Parish History

  • In 1881 Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. Lohmann, Sr., along with thirty others, established St. Vincent de Paul parish as a mission of St. Mary’s Ft. Monroe.
  • In April 1890 Bishop Van de Vyver, in response to a petition, assigned Rev. Richard A. Drake to the Mission. He traveled twice monthly from Richmond.
  • In November 1890 Rev. Charles E. Donahoe succeeded Fr. Drake as the Mission’s first resident pastor.
  • In February 1891 construction of the first church began on Washington Avenue near 34th Street. The church was officially dedicated on July 19, 1891.
  • In May 1916 ground was broken for our church on 33rd Street. The complex, church and rectory, were completed and Mass was offered for the first time on Sunday, May 27, 1917.  Dedication took place June 3, 1917.
  • In 1944 St. Alphonsus was established as an Apostolate to Negro families; it was never strictly segregated.
  • In the fall of 1970 St. Alphonsus Mission joyfully merged with St. Vincent.
  • In 1976 the Social Action Center began providing assistance and hot lunches.
  • In 1997 our Rev. Lloyd Stephenson, a native son, was the first black priest in Newport News.
  • In May of 2005 St. Vincent de Paul church was added to the Virginia Historical Register and the National Register of Historic Places.
  • In 2006 the community of St. Vincent de Paul celebrated 125 years.
  • In 2017 the 100th anniversary of the construction of the building was celebrated.
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