November 26, 2023

More than a decade before I became bishop of the Diocese of Richmond, I would drive from Washington to Roanoke to visit my sister and her family. I remember as I drove toward the city, I would see St. Andrew Church from I-81. Overlooking downtown Roanoke from a mountaintop, its yellow brick and High Victorian Gothic style beautifully captured the sunlight. It was impossible to miss. Its location, combined with its prominence and architectural quality, make it a visible sign of Catholic presence in the Roanoke Valley. As an architect, I was curious to see the church, but I wanted to know its history. The building and expansion of the railroads brought Catholics to that area in the late 1800s.…

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