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Corpus Christi Mission to become a parish

Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde has established Corpus Christi Mission in South Riding as an independent parish, effective Nov. 23, the feast of Christ the King. The bishop made the announcement Nov. 16 while celebrating Mass at the mission.

Previously a mission of St. Stephen the Martyr Church in Middleburg, Corpus Christi becomes the 69th parish in the Arlington Diocese and the first established by Bishop Loverde since St. Jude in Fredericksburg in 2006.

Father Michael G. Taylor was named Corpus Christi's founding pastor, while Father Michael R. Duesterhaus will remain as parochial vicar.

Father Taylor said the community has been praying to St. Anthony for more than three years to become an independent parish, so the bishop's announcement on Sunday was met with a sense of excitement among the parishioners.

"It was gripping and impactful for me," he said. "And the people were overjoyed.

"It is a real encouragement for the people of God that the church is going to become a reality," he said. "It gives them a sense that this is going to happen."

Father Taylor was especially pleased that the decree will become effective on the beautiful feast of Christ the King.

According to the Diocesan Directory, the new parish has 4,768 parishioners. Delores Nelson is director of the religious education program, which has about 600 students enrolled. Jennie Salinas is music director.

Weekend Masses are celebrated at John Champe High School, located at 41535 Sacred Mountain St. in Aldie.

The diocese has acquired 18 acres of land in South Riding near Marrwood Drive that will be the future site of the new church. Dates to begin construction have not been set at this time.

Father Taylor, who has been at Corpus Christi for nearly five years, is hopeful that the church will be built first, with a full basement for offices and classrooms.

Parish boundaries

Including that southwestern portion of Loudoun County beginning at New Road (Route 600) and Bull Run, follow along the Loudoun County line southeast, north along the Fairfax County line, west on John S. Mosby Highway (Route 50), southwest on Lenah Road (Route 600), west on New Road (Route 600) to Loudoun County line and Bull Run.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2014