THE STORY OF ST. DENIS PARISH
Our beautiful parish church was dedicated on the feast of St. Denis, October 9, 1966. The story of St. Denis parish however begins fifteen years earlier. In 1950, not many people lived in the Ashburn area. Open spaces and prairies were the rule. By 1960 they were mostly gone, replaced by the houses in which many of us live today or lived then.
The first Mass of the parish was celebrated in 1951 at Owen School. By the end of that year, the “Quonset Hut” church was up and running and busy. Social activities and fundraisers were common place to provide the funding for school, convent, rectory, and church construction.
St. Denis School opened under the direction of the Adrian Dominicans. This religious community of women still serves St. Denis today. Many thousands of children enjoyed a St. Denis education until its closing in 2002.
The Second Vatican Council ushered in a new era of lay participation and engagement with the world. The 1960’s and 1970’s were turbulent times for society and the Church. Through it all St. Denis was a community that affirmed the faith of its members while also challenging them to live the Gospel more fully.
More recent decades saw the flowering of many parish groups and events. The Women’s Guild, the Holy Name Society, Pro-Life group, Athletic Association, Religious Education, Young at Heart, Scouts, the list goes on and on. The productions of Denis Days and the good times of the parish carnival can never be forgotten.
Today St. Denis is a multi-ethnic and racial community of faith as demonstrated by our annual Taste of St. Denis. We call ourselves as followers of Jesus Christ: to create a prayerful environment, to provide for spiritual, educational and social growth; to promote hospitality; to insure the evangelization of our faith; and to minister to the people of our parish, our Ashburn community and our world.
sounds like a lot to do. And, it is! The community of St. Denis has never shied
away from a challenge.
Some things never change.