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Parish History

Saint Francis of Assisi Parish was established in 1957 to serve the military community at Quantico Marine Base. Bishop Ireton proposed to the Franciscans that the parish be under their care, and the first pastor was appointed early that same year.

Also in 1957, ground was broken for the first parish building-the school/auditorium. In September 1957, Mass was celebrated for the first time in the new parish auditorium and the school was opened for 143 students in grades 1-3. In 1961, the statue of St. Francis (in the middle of the circle between the school and the church) was dedicated as a memorial to Maj. Withold J. Bacauskas, USMC, the first parishioner of St. Francis to be killed in the line of duty.

By 1962, there were 325 students in St. Francis of Assisi School and another 505 children and youth in religious education. In 1968, there were about 90 families registered in the parish. By late 1974, there were 235 families registered. The school was closed (and housed Christendom College for part of the time) for eleven years, from 1969-1980. By 1981, there were 215 students in the school and plans were underway to add a wing to the building. In October of that year, plans to build a church were announced. Parishioners played a significant role in the construction due to the serious illness and subsequent death of the pastor.

The current church building was dedicated in 1984. In 1996, an administrative wing was added to the Church, and in 1999, an additional wing was constructed for use as a pre-school and nursery facility. In the fall of 2000, a new $4.8 million dollar Parish Center was dedicated.

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