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202 South Broad Street, Suffolk, Virginia 23434, United States
Monday - Friday: 9 am - 4 pm
Saturday - Sunday: Closed
Tuesday - Friday: 10 am
Saturday: 5 pm
Sunday: 10 am
Saturday: 4 pm (or by appointment)
History of St. Mary of the Presentation
According to records at St. Paul’s Church in Portsmouth, from 1804 the priests of Norfolk attended the entire surrounding territory, including Suffolk. In 1835 St. Paul’s received its first resident pastor and for nearly 100 years a priest from St. Paul’s served Suffolk. While it is not recorded when the first Mass in Suffolk took place, the earliest on known was in 1873 and was celebrated By Father Thomas J. Brady of St Paul's at the Suffolk home of Mrs. Elfrida Holland Lewis.
By 1908 there were 10 Catholic families in Suffolk. The original St. Mary's Women's Club was founded in 1908 and members went door-to-door asking for contributions to build a new church.
The lot chosen for the church was on the corner of Smith and Broad Streets, St. Mary's present location. The lot cost $500 and the church cost $1200 to build and seated about 100 people. With about 40 families now in the Parish, Bishop Van de Vyver, Bishop of Richmond, dedicated the new Church on November 12, 1909.
It was not until 1927 that Father Joseph V. Brennan, the first resident pastor, was assigned to St. Mary's. In 1929 a mission of St. Mary's was established in Franklin and in 1948 was dedicated as St. Jude's Parish. In July of 1964, the Catholic Community of Smithfield was established as a mission of St. Mary's and in 1988 was named the Parish of the Good Shepherd.
As the Parish grew so did the need for a larger church. In July 1953 the original wooden building was moved to the rear of the church site and turned to face Smith Street. The present church was built in 1953-54 and dedicated on September 12, 1954. The old church was torn down in 1975 and replaced with the present two-story parish hall and education building.
The system we now use, “ParishSoft” , has functionality that allows parishioners to register online and create “My Own Church” accounts. This allows you to update your personal information, including: mailing address, phone number(s) and email, and even track your donations.