Pierce Deanery Strategic Planning
The Pierce Deanery is the first to be part of the renewed strategic planning effort across the Archdiocese. The deanery began its urgent strategic planning work after Holy Rosary Parish was determined to no longer be viable.
A New Parish Vision
Following Archbishop Paul D. Etienne’s vision to foster a sustainable, thriving Catholic community in Tacoma, the Pierce Deanery continues efforts to merge Holy Rosary, Visitation, St. Rita and St. Ann parishes into one new parish, associated with the mission of St. John of the Woods.
Pastors of these parishes appointed lay members to a joint Stakeholder group to lead this process. These Stakeholders will invite parishioners to play an active role in shaping the new parish that embraces cultural diversity, creates missionary disciples, and provides multiple ministries for the community.
Corpus Christi Mass at St. Ann with altar servers from Holy Rosary, Visitation and St. Ann. Photos courtesy of Francine Mastini.
Embracing Parish Heritage
We honor the unique history and rich contributions from each of these five parishes. These parish communities have enriched the lives of their parishioners and have positively impacted their local communities. Each will bring its unique gifts and talents to the new parish to continue the long-standing history of helping others know Christ.
Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Parish, Tacoma
Founded in 1891, Holy Rosary, which welcomed German-speaking Catholics, was the second parish in the Tacoma area. lts first pastor was Father William Eversmann, O.S.B. who celebrated Mass in German and opened a school in September of 1891.
St. John of the Woods, Tacoma
Established in 1926 by Fr. Huber T. J. Mertens, St. John of the Woods was a small rural Catholic parish. Its church burned down in 1940 and was rebuilt in 1947, along with a parish hall completed in 1958.
Church of the Visitation of the Blessed Mary, Tacoma
Established in 1892, Visitation parish is rooted in the Benedictine Order. Its church building was erected in 1912 and is known for its stained-glass windows.
Visitation STEM Academy
On August 23, 1925, Visitation Catholic School was dedicated. Today the school has a strong emphasis on teaching the faith, project-based collaborative learning, and providing an excellent education in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.
Resources for Parishes
"We are so grateful to have engaged Catholics at our parishes who are willing to participate in this important journey. This is undoubtedly a challenging journey – and one that none of us would elect to take. However, faced with today’s realities – fewer active Catholics, an abundance of parishes, a lack of priests, and a decline in many ministries and Sacraments – we must consolidate our efforts so that we can be better positioned to achieve our mission of spreading the Gospel."
~ Bishop Daniel Mueggenborg, January 2021 Letter