June 11, 1994 found the determined residents of Christiansburg, Virginia gathering at the local Knights of Columbus Hall for a “test” Mass. The Diocese of Richmond, with Bishop William Sullivan’s approval, allowed a small group of Catholics to hold Mass and determine the level of interest in a permanent church in the town of Christiansburg. After only a few short months, it was decided there was indeed a great deal of interest and attendance and the “Catholic Community of Christiansburg” was assigned its own priest, Fr. Louis Benoit. Our time began with Masses celebrated weekly on Saturday evenings at a very kind and generous Lutheran church. Religious education thrived with our first “First Holy Communion” in 1995.
In September 1995, Bishop Sullivan granted us our name, Holy Spirit Catholic Church. We were official and truly began to grow. With only a small number of parishioners, we knew each other by name and participation. Everyone accepted a “job” and proudly accepted the responsibility of building a house for God in our community. Our faith carried us through to 1997 when Bishop Sullivan purchased land for the site of our building. Every fundraiser you can imagine was held and everyone worked to make the building of our church home a reality. Our church family grew, not only in numbers but in dedication to each other to complete this gift for God.
November 2002, an official ground-breaking ceremony was held! The day was beautiful; all the church family gathered under tents assembled for the Mass and the wind blew and blew as we celebrated the gift of having land to build our church for God. The work was only beginning and we all dug in to do our part.
In June of 1998, Fr. John Prinelli was assigned to Holy Spirit and his goal was clear – to erect a home for the Holy Spirit family under his guidance and direction, and in August of 2004, we had accomplished the first phase. We celebrated with the dedication of Holy Spirit Catholic Church by the, then newly assigned, Bishop Francis DiLorenzo.
Following the death of Fr. Prinelli in 2012, Holy Spirit was assigned several inspiring priests who left us with a renewed dedication to each other and the determination to bring our Catholic faith to others. No longer a Saturday evening, one Mass only parish, we now offer weekday Masses, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, three weekend Masses and religious education classes for almost 100 children. An Hispanic community doubling the size of the parish has brought a new diversity to our celebrations.
In July 2015, Fr. Anthony O. Senyah came to our parish and, along with our newly assigned Deacon, Jose Melendez, new ministries to all our parishioners are offered with the hope for continuing our future as a diverse and faithfully prospering Catholic parish.