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Change of administration at Christ the Redeemer Church in Sterling

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After review of the pastoral and administrative needs of Christ the Redeemer Church in Sterling, and in discussion with the leadership of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, the Diocese of Arlington said it would assume responsibility for the parish. 

Father Joel D. Jaffe, director of the Office of Vocations, was named pastor, while Father Mark E. Moretti was named parochial vicar.

The changes were announced June 1 and are effective Sept. 1. 

Christ the Redeemer has been staffed by the Atonement Friars since its founding in 1972.

Bishop Michael F. Burbidge thanked the Atonement Friars for 46 years of “generous and fruitful ministry to the parishioners of Christ the Redeemer Parish.” 

“I am most grateful for the Atonement Friars sharing their charism for promoting unity within our church during the years in which we all witnessed tremendous growth in the Catholic population in Sterling,” he said. “In particular, I am grateful to the friars for welcoming and encouraging the spiritual growth of so many Spanish-speaking Catholics who make up our diocesan family.”

Atonement Father Brian Terry, minister general, said the friars “have been serving in Sterling since 1971, when we met in Sterling Elementary School cafeteria for Sunday liturgies. I remember arriving early to Mass as a young boy to help fold up the cafeteria tables and set out the very cold metal folding chairs.

“Christ the Redeemer parish has had very simple and humble beginnings and blossomed into a vibrant faith community,” Father Terry said. “The friars have accompanied the community through years of growth with great joy and have found it a privilege to serve the people of God in Northern Virginia. It is our greatest prayer that the new pastor and parochial vicar will be welcomed with open hearts as we were welcomed so many years ago.”

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018