History of the Parish

On June 3, 1967, John J. Russell, Bishop of Richmond, established St Lawrence Parish in Franconia, VA.    Father Frank E. Mahler was appointed founding pastor, and the 500 families who formed the original parish met at Edison High School to celebrate Mass until the church facility was constructed.

Bishop Russell dedicated the Church building, the Parish Hall and the Rectory/Office on December 12, 1970.  In 1974, St Lawrence was one of 52 parishes that was formed into the new Diocese of Arlington under the leadership of the Most Reverend Thomas J. Welsh, first Bishop of Arlington.

In 1988, the Rose Garden was begun with Stations of the Cross, Divine Mercy Icon and a Memorial to the Unborn among other statues and memorials.  On May 20, 2017, the garden was named in honor of Fr. McAfee in recognition of his extensive work in the expansion of the garden.  This parish and all of those who visit our Fr McAfee Garden are grateful for all of his efforts to make it beautiful for future parishioners and visitors.

Pastors who have served at St Lawrence Parish are:

Father Frank E. Mahler     1967-1972

Father Austin L. Ryder       1972-1979

Father Henry E. Hammond     1979-1988

Father Franklyn M. McAfee     1988-1997

Father William J. Erbacher     1997-2001

Father Terrance R. Staples (Administrator)  2001-2002

Father Christopher Mould     2002-2015

Father Ronald  J. Gripshover     2015- Present


Parishioners of St. Lawrence who answered the call to a vocation in Religious life:

Deacon Gerald A. Melvin

Parishioner 1967-1986. Ordained a permanent deacon 6/18/78.  His ordination was at St. Lawrence.  He died on 5/17/04.

Deacon Joseph L. Bosch

Parishioner from 1967 – 2000.  Ordained a permanent deacon on 6/16/81. He died on 3/9/2002.

Fr. Stanley Bosch

Parishioner 1967- 1986.  Ordained to the  Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity on 6/07/86.

Deacon Walter E. Claassen, Jr.

Parishioner 1982-1999. Ordained a permanent deacon 5/13/89.  He died on 7/26/99.

Sr. Maria Grace Dateno, F.S.P.

Parishioner from her Baptism on March 10, 1968 to 1984.  She made her Perpetual Profession of Vows on 6/25/95.

Fr. Paul A. Berghout, J.C.L.

Parishioner 1990-1992.  He wa s ordained to the Holy Priesthood on 5/18/96  for the Diocese of Arlington.

Sr. Michelle Marie Kelly, S.N.D.

Parishioner 1975-1989.   She made her Final Profession of Vows in July 1998.

Sr. Ann Hyacinth Genow, O.P.  (Name at birth: Leslie Ann Genow)

She was received into the church at St. Lawrence in April 1992 and Professed her Final Vows in August 2001.

Sr. Mary Celeste D’Souza, O.P.

She professed her Final Vows in 2001.

Fr. Ramon A. Baez

Parishioner 1999-2005.   He was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on 6/11/05  for the Diocese of Arlington.

Sr. Marie Celine Laird, O.P. (Name at birth: Brandee Marella Laird)

Parishioner 1991-1998.  She professed her Final Vows on 8/08/2005.

Fr. Scott A. Haynes

Parishioner 1996-2000.  He was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on 5/31/2007 for the Order Regular of Saint John Cantius.

Fr. Anthony J. Killian

Parishioner 1992-2008.  He w as ordained to the Holy Priesthood on 6/14/2008 for the Diocese of Arlington.

Fr. Robert J. Wagner

Parishioner 2001-2003.  He was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on 6/13/2009 for the Diocese of Arlington.

Sr. Cecillia Tsao (Name at birth: Cecillia Ching-Wen Tsao)

Parishioner  2000 – 2003.  She pronouncement her Vows on 8/22/2009.

Fr. Patrick Kokorian

Parishioner  2000 – 2002.  He was ordained to the Holy Priesthood at Most Holy Trinity Monastery in Petersham, Massachusetts on 10/27/13.  He was elected second Abbot of the Monastery on 9/24/19.

Deacon Michael A. Waters

Parishioner 1999 to Present.  He was ordained a permanent deacon 1/17/2015 for the Diocese of Arlington.

Fr. Steven Oetjen

Parishioner 1988 – 2017.  He was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on 6/10/2017 for the Diocese of Arlington.





St. Lawrence Catholic Church
6222 Franconia Road
Alexandria, VA, 22310
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(703) 971-4378
(703) 971-0331
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