in 1974.
First designated as a mission church, the wooden structure, with a 75 foot steeple and seating capacity of less than 100, was the largest religious structure in the town. The small church served as a parish for hundreds of square miles; stretching north to the Potomac River, east to Woodbridge and Triangle and west to the Bull Run Mountains and Gainsville. The parish was later split into a number of parishes, in 1947 St. Francis of Assisi in Triangle, 1959 Our Lady of Angels in Woodbridge, 1969 St. Timothy in Centreville, and in 1970 Holy Family in Dale City.
For many years the pastor would travel from Warrenton to Manassas for Sunday Mass. Father Patrick Donelan died of heatstroke while traveling to Manassas in 1866. In July 1929 Father Michael Cannon became the first resident pastor of the new independent parish of All Saints.
The Stigmatines Fathers were invited by Bishop Peter Ireton to take over pastoral responsibility in 1942. The Fathers over saw the growth of our parish, including the opening of the All Saints School in 1960 and the present church in 1974. Regrettably in 1993 the Stigmatines requested that the Arlington Diocese take over the parish staffing.
The present church is staffed by 4 resident priests and provide two daily masses (one on Saturday) , two masses on Saturday in anticipation of Sunday, and seven masses on Sunday ( two of the masses in Spanish and one children’s mass ). Please visit our Mass Schedule page for the time of these masses as well as the date and time for confessions.
Throughout the history of our parish, the population outsized the facilities, this continues to be true even today. The present church seats only 860. In order to continue to handle the growing needs of the parish a Building Fund Campaign was established in 1995. The parish requires a larger Church to handle the increase in attendance. A new school was built in 1999 and offers grades K through 8th grade. The school is expected to add a new Pre-K program by the end of the year 2000.
* Photos provided from the U.S. Library of Congress *