Wolf Run Studio - Houses of Worship
Bill Harrah
Wolf Run Studio
P.O. Box 444
Clifton VA 20124

(703) 250-6711
(703) 764-9204





. . . HOUSES OF WORSHIP . . . (Click on an image to see the actual notecard size)
St. Joseph's Church
Alexandria, Virginia

#NC-08240-WP - Notecards

Before St. Joseph's Catholic Church opened in 1916, Black Catholics of Northern Virginia worshipped from the alcove in the back of St. Mary's Church in Alexandria. They also met separately in St. Mary's Lyceum with Father Charles F. Hannigan, a Josephite priest who made the trip weekly from St. Joseph's Mission House in Richmond.

Under the guidance of Father Hannigan and the Josephites, the Black Catholics set out to build their own church. Although they were among the poorest residents of Alexandria, they had a wealth of determination. While they worked hard to raise funds, Father Hannigan raised the interest of Mother Katherine Drexel, founder of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and a member of a wealthy Philadelphia family. The names of Mother Katherine (who donated $8,000) and other early benefactors appear on a brass plaque in the church vestibule.

The congregation purchased the land for the church in 1914 and laid the cornerstone in late 1915. The official dedication came on May 14, 1916. Father Joseph J. Kelly served as the first pastor of the red-brick, English Gothic-style church. Until the completion of the rectory in 1921, he lived in the altar boys' sacristy.

In 1967, the Bishop of Richmond redesignated St. Joseph's from a mission church for Black Catholics to a parish church with territorial boundaries.

Text © 1997 Terry White, Drawing © 1997 Bill Harrah

Adat Reyim    Christ Church    Clifton Baptist Church    Clifton Presbyterian Church    The Falls Church    Fort Belvoir Chapel    Fredericksburg Baptist Church    Fredericksburg United Methodist Church    Memorial Chapel at Walter Reed Hospital    Mount Zion Old School Baptist Church    The Old Post Chapel    Pohick Episcopal Church, Truro Parish    The Presbyterian Church of Fredericksburg    St. George's Episcopal Church    St. Joseph's Church    St. Mary's Catholic Church    St. Mary's Church    St. Peter's Lutheran Church    St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church    Trinity Episcopal Church, Sheperdstown    Trinity Episcopal Church, Upperville    Truro Episcopal Church    Vienna Presbyterian Church    Wakefield Chapel    
|  Back to Top  |  Return to Mid-Atlantic Places of Interest  |  Return to Home Page  |  Order Form  |

Copyright Notice
Drawings Copyright © 1992-2010 Bill Harrah, Wolf Run Studio (SM), All Rights Reserved. Wolf Run Studio is a service mark of Bill Harrah and has been in continuous use since 1992. All of the images on this website are in tangible form and are fully copyrighted. Each has an invisible digital identification which is traceable through the Digimarc Corporation. Viewers of the Wolf Run Studio website are allowed to browse and print out images for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not distribute copies of images or image files to anyone else for any reason. Images may not be reproduced or used in any form or any manner, or displayed on any website without the express written consent of Bill Harrah.

Text Copyright © 1992-2010 Terry White or Dianne Harrah. Text on this website is used with permission from the authors. Viewers of the Wolf Run Studio website are allowed to browse and print out text for personal, non-commercial use only. Text may not be reproduced or used in any form or any manner without the express written consent of the authors.

Information Accuracy
The information for the written description of each location has been carefully researched by the authors and is believed to be accurate. New findings, however, could make some information out-of-date. If you are a professional historian, archaeologist, or architect, and have new information that you are willing to share, please contact Dianne Harrah .