In the Parish Profile feature series, the Catholic Herald asks staff at each of the 70
diocesan parishes what makes their parish distinctive. Read on to find out
about the must-sees.

What’s distinctive about your
parish? What is your parish’s charism?

Our parish
is oriented toward vocations. “Pray for Vocations” are the words painted above
the doors entering the church. Our pastor often emphasizes in his homilies the
importance of each person prayerfully and joyfully going about their daily
routines, duties and chores at home, school or work according to his or her

What’s the one unique thing
visitors to your parish should do or see while there?

When you walk into the church, you are immediately transported to a
heavenly place. Holy Trinity has 20 large stained-glass windows depicting the
mysteries of the rosary. There are also many stained-glass windows of the
saints, such as St. Thomas Aquinas, St. John Vianney, St. Maria Goretti, St.
Maximillian Kolbe, St. Kateri Tekakwitha and St. John Paul the Great, to name a
few. The large rose window is beautiful above the choir loft. 

What is a new ministry that
the parish has started? Or, alternatively, share some recent activities of
longstanding ministries?

The Emmaus Bible Study for
men has been very successful, drawing and encouraging men of Holy Trinity to
spend more time with God’s Word and sharing it with others. From the beginning,
the group has met at several conspicuous public places, drawing the attention
of others seeing the men with their Bibles and in prayer. 

Is there a special way your
parish encourages and supports faith formation?

advent season Bethlehem Walk is a great experience leading up to Christmas.
It’s like going back in time to meet and greet people who lived in that time,
including Baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph, King Herod, the three kings and a living
manger, complete with live animals.

What would a visitor say about
your parish, and how do new parishioners get involved?

A visitor would be in awe at the first sight of the beautiful
tabernacle in which Our Lord is reposed. They would feel very welcomed by our
priests, staff and members of the parish. New parishioners are contacted by
members of the Legion of Mary and/or the Newcomers Group. They are introduced
to the various ministries that welcome their participation. Adults who have
joined the church via faith formation classes are encouraged to participate in
at least one ministry to have an anchor (other than Mass) in their new faith. 

What’s something we should
know about your clergy?

Father Thomas P. Vander
Woude, pastor, can be seen riding his bike on Skyline Drive. Father Richard T. Carr,
parochial vicar, is a wine connoisseur. Dominican Father Peter Fegan has a
wonderful dry sense of humor. Father Vincent P. Bork can be seen running at the
Manassas Battlefield Park, rain or shine. Our priests are traditional, devout,
reverent and great homilists. 

Is there a standout or
longtime staff member or volunteer you’d like to tell us about?

Our Samaritans group has provided financial support to the people of
the Gainesville/Bristow community since Holy Trinity was established in 2001.
Margaret and Mike Eggleston have run this wonderful ministry for the past 20
years. Until recently, Margaret also ran our Cyrenians bereavement support
group. She assisted with funerals, coordinated volunteers to help with funerals
and wrote letters to the families on the one-year anniversary of their loved
one’s death. 

Quick Facts:

Trinity Church

Linton Hall Rd.



Pastor: Fr. Thomas P. Vander Woude

Parochial Vicars: Fr. Richard Carr, Fr. Vincent Bork

DRE: Margi Loesel 

Director of Youth Ministry: Paul Bevins

Mass Schedule:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 7:30 a.m. (extraordinary
form), 9 a.m., noon

Tuesday, Thursday: 9 a.m., noon

Saturday: 9 a.m., 5:30 p.m. (vigil),
7:30 p.m. (Spanish vigil).

Sunday: 6:30 a.m., 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m.,
12:30 p.m. (traditional Latin Mass), 5 p.m.

First Friday: 7 p.m.        


Social media: Facebook @ Holy-Trinity-Catholic_Church-Gainesville-Virginia-358630901365778

Year established: 2001

Total parishioners: 15,000

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021