HISTORY, THROUGH The PASTORS
Rev. Jack Macfarlane
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. November 12th is recognized as the parish’s anniversary date.
To read more about those first few years, please click here.
Fr. Jack served here until his transfer to St. Elizabeth’s parish in Rockville, where he served until his retirement in 2016.
Rev. John Pennington
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.
Rev. Robert F. Keffer
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 accommodate 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 was named The Rev. Robert F. Keffer Parish Life Center
Some ministries such as the assistance to Haiti were supported in his efforts, along with varied spiritual programs. A retired resident priest came aboard (Fr.Brown) and weekend assistant priests (Fr. Beal, Fr. DeSiano) kept a regular presence here, and an assisting permanent deacon (Deacon DeRoze) served the parish.
Father Scott Hahn
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
Fr. Hahn’s organizational skills and his teaching experience helped the parish grow in knowledge. His experience as a pastor-administrator of a Catholic school and his prior career as teacher (elementary school in D.C.) led to a transfer to St. Jerome’s Parish and School in Hyattsville.
Father Jeffrey Defayette
Father Jeffrey Defayette was appointed Pastor of Church of the Resurrection in July 2015. He received his BA in philosophy from Wadhams Hall Seminary College in Ogdensburg, New York in 1984. His graduate studies were completed at the Catholic University of America where he received an STB degree in 1988. He served as a transitional deacon at the Shrine of St. Jude in Rockville, Maryland from 1987-1988. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 21, 1988 by James Cardinal Hickey. His first parish assignment was at St. Jane de Chantal Church in Bethesda, MD; from 1992-1998 he has served as associate pastor of Mother Seton Parish in Germantown, Maryland. From 1998-2001 he served as associate pastor of St. Mark’s Catholic Church in Hyattsville, Maryland; in 2001, he was appointed as pastor of Saint Matthias the Apostle Catholic Church in Lanham, Maryland and served there for thirteen years; and served as pastor of the Church of the Resurrection from July 1, 2015 until June 30th 2017.
Father John Barry
Father John Barry was appointed Administrator of the Church of the Resurrection by His Eminence Donald Cardinal Wuerl in July 20. He was appointed pastor in October 2018. Prior to his arrival at Resurrection, Father Barry was pastor at St Edward the Confessor in Bowie for 10 years. A graduate of the University of Maryland, he later studied at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg and was ordained as a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington in 1988. He has served as pastor at Holy Angels in Avenue, Our Lady’s at Medley’s Neck and at St. Nicholas in Laurel, and as a parochial vicar at St. John the Baptist in Silver Spring, St. Aloysius in Leonardtown and at St. Mary in Rockville. He has served in youth ministry and as a hospital chaplain and is the son of Patricia Barry and the late Deacon Kevin Barry.