- Sacraments & Spiritual Life
- Parish Life
- Foggy Bottom/West End
- About Us
Pastor's Message and Mission Statement
St. Stephen Martyr Parish was founded in 1867 to serve the needs of Catholics in Foggy Bottom and West End. In the first years after the Civil War, the city was flooded with new residents and refugees, and so there was a great need for spiritual assistance to local Catholics as well as non-Catholics. Over the years, the neighbor and its residents have changed a great deal, depending on social and economic factors, but the parish has remained the stable Catholic presence in this part of Washington.
Today the residential Catholic population is fairly small, but parishioners come from all over the Washington metropolitan area. In addition, many tourists come from the 22 hotels located in our boundaries, as well as many students from George Washington University. As of the spring of 2011 about 750 people attend Mass on Sunday and about 100 attend daily Mass. Our community is truly international with people from all parts of the world attending Mass in our church.
Like other Catholic parishes, ours is the place where God's people gather to hear the Word of God proclaimed, to celebrate the sacraments, and to receive pastoral care from the priests assigned to the parish. At the moment, this includes, besides myself, Fr. Klaus Sirianni, who is the associate pastor and chaplain to George Washington University Hospital. We have a close working relationship with the Newman Center at George Washington University, whose chaplain is Fr. Gregory Shaffer, who resides at St. Stephen's and also helps with the celebration of Mass at the parish.
We are blesed to have an active parish with generous volunteers. Please consider volunteering for one of our ministries, which are described in this website. It is an important form of stewardship to which the Lord calls us.
May the Lord bless each of you with joy and peace, and may he keep our parish and parishioners always in his care.
Msgr. Paul Dudziak
Parish Mission Statement
St. Stephen Martyr, a Roman Catholic parish in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., is called to witness to Jesus Christ, within the Roman Catholic tradition, in the Foggy Bottom-West End area of Washington, D.C.
Under the leadership of the Pastor, this mission is carried out through the ministry of the Word, through worship and the celebration of the sacraments, and through pastoral service to members of the parish and the wider community.
The ministry of the Word is accomplished through the preaching of the Gospel, faith formation and evangelization. Communion with Christ and with one another in the Body of Christ is realized through each of the sacraments, but in a privileged way through the celebration of the Eucharist, the source and summit of the Christian life. Sent forth from the Eucharistic assembly, all the faithful are sent on mission to witness to Christ and to serve their brothers and sisters. Thus, pastoral service to all those in need is an essential component of parish life.
Through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, all of God’s people receive charisms of the Spirit, and so all parishioners are called to active participation in the life of the parish. According to their own vocations in life, all the baptized share in the prophetic, priestly, and pastoral ministry of Jesus Christ.
Through the presence of St. Stephen’s in the heart of the nation’s capital, the parish comes into contact with fellow Christians, believers of other faiths, and those of no faith, and it seeks ways to enter into dialogue with them. In addition, the many cultural, educational, business, governmental, and health care institutions in the parish provide many opportunities for evangelization and collaboration with them. In this way, the parish can be a leaven for unity, justice and charity in the local community and contribute to building a “civilization of love.” The parish enjoys in particular a special relationship with George Washington University through the Catholic Newman Center.
In particular, the Church’s insistence on the dignity of human life calls the parish to promote respect for human life in every possible way, and to show a preferential option for the most vulnerable, including the unborn and the poor.
Saint Stephen Martyr Church, 2436 Pennsylvania Ave, NW Washington, DC 20037, Phone: (202) 785-0982 Click here for directions.