I am an Orthodox Christian who is interested in the Byzantine Catholic tradition. I saw online there was a Ukrainian Greek mission around Richmond a few years ago but might be gone now. Is there anywhere else in this part of the state I could go and explore a Byzantine Catholic community?
This is kind of funny: I haven’t posted here in many years, and only just came back today to ask exactly the same question! I was surprised to find your post.
I’m an Eastern Catholic (Melkite) who just moved to the Richmond area, and I’ve been looking for a home church. So far, I haven’t been very successful. Like you, I discovered the local Ukrainian community. However, I called the house of the Comboni sisters, where the Ukrainian community used to have liturgy, and was told that they stopped meeting there a couple of years ago due to lack of participation. I then discovered a Facebook group for Ukrainians in Richmond, where I saw some discussion about the possibility of a new mission church in the area, but when I tried to follow up to see whether anything ever came of it (both in the group and via email), I couldn’t get anyone to respond. 😕
Unfortunately, therefore, my understanding is that there is no Byzantine Catholic liturgy (or even community?) near Richmond. I would love to be wrong about this, or to figure out some way to change it! Right now, I think the nearest church is in Williamsburg.
I should mention that there is a Maronite church in Glen Allen, though the Maronites are not Byzantine. It may be the only non-Latin Catholic church in the area. However, liturgically (at least locally), they are much more similar to the Latins than to the Byzantine Orthodox.
Please let me know if you find anything!
I am a VA and Navy Reserve Chaplain at the VA hospital in Richmond. I attend the Melkite church in McLean (a truly wonderful church), do retreat at the Romanian monastery at St. Nazianz WI when I can. I would love to see a Byzantine presence in Richmond. However, the VA and the Navy keep me more than busy (just got back from 13 months deployed - most in Horn of Africa), so, I do not want to 'over promise and under deliver,' perhaps this is an issue we could raise with Fr. Mark (Melone) in McLean...see where the discussion goes? Discuss further offline?
Holy Transfiguration in McLean is my home parish (or was, until we moved to Richmond recently). It is certainly a wonderful church, and I miss having it nearby! I wonder if we've met before.
I'd be very interested in discussing/exploring any options we might have here. Feel free to DM me. Mentioning the issue to Fr. Mark may be a good idea.
HT'er here too! Are we like a fifth of the forum?
A note for 'no true scotsman,' tried to reach you by private message - not going through. Are you still interested in pursuing liturgy, things Eastern Catholic, in Richmond, VA area?
There is a thriving Ukrainian parish in Front Royal (not exactly central, I guess)--SS. Joachim and Anna, working on our 6th anniversary. Fr. Robert comes out every Saturday for DL at 4 PM.
As soon as another priest is available for Holy Family Shrine in DC there may be a possibility of re-opening a mission in Richmond. There is a group of Ukrainians there, recently arrived as immigrants, who are interested in starting a new mission. When another priest is available, plans seem to be that there could be a Saturday afternoon/evening DL in Richmond, Front Royal will move to Sunday AM and there will still be 2 DL's in DC at Holy Family. .
In case anyone is in Front Royal, the address of the church (yes, we already have our own property!) is 1396 Linden St, Front Royal VA 22630. Fr. Robert is usually there around 2PM Saturday for Confessions. One Saturday each month we have been (post-COVID) beginning anew an unpretentious catechetical program, something for the little kids and something for the adults; as time and interest permits, we will be building that up.
Simply as a matter of justifiable pride, SS. Joachim and Anna had three Baptisms in October!
Hello! I am a Latin Catholic in Richmond who is extremely interested in the Byzantine tradition! I would love to work together to get an Eastern Catholic mission started. I've been to Ascension of Our Lord in Williamsburg, along with Holy Transfiguration in McLean. I wonder if enough people reached out, would the Ukranians/Melkites/Ruthenians send a priest for one Divine Liturgy a month to get started? If we got enough of a crowd, I'm sure they wouldn't say no. Keep me in the loop!
I would love if the Melkites set up a mission in Richmond, Fr. Mark is incredible! I go to St. Joseph's in Bon Air, beautiful traditional Roman liturgy. I know it's not Byzantine, but definitely the best liturgy in Richmond until then! Hoping we can get one soon.
Howdy! I'm interested.
The best bet for a mission in Richmond would almost certainly be the Ukrainians. There has already been some contact with the Ukrainian group there. The issue is the availability of priests. The Melkites have an acute shortage right now. The Ukrainians have recently been able to have several priests come from Ukraine; this will go some distance to relieving their shortage. At some point in the not-too-distant future we are promised that Fr. Wasyl will be returning from northern NJ, which would result in three priests in DC. At that point a Richmond mission becomes much more feasible.
I am told that one of the pre-requisites for a mission there is to arrange for a site. Since the Comboni sisters are leaving they are no longer a possibility. Some people in Richmond should get together and actively begin looking for a site for the DL. The Roman bishop seems to be friendly to the Eastern churches; perhaps he would be able to arrange something with one of the Latin parishes. Anyway, it would strengthen the possibility of the mission if the group could say that they have a place arranged and that all they would need is the priest.
SS. Joachim and Anna would be very happy to help a new mission in whatever way we could. We do not have much in the way of financial resources, but we have recently gone through the process of getting a mission started, so people would be welcome to come and discuss things with us. And, I believe we have an extra set of Great Feast icons we should be able to donate!
Actually, I am a priest. Again, I dont want to 'over promise and underdeliver,' the VA and the Navy keep me pretty busy. I am hoping to have a chat with Sayedna Nicholas before long to see where he is on having liturgy, other eastern Catholic activities, in Richmond at least from time to time.
Wow that would be incredible! I would love to assist in any way I can. Keep us updated!
Wow that would be incredible! I would love to assist in any way I can. Keep us updated!
It has been a while since I’ve posted (apologies — I haven’t made checking these forums part of my routine), but I just wanted to express again how interested I am in this possibility! As far as mission needs go, if we do end up making some progress toward Liturgy, I would be very happy to assist by serving at the altar and/or as a reader (I have done both before in the Melkite Church, though service as a reader was in a time-to-time, non-ordained capacity). I’m also willing to write to anyone to confirm my interest, if that would help.
For those in this thread who are in the Richmond area, should we perhaps meet up? Form a Bible study and/or prayer group? There are also Orthodox churches nearby that we could likely attend together for Vespers and other services, particularly during the Nativity season (maybe Paraklesis?). If there’s interest in that, I’d also be willing to help arrange things.
Fr. Sean, do please keep us posted on any relevant info from Fr. Mark or Sayidna Nicholas (whom I believe is visiting HT today?). And thank you for your willingness to get involved!
God bless, all.
Howdy Jason! I think a prayer group would be a fantastic idea. I have some buddies at my parish that would join in as well, so we could get the "Richmond Eastern Catholic" group off and running with that, and then hopefully start having Liturgy soon after. Let me know your thoughts and how you want to proceed! Maybe we could bug Fr. Labat at leading this prayer group (Vespers perhaps?) when his schedule permits!
These all sound like great ideas...waiting to hear back, I do not want to act before all parties are on same page.
Wonderful - keep us in the loop Father!
Of possible interest to those in this thread, I've gone ahead and created a Facebook group, "RVA Eastern Catholics and Friends," which you can find here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/606417390414048.
I intend to also invite members of the "Ukrainians in Richmond" Facebook group. Hopefully this will be a spot where we can gather a decent number of people together and perhaps work something more out? Please join and/or let me know what you think about this.