Parish History


James Cardinal Hickey assigned Rev. Jack Macfarlane to St. John the Baptist Church in Silver Spring in the summer of 1980 to study the needs of the growing Catholic population in the greater Silver Spring area. Father Macfarlane eventually recommended that a parish be established and a church built on church property in the Burtonsville area. 

In the fall of 1980, the parish began to use Paint Branch High School, Liberty Grove Methodist Church, and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church for Sunday Mass. The Archdiocese announced the establishment of the new parish and on Easter Sunday, 1981, the name, Church of the Resurrection was announced by Father Macfarlane.

From the beginning in 1981, the parish has grown into a thriving parish today. Many, many parishioners are involved in the parish as we strive to share the presence of Christ with the surrounding community. An all-purpose building was completed at the corner of Greencastle Road and Old Columbia Pike in 1986. It was used for all parish activities, including week-end Mass. On November 12, 1989, the new church was dedicated by Cardinal Hickey. The dreams of that small group of people who first gathered as the Church of the Resurrection on Easter, 1981, were finally realized.  


In March of 1992, Rev. John Pennington was appointed by Cardinal Hickey to be the second pastor of the Church of the Resurrection. He was pastor of Resurrection for seven years. Under his leadership, the preschool was established, our religious education program served close to 700 children and our music department flourished. A modular structure was placed on the Church property to house the parish's new preschool which opened in October of 1992.  Our parish offices were givien a permanent home in the lower level of the Church in December of 1994. Fr. Pennington was an organizer, decision maker, and had good business sense. He loved golf, good food, cooking, and anything mechanical. After his time with Resurrection, he was assigned to St Peter's in Waldorf, MD, where he was elevated to Monsignor. From there he went to St. John's the Evangelist as pastor and retired in mid-2014 due to illness. Msgr. John Pennington passed away October 7, 2014, after fighting a lengthy battle with cancer. 


In August 1999, Rev. Robert F. Keffer was appointed by James Cardinal Hickey as third pastor of the Church of the Resurrection. He formerly served as associate pastor of Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Washington and in campus ministry at both the University of Maryland at College Park and at George Washington University. Fr. Bob also served at the diocesan director of campus ministry.

Shortly after becoming pastor of Resurrection Church, Fr. Bob started the Riderwood/Resurrection Catholic Community at Riderwood Retirement Community on Gracefield Road. Under Father Keffer's leadership the adjoining Parish Life Center, a new facility adjacent to the main church was built to accomodate our vibrant parish in its continuing growth. The Parish Life Center contains meeting rooms, classrooms, an office wing, youth center, and a courtyard and was dedicated in August of 2006. Father Bob was pastor of Resurrrection until July of 2012. In June of 2014 the Parish Life Center ws named The Rev. Robert F. Keffer Parish Life Center.


Father Scott Hahn became the pastor of Church of the Resurrection in July of 2012. Fr. Hahn was ordained for the Archdiocese of Washington in 2003. Previously he was the pastor of St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church and School in Camp Springs, Maryland. Before being named a pastor, he was assigned to St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist in Silver Spring. 

Fr. Scott attended seminary at Theological College at The Catholic University of America. He previously had earned a Master's degree in Education from CUA. Prior to the seminary, Fr. Scott taught elementary school in Washington, D.C.

FatherJeffstaffpictureCurrent Pastor: Father Jeffrey Defayette (More information coming soon)