About Us

Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary -A Brief History


Our founding fathers and pioneers arrived in America from Eastern Europe. Most of the parishioners originally settled in Pennsylvania and Ohio, and then migrated to Virginia as farmers. There were many obstacles to overcome, but through hard work, devotion to God and love of their church, they met them. These people were God-fearing and law-abiding. They brought with them many customs, cultures, and traditions.

Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Early Church

Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Early Church

Religion and church were an integral part of these immigrants. When the early members of the church settled in Virginia, they were without their own church or priest. Through strong will and determination, they were able to build a church. Earlier in the history, they sought a priest to hold the Divine Liturgy as far away as Pennsylvania and Maryland. They petitioned the local Roman Catholic Church for permission to hold their own liturgy; however, this was short-lived, as the church closed the door on further services. This did not hamper their determination, and the liturgy was held in the Duritza and Cebula homes. The Reverend Korytniowsky came from Baltimore to serve the parishioners.

Seeing the need for a new church, they took upon themselves the insurmountable task of building and maintaining St. Mary’s Catholic Church -the first Byzantine Rite church of the South. St. Mary’s also lays claim to being the smallest congregation of Byzantine Rite in all of North America.   more…..

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