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Arlington, Virginia

About Arlington, Virginia:

Located just outside of Washington, D.C., Arlington is home to the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery.  It is a popular tourist destination.

Memorial plaque to Catholic Chaplains in Arlington National CemeteryFor those visiting, you might want to include Arlington National Cemetery. Nearly 400,000 people are buried in its 639 acres.  One of the more notable, of course, is President John F. Kennedy…one of only two presidents (the other is President William Howard Taft) buried here, since most chose to be buried in their home towns.

An area called “Chaplains Hill” honors military chaplains killed in the line of duty, and one of those lists the names of Catholic chaplains.  A monument to 83 Catholic chaplains who died in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War was dedicated on May 21, 1989. Father (Maj.) William Barragy, the first American chaplain to die in Vietnam, is among those named on the monument. Barragy was killed on May 4, 1966, in a helicopter crash with 20 men on a mission for the Army’s 101st Airborne Division, and posthumously received the Legion of Merit. The monument’s inscription reads, “May God grant peace to them and to the nation they served so well.”

About the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia:

Jesuit Father Juan Baptista de Segura and companions arrived here in 1570, but were brutally killed in the Virginia wilderness near what is now Williamsburg.  It was not until 1647 that Catholicism in Virginia was revived when Governor Giles Brent of Maryland and his sister Margaret maintained the first Catholic settlement in Virginia as one that embraced religious tolerance.

Virginia became known as “The Old Dominion” when the term was coined by King Charles II due Virginia’s loyalty to the crown during the English Civil War fought from 1642 to 1651.

In 1785 Thomas Jefferson’s Act for Establishing Religious Freedom decreed that Catholics were free to worship openly in the Old Dominion. and the Church began to grow in the area.

Catholic places of interest in Arlington, Virginia:

Saint Agnes Church:  Beautifully restored church

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