When asked what makes St. Timothy Parish in Chantilly special,
Father Gerald Weymes, pastor, said without hesitation, "The
people. The people are fantastic."
And there are a lot of people who worship at St. Timothy.
With more than 15,000 parishioners, it's the third largest
parish in the Arlington Diocese, just behind All Saints in
Manassas and Our Lady of Angels in Woodbridge.
The parish has roots back to 1923 as St. Timothy Church in
Centreville, a mission of St. Mary of Sorrows Parish in
After World War II, the Centerville church became a mission
of All Saints.
In the 1960s, the burgeoning Catholic population of Northern
Virginia needed places to worship. Little St. Timothy Church
in Centreville was unable to accommodate all the Catholics.
Parishioners looked for suitable worship space in the area,
finally settling on rooms in the nearby Chantilly
Soon the firehouse was not enough, and in 1968 the church
leased space in the Greenbrier East Elementary School.
St. Timothy parishioners were now split between services at
churches in Centreville and Chantilly.
In 1969, Richmond Bishop John J. Russell established St.
Timothy as a parish and named Father Robert E. Nudd as the
Land was purchased on Poplar Tree Road, but it took three
years of fundraising before ground could be broken for
In 1975, Arlington Bishop Thomas J. Welsh dedicated the new
St. Timothy Church.
The church seated 750 people, but eventually the continuing
population boom of the 1970s and '80s required another
expansion, and in 1993 a capital campaign was launched to
raise $4 million. In 1996, the renovated church - now seating
1,400 people - plus a new school cafeteria, gym and expanded
classroom space were opened.
In addition to Father Weymes, who's been pastor for 11 years,
St. Timothy is served by two parochial vicars, Fathers
William M. Aitcheson and Stephen J. Schultz. Oblate of St.
Francis de Sales Father Anthony J. Pinizzotto is in
residence. The parish has two deacons, David E. Conroy Sr.,
and newly ordained James C. Hepler, but Father Weymes said he
could use more.
"There's plenty of work to do," he said. "We're one of the
few parishes that have three Masses a day."
They perform 40 weddings a year, and "as many funerals as the
Lord sends us," said Father Weymes.
The parish community is busy serving the needs of the
community. The parish St. Vincent de Paul Society operates a
food pantry that distributes food to more than 150 community
members each month.
There's an active pro-life group that sent two buses to this
year's March for Life in Washington, D.C., joining three
buses from St. Timothy School.
The parish salutes its volunteers at an annual dinner
attended by more than 220 people.
Kelly Jerome is the youth minister who oversees more than 50
They meet weekly on Sunday evenings, with dinner and time to
interact with peers, to pray and hear guest speakers.
Youths also participate in 40 Days for Life and the diocesan
youth RALLY. Twenty students and 10 adults went to World
Youth day in Spain last year.
Maria Ho has been the director of religious education for 10
years. Ho was born in Hong Kong to a Buddhist mother. She
went to Catholic schools all her life, and when she was 13
years old, her mother let her convert to Catholicism. Her
mother converted a year later.
Ho oversees the religious education of about 1,056 students
and manages more than 160 volunteer teachers.
"I love this parish," said Ho. "I'm grateful to God that He
allows me to work here."
St. Timothy School opened in1981 with Marilyn S. Valatka as
the first principal. The school provides for the spiritual,
academic, social and emotional growth of the students. In
2000, St. Timothy was named a Blue Ribbon School by the
Department of Education.
Patricia Kobyra, who started as a teacher in 1995, has been
principal for six years.
"I love this community," said Kobyra.
Like many people from the parish and the school, to Kobyra,
working at St. Timothy is much more than simply work. When
she interviewed for a teaching job there in 1995 and was
given a tour of the campus she said, "I've come home."
Next week's profile
St. John in Leesburg
St. Timothy Church
13807 Poplar Tree Rd.
Chantilly, Va. 20151
Pastor: Fr. Gerald Weymes
Parochial vicars: Frs. William M. Aitcheson,
Stephen J. Schultz
In residence: Fr. Anthony J. Pinizzotto,
Deacon: David E. Conroy Sr., James C.
DRE: Maria Ho
13809 Poplar Tree Rd.
Chantilly, Va. 20151
Principal: Patricia Kobyra
Sat.: 9 a.m., 5:30 p.m. vigil
Sun.: 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 5:30
Weekdays: 6:15 a.m., 9 a.m., noon