Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church dates back to 1975 when Bishop Welsh asked Father Cosby—Pastor of Holy Family Parish in Dale City—to recommend building sites for a new parish to be located in Lake Ridge, Virginia. After the present site was chosen, steps began to obtain proper zoning for a church complex.
Bishop Welsh selected and assigned Father Philip Majka as founding pastor of the parish on September 27, 1976. Arrangements were made to use Rockledge Elementary School for Masses. The first Mass was celebrated at Rockledge on October 16, 1976, with approximately 200 people in attendance. Arrangements were made to purchase a home for the pastor, and he moved into the Crabapple Court rectory on October 18, 1976.
The parish Building Committee held its first meeting on July 8, 1977 at the rectory. Faced with high inflation in building costs, the construction of the main church was postponed. Instead, a two-level interim church and activities center were constructed. The interim church was dedicated in a ceremony on November 30, 1981. The parish continued to grow in size and in programs.
In January 1992, the Building Committee was chartered to manage the planning and construction of the main church. March 21, 1993 marks the day of the ground-breaking ceremony. The ceremony included the Sisters of Charity from Emmitsburg (home of our Patroness Saint and founder of the order) bringing bags of soil to mix with the dirt on the site in a symbolic gesture of making the ground sacred. During the excavation of the basement, large quantities of rock and shale were found beneath the soil and the biblical saying of “ . . . upon this rock you will build my church.”
On August 28 1994, the new church was dedicated by Bishop Keating. Fittingly, August 28th is the anniversary of the birth of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton.
Our Parish Patron Saint
“We know certainly that our God calls us to a holy life. We know that he gives us every grace, every abundant grace; and though we are so weak of ourselves, this grace is able to carry us through every obstacle and difficulty.” ~ Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton
Mother Seton, as she is often called, was the first native born American citizen to be canonized a saint by the Roman Catholic Church. On the occasion of her beatification, Pope John XXIII said, “In a house that was very small, but with ample space for charity, she sowed a seed in America which by Divine Grace grew into a large tree.”
To learn more about our parish patron saint, please visit
The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton.
Prayer for Mother Seton’s Intercession
Lord God, you blessed Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton with gifts of grace as wife and mother, educator, and foundress, so that she might spend her life in service to your people. Through her example and prayers may we learn to express our love for you, in love for our fellow men and women. We ask this through Christ our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, Pray for Us!