James Cardinal Hickey appointed the Rev. Raymond L. Fecteau to study the feasibility of establishing a parish in the Darnestown area on 21 November 1990, the Feast of the Presentation of Mary.
The first of eight neighborhood meetings was held at the home of Jim and Carol Clifford on Thursday evening, 29 November.
On Wednesday, 12 December, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Father Fecteau took possession of a farmhouse and five acres of property north of Darnestown Road (Rt. 28) and east of Germantown Road (Rt. 118). The farmhouse, the former home of Maurice and Betty Ward, provided a priest residence, some office and meeting space, and an area for a small chapel.
The Thomas More Society was founded to provide spiritual and financial support for the chapel and for the start up of the parish.
The first public Liturgy was celebrated on Saturday, 5 January 1991, the Feast of the Epiphany, at Fairhaven United Methodist Church; over 300 people attended.
Sacred Liturgy was held for the first time in the Thomas More Chapel at the farmhouse on a snowy Monday, 7 January, the Feast of St. Raymond. Linda Arapian began setting up the parish office and operations in the farmhouse.
Adult religious education began in January with a series on the major documents of the Second Vatican Council. The series was held in the Thomas More Chapel.
Sacred Liturgy was held for the first time at Rachel Carson Elementary School on Sunday, 20 January, the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time.
On Ash Wednesday, 13 February, an Ecumenical Evening Service with distribution of ashes was celebrated by both pastors and members of both Visitation Parish and Fairhaven United Methodist Church.
The Parish of Our Lady of the Visitation was canonically established on its patronal feast day, 31 May 1991. The Most Rev. Alvaro Corrada del Rio, S.J., Regional Bishop of Montgomery County presided at Evening Prayer at St. Mary's Church in Barnesville, MD. At that time he read a letter from the Cardinal formally establishing the 137th parish of the archdiocese and appointing Father Fecteau as its first pastor. Father Reid, pastor of St. Mary's, presented Father Fecteau with a humeral veil with a hand-painted image of the Visitation. The humeral veil was formerly used by the Sisters of the Visitation at their monastery in Bethesda.
On the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, 29 June 1991, Father Fecteau was installed as pastor during Evening Prayer at Fairhaven United Methodist Church. Present at the ceremony were the Rev. Martin McKenney, Pastor of Fairhaven United Methodist Church; the Rev. Dr. Henry Postel, Pastor of Darnestown Presbyterian Church; the Rev. Samuel Besecker, Pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church; and the Rev. Elisa Wheeler, pastor of St. Nicholas Episcopal Church. Taking part in the ceremony were Pastoral Council and Finance Council members Kevin Dornan, Leon Busche, Betty Foley, Bob McDonald, Chris Cocozzella, and Jim Clifford.
James Cardinal Hickey presided at the 10:30 a.m. Sacred Liturgy at Rachel Carson Elementary School on Sunday, 26 August.
The youth religious education program began the first week of October. Sunday morning (pre-K - 1), Tuesday afternoon (grades 2, 3, 4, 5) and Tuesday evening (grades 6, 7, 8) (grades 9, 10, 11,12) sessions were held in Rachel Carson Elementary School.
The Sacrament of Confirmation was celebrated by our parish for the first time on Tuesday, 2 June, at St. Martin of Tours. The Right Rev. Aidan Shea, O.S.B. presided. There were 29 Confirmands.
Our first Vacation Bible Camp was held the week of 3 - 7 August at Fairhaven United Methodist Church. Nancy Tauber was the director of the program.
|1993||In September of 1993, Cardinal Hickey gave Visitation Parish permission to begin fund raising for a two phase building program.|
In May of 1994, the Archdiocese purchased the 187 acre Windsor property on the south side of Rt. 28; our parish site was transferred to this property, providing a house for a rectory and a barn for a chapel, a meeting place and office space.
On 30 November 1995, the Feast of St. Andrew, a parish Ad Hoc Building Committee, open to all parishioners, met and formed three subcommittees to study: (1) Parish Needs: all standing committees of our Pastoral and Finance Councils evaluated present and future needs; (2) Archdiocesan Policies: guidelines were obtained and meetings were held with Archdiocesan representatives; and (3) Government Regulations: county, state and federal laws were studied and county officials were consulted. From their three month study, the twenty member Ad Hoc Building Committee developed a project plan for our parish.
On 28 February 1996 James Cardinal Hickey appointed our first deacon, Deacon Paul Di Duca.
In February and March of 1996 four members of the Ad Hoc Building Committee and our pastor interviewed three engineers and seven architects. In April 1996 our parish hired Rogers & Associates as our engineers and Kerns Group Architects as our architects. Both engineers and architects were presented with our parish project plan.
On our patronal feast day, 31 May of 1996, Bishop Alvaro Corrada blessed the future site of our new church home.
On the weekend of 25 - 26 October 1997, the exterior design of a place of worship was presented to parishioners during Sacred Liturgy.
On the Feast of John Lateran, 9 November 1997, we began our second capital campaign.
|1998||On 9 October 1998, James Cardinal Hickey commended and approved the design for our new parish facility.|
|1999|| On 4 March 1999, Bid Documents were submitted. Bids from four contractors were opened on 21 April 1999.
On 27 July 1999, Corning Construction of Maryland signed an agreement with Visitation Parish to build our new church building.
The Building Permit to begin construction was presented by our pastor to Corning Construction on 8 September 1999, the Feast of the Birth of Mary.
Our Ground Breaking Ceremony was held Saturday evening, 9 October 1999. Over 200 parishioners attended.
On 30 November 2000, the Feast of St. Andrew, inspection of the new facilities was completed, and our occupancy permit was granted. Sacred Liturgy was celebrated for parishioners and visitors on the First Sunday of Advent.
On Sunday evening, 7 January 2001, the Feast of the Epiphany, Solemn Evening Prayer was celebrated in our church. Our special guests included the Rev. Dr. Hank Postel, the pastor of Darnestown Presbyterian Church, and the Rev. Douglas Force, pastor of Fairhaven United Methodist Church . Members of both churches then joined our parishioners for a special reception in Founders Hall.
We formally adopted La Paroisse Notre Dame de la Visitation in Gonaives, Haiti, as our sister parish.
On 8 February 2004, Tony Kluk, Bob Carmack, Paul Stack, Bob Perrelli and Fr. Ray met and officially formed our Holy Name Society, a spiritual, social and service organization for men of the parish.
Our parish participated in the Forward in Faith Capital Campaign of the Archdiocese of Washington. The combined campaign to help both our archdiocese and our parish was a tremendous success.
Deacon Robert (Bob) Fischer was officially appointed by Archbishop Donald Wuerl to OLVP on 19 November 2007.