We are a Roman Catholic Church, part of the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. and under its presiding Archbishop, and all under one Pope, serving together since Pentecost as the body of believers under and in One Lord Jesus.
Our Mission Statement:
We, the parishioners of the Church of the Resurrection, strive to be a welcoming Christian Community as we come together to share in the Eucharist. Strengthened by our bond to Christ and one another, we accept the challenge to bring about the unity to which we are called by reaching out to others and offering them an experience of Faith, Hope, and Love. In this way, we proclaim the Kingdom of God.
Daily Mass: 9:00 am, Monday through Friday.
At Riderwood: Mass on Wednesdays at 10:00 am (Arbor Ridge) and 3:00 pm (Chapel).
Week-end Masses: Vigil Mass at 4:00 pm on Saturdays; Masses at 7:30 am, 9:00 am (Family Mass down in the Amadeo Room), 10:30 am and at 12:30 pm.
At Riderwood Chapel: Masses are at 9:00 am and 2:00 pm.
The parish bulletin is online, and it provides email or phone contacts for most of the staff.
The Name: Church of the Resurrection.
Our parish started with the name Fairland-Burtonsville-Calverton Catholic Community in November of 1980. We were named Church of the Resurrection on Easter 1981, when the parish had its official start and dedication Mass with Cardinal James Hickey and our first pastor, Fr. Jack Macfarlane, who suggested the parish name of Resurrection to the cardinal. Ours is the only parish of that name in our Archdiocese of Washington. Thus the feast of Easter is our patronal day. Easter is a moveable feast; it was on April 19th of 1981. It is the first Glorious Mystery of the Rosary, the great Mystery of our Salvation, as being revealed in the triumphant resurrection of Christ Jesus. Other parishes in the Archdiocese with the other Glorious Mysteries are Ascension in Bowie, Holy Spirit in Forestville (for Pentecost), Assumption in DC-NE and also in Upper Marlboro, and Queenship of Mary in Rockville.
The Baltimore Archdiocese has two Resurrection parishes, one in Ellicott City and the other in Laurel. Two Protestant churches in area also have the name. Because of that, we frequently refer to ourselves as Resurrection Catholic Burtonsville.
Since Jesus IS Risen, and that Easter is the highest feast of Catholicism; it is a good name for a Catholic parish! In our church entrance, you’ll see art images of the Risen Lord including one of a peacock (a symbol of resurrection), and inside the church is a roof window in the form of a cross of light, pointing to the resurrection hope given in Jesus Christ.
Communication with our parishioners
We use Flocknote which comes via email to communicate with our parishioners. The Flocknotes contain messages about important or immediate matters (such as scheduled funerals, a daily Mass visit from a bishop, a schedule change, etc.). To enroll, please click here.
Parishioners can email the staff members or call them; their numbers and addresses can be found on the front page of the bulletin, or under the tab ‘Contacts’ on this website.
Our website gives you easy access to the weekly bulletin (hard copies are distributed at the end of each mass). You will also find blogs and information regarding our parish life and ministry.
Main office phone number: 301 236 5200. The pastor’s direct line: 301 288 4662. The bulletin shows our Mon-Fri office hours. We aim to have good phone and door coverage during office hours, and we have a staff sacristan working at all weekend Masses. We try to have clergy visibility after Mass, though their office contacts are in the bulletin, so you can communicate a need or even just a connecting hello and short update on yourself.
While one can visit the Tabernacle window anytime of day or night for prayer, or experience Friday afternoon Exposition (Greencastle Road side area) from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm (held during the confession times at the Vianney drive-up house), visiting time to pray quietly in the church is anytime during office hours, via the office door; the office employees will let you in. The front doors of the church open at 8:00 am and close at 9:40 am on weekday, with weekday Mass at 9:00 am. They open at 7:00 am on Sundays and close 15 minutes after the last Mass or baptism. They open at 3:15 pm on Saturday vigils. Confessions are not on Saturdays afternoons here, but on Fridays. Friday late afternoon (6:30 pm -7:30 pm) offers a quiet holy hour with Eucharistic Adoration and confessions. (The only exception is on Winterfest Friday, Good Friday, Christmas or a Holy Day).
Locating the Church, the Keffer Parish Life Center & Parish Offices
The Church location is on the intersection of Old Columbia Pike and Greencastle Rd. It is a half-mile to the west of Rt. 29 at the Greencastle Rd. traffic light, which is situated between the stretch of Rt. 200 or Briggs Chaney Rd. (to our south) and Rt. 198 (to the north). These roads make it a quick drive to reach us from many places. Resurrection Church has lots of parking.
Wheelchair Access: there is a ramp to access the church and the church is wheelchair friendly.
The church has a large capacity and includes a large family room for families with toddlers and babies, as needed. There is a family-focused Sunday Mass at 9:00 am in the parish hall below (Amadeo Room). Its entrance is on the lower south front side. The weekday Pre-Kindergarten is there, too.
The church is in the center of our property; offices and classrooms are up and back on the North side, in the Keffer Parish Life Center, adjacent Greencastle Road, at 3315 Greencastle. Come up the steps or ramp to the office entranceway. Ring the bell and you’ll be buzzed in at the door, and greeted. You may need an appointment to see a staff immediately if you come by the office. You can call ahead, but you also can just try and see who is in. The office staff can take care of many things. The parish administrator is there most weekdays to assist you.
Most religious education programs for the young and youth are held on Monday afternoons and evenings.
Prayer groups and meetings are normally Mondays or Tuesday nights, in the Keffer Life Center. Available classes/meetings: RCIA, monthly baptism preparation and marriage preparation classes, by appointment. One exception: the Bible study fellowship with the pastor is usually on the 1st and 3rd Mondays in the church at 7:30 p.m.
The St. Helen Youth Center Hall is downstairs. Smaller meetings and socials are held there. For example, the women’s bible study is in the St. Helen Youth Center. One comes in via the office and goes down to the Youth Center, located on the first floor, accessible via stairs or an elevator.
Amadeo Room: larger groups meet in the parish hall called the Amadeo Room. Some parish funeral receptions, concerts or Cameroon socials are held there. It is located below the church, with entrance doors to the south and adjacent to the Old Columbia Pike side. The hall can also be reached from the church via stairwells.
Music at Resurrection
The Church and the Amadeo Room host musical programs throughout the year. See the Living Arts Concert Series website here, notices in the parish bulletin or posters in the church commons for our next offering. It is a free program supported by donors and door donations.
The Church is still primarily the worship and gathering space of the community. We think that the arts program is a part of our welcoming here, and a complementary one to our religious identity.
For information about our liturgical music program, please click here.
The Connection with other parishes
We are a split-off mission from St. John’s. Yet since our parish area also has St. Josephs, St. Nicholas, St. Marys, and St. Francis/St. Louis-Clarksville in its borders, we have members now among us that were from that region or membership.
Our parish had its start in the early 1980’s, when the founding pastor resided at nearby St. John the Baptist parish on New Hampshire Avenue at Colesville. Fr. Jack MacFarlane was chosen to assist the Archdiocese in starting a new parish in the Eastern part of Montgomery County. Resurrection Parish would especially be ‘born-out-of’ St. John’s territory and people. St. John’s had been founded around 1960, when this region was just getting some expanded population. By 1980, it was booming out this way.
The parish did not build a school, so a partnership with St. Andrew’s in Wheaton was made for us. We have children in parochial school there, as well as a few others in the area.
The founding pastor first lived at St. John the Baptist parish, and it turned out that three other St. John’s priests would later come over to Resurrection. Two would be pastors with prior associate pastor time at St. John’s, and another priest-in-residence had once been pastor at St. John’s.
While parishioners now choose to attend parishes outside of their official boundaries, we do have an assigned area of the parish. Via the roadways of Rt. 200, 198, 29 and other roads, one can get to our parish by vehicle quickly in less than 23 minutes from quite a number of locations.
The Archdiocese of Washington has the territory of five counties in Maryland and of the District of Columbia (and a suffrage of three Caribbean places), and ‘our part in the Fields of The Lord’ was to start south to Cherry Hill Rd. to the PG border, and then over into Calverton community. It was to go west along Cherry Hill and Fairland Road near Paint Branch Creek, and Good Hope Road to New Hampshire Avenue. In the north, it went up to New Hampshire Avenue, to Ednor Road, and over Ednor Rd. to the Pax River, then also north up Rt. 29 and 95 to Pax River by the county lines of Montgomery and Prince Georges. It was to also go east down 95 or Old Gunpowder to where present Rt. 200 crosses those roads. ‘Got that?!
Our parish includes the big retirement community called Riderwood Village and the Adventist Hospital/Med. Center at White Oak. Our parish area, in fact, is home to the World Headquarters of the Adventist church. It’s their version of the Vatican. (But with no St. Peter’s Basilica or 2000 year history of Christian Faith)
Where do you live? (Actually, a number of folks live outside of that defined area.) While one does not have to live inside these borders to register in the parish, the parish and her pastor and staff are accountable to serve the Church in that defined area. It is why Resurrection has the care of Riderwood Community and has responsibility for the new White Oak Adventist Hospital for coverage.
Annual Church Anniversary
The parish had its official start on Easter Sunday, April 19, 1981, but its first official Mass in the church (upstairs) came later on November 12, 1989. The parish uses its church opening for marking her anniversary, on the second weekend of November, or the closest Sunday to November 12. In November of 2021 the parish recognized her 40th anniversary with a Mass with Cardinal Gregory and a social. It came just after covid-19 restrictions were lifted.
We take great happiness in our having a big church to assemble as Christ’ people.
The Bell Tower
It is possible to hear the bells of our tower from around the nearby parish neighborhoods.
It is the Lord Jesus Christ to Whom we glorify and of Whose Light we hope to shine in our hearts, as in our being inspired by being the local Catholic parish in the universal Church. and via our celebrations with Him. We long that our faith, hope and love can have its Catholic influence on all our neighbors.
We are Christ’ body, the Church. We are ever grateful to His love for us and now in us, as an Easter people, beaming that “He lives!”
The Gospel first proclaimed in Jerusalem has come our way. Once, this property was just some woodlands on the side of Old Columbia Pike as it wove its way through here. This old route from DC to Baltimore and back has likely witnessed saintly persons passing by, as we suppose it happened to Saint John Neumann and Servant of God Mary Merrick. Neumann was a horseback-traveling Redemptorist priest in these parts of Maryland, eventually founding a parish in Elkridge (St. Augustine) and serving one in Baltimore (St. Alphonsus). He became a saint in recent times. Merrick was a DC woman who vacationed in Ellicott City for the summer. She is a servant of God in cause for sainthood, maybe the first ever wheelchair-bound one. Archbishops like Cardinal Sheehan or Cardinal Gibbons (when serving this area when it was part of the Baltimore Archdiocese) likely passed by on Old Columbia Pike, too. But it took the efforts of this local people a few decades ago and since then to make it a blessed parish and have a church here.
Resurrection’s pastors (see also this page)
The Catholic Church is made up of parishes and territories that fall under the care of a bishop and of a priest-pastor serving the locality’s people. God does call and raise men to shepherd His flock; as they come from among us in our parishes, having been fostered in faith. Resurrections has had six pastors, a few deacons, an associate pastor once, some senior priest residents, some women religious. Many assistant priests from around Washington have also served with us, in particular the longtime weekend helpers, Fathers John Beal, and Frank DeSiano.
A staff has stood by to help these following six in the pastoral care.
Rev. Jack Macfarlane: Founding Pastor
Archbishop James Hickey assigned his diocesan priest Rev. Jack Macfarlane to study the needs of the growing Catholic population in this area, and he eventually recommended that a parish be established and a church built on property in the Burtonsville area in the Archdiocese ownership. 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 then announced the establishment of Resurrection parish on Easter Sunday, 1981, and our Church of the Resurrection grew in numbers and thrived in the eighties. The dream was to build a hall and then a church above it. An all-purpose building was completed in 1986, rather quickly, and it was located on the corner of Greencastle Road and Old Columbia Pike. This building was used for all parish activities, including week-end Masses. The church was built on its second floor, dedicated by Cardinal Hickey on November 12, 1989. This date celebrated a parish dream come true. Fr. Jack, with parishioners, laid a sure foundation that would give the parish its identity, mission and character. MacFarlane kept serving here until his transfer to St. Elizabeth’s parish in Rockville, where he served until his retirement in 2016. One of our pastoral associates went with him there. They are both retired and visit here now and then. Permanent Deacon Rev. Donald De Roze joined the parish during Fr. MacFarlane’s time and served for many years.
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 here for seven years. Under Father’s 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 pre-K school which opened in October of 1992. The parish offices were given a new home in the lower level of the Church in December of 1994.
After his time with Resurrection, Father was assigned to St Peter’s in Waldorf, MD, where he was elevated to Monsignor. From there he went to St. John the Evangelist in Silver Spring as pastor and retired in mid-2014. Msgr. John Pennington passed away in 2014, after fighting a lengthy battle with cancer. The parish Knights of Columbus Council is now named after him.
Rev. Robert F. Keffer
In August 1999, Rev. Robert F. Keffer was appointed by Cardinal Hickey as third pastor of the Church of the Resurrection. He formerly served as associate pastor of the 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.
Shortly after becoming pastor of Resurrection Church, Fr. Bob started the Riderwood/Resurrection Catholic Community at Riderwood Retirement Community (Gracefield Road in Calverton). The large Erickson retirement village began housing hundreds of senior Catholics, so it became adopted by our parish as an outreach, with liturgies and services offered in a large Maryland Room until the Riderwood Chapel was built—our present worship place.
Under Father Keffer’s leadership, the parish continued to flourish, and an outreach to Haiti was started. A Cameroon Catholic community also began in the parish, with monthly Masses as well as other activities. It remains to this day.
Under his leadership, a Parish Life Center was built, o accommodate the needs of our parish. It was dedicated in August 2006, and was named The Robert Keffer Parish Life Center, in recognition of for Fr. Bob’s efforts. It was paid of 2020, and has given the congregation many meeting rooms, classrooms, a large office wing, a youth center, and a courtyard. Fr. Keffer retired in July of 2012, stepping down as pastor. In 2018, he did return to the parish to celebrate his golden jubilee of priesthood, in co-celebration with Sr. Rita for her golden religious jubilee—re-kindling parish ties. In this growth period, parishioners are to be thanked for the financial gifts made to support their parish.
Fr. Bob served under three Cardinals while in this pastorate: Cardinal Hickey, Cardinal McCarrick and Cardinal Wuerl. Cardinal Wuerl would name the next three pastors.
The next two pastors covered a shorter time period: 2012 to 2017. This was different from the longer pastorates preceding them (12 yrs. for Fr. MacFarlane, 7 yrs. for Fr. Pennington, and 13 yrs. for Fr. Bob). Fr. Scott Hahn and Fr. Jeff DeFayette had already been pastors elsewhere, a change from the first three pastors.
Fr. Scott Hahn became the fourth pastor of Church of the Resurrection in July of 2012. A diocesan priest of Washington, as were his predecessors, Fr. Hahn was a Washingtons priest, class of 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 had served as a parochial vicar twice, including once close by at St. John the Baptist (Colesville). In his time here, he brought aboard two clergy as priests-in-residence, and they lived in the yellow house near the parish office area. One was the first parochial vicar to serve here, Fr. William Brailsford. The other was retired pastor Msgr. Frank Kazista. It should be noted here that there were other senior/retired priests in the parish preceding Mgr. Kazista, such as Fr. Brown and Fr. Blackwell.
Fr. Hahn came with career teaching experience, and helped the parish grow in knowledge. Under him, Resurrection was blessed by his leadership and management/organizational works. Certain annual events like the Winterfest thrived in his time.
Fr. Hahn’s experience as a pastor-administrator of a Catholic school and his prior career as teacher (elementary school in D.C.) led to a quick transfer to to St. Jerome’s parish and school in Hyattsville. He became its pastor and school administrator.
Father Jeffrey Defayette
Fr. Defayette was appointed as fifth Pastor of the Church of the Resurrection in July 2015. He was one of three priests ordained in 1988 (as was a later pastor from that class, Fr. Barry). Fr. Jeff came from an assignment at St. Matthias in Lanham as pastor, and like Fr. Hahn, had been educated at Theological Seminary College (CUA) leading up to ordination. Both priests, too, came here by the appointment of Cardinal Wuerl. Fr. DeFayette brought some of the CUA seminary training with him, as well as a different pastoral approach. Besides priestly regular duties, he baked cakes for people as a friendly outreach. He enjoyed gardening and decorating, , so he tended to the outdoor grounds, and added a personal touch to the liturgical decorations. Fr. Jeff kept our parish to the three-priest operation (himself, Fr. Brailsford, and the retired Mgr. Kazista). He continued to serve the Riderwood community, and maintained our relation with two longtime visitor priests, Fr. John Beal and Fr. Frank DeSiano—who continue to serve here. As in the past, the parish continued its permanent deacon service, with two deacons serving here in 2015: Deacon Charles Bieberich and Deacon David Suley. Fr. Jeff served as pastor of the Church of the Resurrection from July 2015 through June 2017. After that date, he did not stay in active priestly ministry with the Archdiocese.
Father John Barry
Fr. John Barry became the parish’s sixth pastor and serves presently here (and wrote this column). He was appointed to the Church of the Resurrection by Cardinal Wuerl on July 1st 2017. He served as parish administrator until October 2018, when he was named officially as pastor. (After a process with Cardinal Wuerl and Fr. Defayette was completed and satisfied.)
Since I write of myself, I’ll try to spread praise out to others for whatever good we’ve had since 2017.
From the start, I, Fr. Barry, have been engaged in some parish renewal and recovery. The parish needed a rebound in 2017, and it got somewhat of one, by God’s grace and parish support. (Thanks to you, parishioners). Later, a challenge came on called the Covid19 pandemic. It was formidable. We pressed on through it.
I have put focus on young families, the Knights of Columbus group, supporting the parish staff, and getting financially solid again, with great help from our finance council and an accounting company overseeing us (Calibre). I’ve attended to needs in adult education and Bible study, use of our web site and media, the Sacred liturgy, Eucharistic focus and Confession, parish maintenance, and in being welcoming to the more diverse congregation assembling here. It’s been an active time, working from the 42 listening sessions at my start to find the congregation’s hopes for the future. It’s been a challenge being the only ADW clergy (Archdiocese of Wash.) serving here. We lost the two extra ADW priests I inherited (Mgr. Kazista and Fr. Brailsford) with no replacements but have received help with daily needs from two in-residence priests (Fr. Michael Niba, and Fr. Pius Michael). I had the blessing of a newly-ordained Salvatorian religious priest who was assigned to his local community house (Fr. Virginus Osuagwu) and was looking for priestly work here. Thank you, Lord! The staff and clergy have been great here. The liturgies have been dynamic. The parish council has begun some new ministries, such as a Winter Shelter outreach at Resurrection, to pair with our ongoing Food Pantry, and now a new support effort for Howard’s campus ministry. Our religious education program continues as well, considering its recent challenges. Our business office has things well under control. Deacon Chuck Bieberich serves the parish faithfully. The parish lauds its two great long-time visiting weekend priests from DC, Fathers Beal and DeSiano.
The parish has had Eucharistic Adoration and Confession for three hours every Friday afternoon to evening, ever since the pandemic began, and into the present time. The church also has a sizable daily Mass attendance. The Eucharist and Jesus are in the center, and to Him we pray for our hope and salvation.