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Holy Trinity Church

First slide

In the Parish Profile feature series, the Catholic Herald asks staff at each of the 70 diocesan parishes what makes their parish distinctive. Read on to find out about the must-sees.

What’s distinctive about your parish? What is your parish’s charism?

Our parish is oriented toward vocations. “Pray for Vocations” are the words painted above the doors entering the church. Our pastor often emphasizes in his homilies the importance of each person prayerfully and joyfully going about their daily routines, duties and chores at home, school or work according to his or her vocation. 


What’s the one unique thing visitors to your parish should do or see while there?

When you walk into the church, you are immediately transported to a heavenly place. Holy Trinity has 20 large stained-glass windows depicting the mysteries of the rosary. There are also many stained-glass windows of the saints, such as St. Thomas Aquinas, St. John Vianney, St. Maria Goretti, St. Maximillian Kolbe, St. Kateri Tekakwitha and St. John Paul the Great, to name a few. The large rose window is beautiful above the choir loft. 


What is a new ministry that the parish has started? Or, alternatively, share some recent activities of longstanding ministries?

The Emmaus Bible Study for men has been very successful, drawing and encouraging men of Holy Trinity to spend more time with God’s Word and sharing it with others. From the beginning, the group has met at several conspicuous public places, drawing the attention of others seeing the men with their Bibles and in prayer. 


Is there a special way your parish encourages and supports faith formation?

The advent season Bethlehem Walk is a great experience leading up to Christmas. It’s like going back in time to meet and greet people who lived in that time, including Baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph, King Herod, the three kings and a living manger, complete with live animals.


What would a visitor say about your parish, and how do new parishioners get involved?

A visitor would be in awe at the first sight of the beautiful tabernacle in which Our Lord is reposed. They would feel very welcomed by our priests, staff and members of the parish. New parishioners are contacted by members of the Legion of Mary and/or the Newcomers Group. They are introduced to the various ministries that welcome their participation. Adults who have joined the church via faith formation classes are encouraged to participate in at least one ministry to have an anchor (other than Mass) in their new faith. 


What’s something we should know about your clergy?

Father Thomas P. Vander Woude, pastor, can be seen riding his bike on Skyline Drive. Father Richard T. Carr, parochial vicar, is a wine connoisseur. Dominican Father Peter Fegan has a wonderful dry sense of humor. Father Vincent P. Bork can be seen running at the Manassas Battlefield Park, rain or shine. Our priests are traditional, devout, reverent and great homilists. 


Is there a standout or longtime staff member or volunteer you’d like to tell us about?

Our Samaritans group has provided financial support to the people of the Gainesville/Bristow community since Holy Trinity was established in 2001. Margaret and Mike Eggleston have run this wonderful ministry for the past 20 years. Until recently, Margaret also ran our Cyrenians bereavement support group. She assisted with funerals, coordinated volunteers to help with funerals and wrote letters to the families on the one-year anniversary of their loved one’s death. 

Quick Facts:

Holy Trinity Church


8213 Linton Hall Rd.





Pastor: Fr. Thomas P. Vander Woude


Parochial Vicars: Fr. Richard Carr, Fr. Vincent Bork

DRE: Margi Loesel 

Director of Youth Ministry: Paul Bevins

Mass Schedule:


Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 7:30 a.m. (extraordinary form), 9 a.m., noon


Tuesday, Thursday: 9 a.m., noon


Saturday: 9 a.m., 5:30 p.m. (vigil), 7:30 p.m. (Spanish vigil).


Sunday: 6:30 a.m., 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. (traditional Latin Mass), 5 p.m.


First Friday: 7 p.m.        

Website: holytrinityupdates.com


Social media: Facebook @ Holy-Trinity-Catholic_Church-Gainesville-Virginia-358630901365778

Year established: 2001


Total parishioners: 15,000


© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021