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Our Lady of the Valley

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Parish’s charism? Our Lady of the Valley has many charisms, all directed to forming a solid parish family, a devotion to our Blessed Mother, Divine Mercy, and most importantly, we are focused on the Eucharist. As a cohesive and robust parish family, together with our pastor’s commitment, we are a resource for the needy in our small community in terms of food, help with housing needs and transportation.

Unique things visitors to your parish should do or see while there? We have an inspiring outdoor setting with the Stations of the Cross placed throughout the grounds of our church. This provides a contemplative atmosphere for prayer and conversation with the Lord as he suffered his Passion. Most visitors travel to Luray to visit Luray Caverns, the largest caverns in the eastern United States. We are located adjacent to the Shenandoah National Park.

New ministry? We have recently added bell ringers to our music ministry, which has enhanced dramatically our liturgy celebrations.

Is there a special way your parish encourages and supports faith formation? Our religious ed program is viable, active and supported by dedicated volunteers. Our commitment to faith formation is tangible and illustrated by our parishioners’ devotion to adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, held every first Friday of the month. We have volunteers who have walked families through the Right of Christian Initiation of Adults program one on one, leading to many conversions.

How are you supporting the faith journey of particular cultures represented in your parish? Our Lady of the Valley has an aging population. We offer spiritual support that our elderly parishioners need to move through their remaining days and stay connected to God’s loving grace. We remain attentive if a senior who faithfully attends Mass stops coming. They may be sick and in need of prayers, or they may need a ride; we make every effort to reach out to them.

What would a visitor say about your parish? We recently received many compliments regarding the welcoming and kindness of our parishioners to the local community and visitors. Since we are a tourist destination, we receive generous offerings from tourists and maintain ongoing communication with them by weekly bulletin and Flocknote.

Something we should know about your clergy? We are served by one priest who came to us from a larger church in Northern Virginia. Father Edwin E. Perez is well-loved, respected and has fit into the community so well. He is known for his sense of humor, kindness and bringing much-needed updates to our church building.

Is there a standout or longtime staff member or volunteer you’d like to tell us about? Our Lady of the Valley is blessed with many selfless and dedicated volunteers, including Sandra Modersohn. She is a convert of two years, a cantor, and has effectively revamped our music ministry. Sandra started and recruited many young people to our children’s choir. Additionally, Sandra began a children and adult bell ringers group that enhances our liturgical celebrations. She is present for two of our three Masses and has added guitars, cello, xylophone and a harp to complement the music. Most remarkably, she has taught herself to sing the different parts of the Mass in Latin.

Quick Facts:

Our Lady of the Valley
200 Collins Ave.

Pastor: Fr. Edwin E. Perez
Youth Director: Joel Fernandez

Mass Times: 
Monday-Friday: 8:30 a.m.
Saturday: 8:30 a.m., 5 p.m. (vigil)
Sunday: 9 a.m., 11:15 a.m.

Website: ourladyofthevalleyluray.org
Social media: 
Facebook @lurayvirginia

Year established: 1954
Total parishioners: around 400

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021