The Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic church that is located on Woodman Road in the West End of Richmond. The church was initially established in 1944 when members of the committee of the Legion of Mary met at the home of Mr. and Mrs. J.A. Lyons. The Legion of Mary is the largest organization of lay people in the Catholic Church in the world and arrived in the United States in 1931. The Legion works under the direction of a lay person named by the church pastor. Its activities include evangelization; visiting parishioners, the sick or aged, and newly baptized church members; religious education; ministering in prisons; and pilgrim Virgin statue rotations (Taking a statue of the Virgin Mary to the homes of parishioners and praying with them). The majority of parishioners came from the Sacred Heart Cathedral and St. Paul’s Church. After Father Robert O’Kane became the chaplain of Our Lady of Lourdes, the parishioners began meeting at the Lakeside Community Center. In 1943, as the church was growing, there was a significant need for a larger place to hold mass. The Stupasky family, who were members of the church, sold their farmhouse to Our Lady of Lourdes which was transformed into a Chapel and a Rectory (pictured above right). The first pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes was Reverend Thomas J. Healey. On October 29, 1944 church members celebrated their first mass in the new chapel. After ten years of holding mass at the old farmhouse, the church had again outgrown its space. The church then purchased land on Woodman Road, and on May 1, 1955 the new church was dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes (pictured below left). A rectory, named Healy Hall in honor of the founding pastor, and a parochial school were added later. The school was completed in 1966, and for a number of years was staffed by the Sisters of the Comboni Missionary. The Comboni Missionary is an order of sisters whose mission is to serve the poor and to help educate and to help serve the communities. A number of sisters still serve at Our Lady of Lourdes School. In 1984 a new rectory was constructed.
Our Lady of Lourdes has a sister church in Mechanicsville, the Church of the Redeemer. Our Lady of Lourdes also engages in ministry work with Parham Health Care Facility, Comboni Missionary Sisters, the Henrico County Jail, and Manor Care.
Our Lady of Lourdes
8200 Woodman Rd
Images and historical information from http://www.ollrichva.org/history.html
Profile prepared by Sarah Aune