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Cathedral of Saint Thomas More (Arlington, Virginia) facts for kids

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Cathedral of Saint Thomas More
Cathedral of Saint Thomas More - Arlington, Virginia 01.jpg
Cathedral of St. Thomas More, Arlington
Cathedral of Saint Thomas More (Arlington, Virginia) is located in Virginia
Cathedral of Saint Thomas More (Arlington, Virginia)
Location in Virginia
Cathedral of Saint Thomas More (Arlington, Virginia) is located in the United States
Cathedral of Saint Thomas More (Arlington, Virginia)
Location in the United States
38°52′14.4″N 77°6′12.2″W / 38.870667°N 77.103389°W / 38.870667; -77.103389
Location Arlington, Virginia
Country United States
Denomination Roman Catholic Church
Membership 2,548 (2009)
Founded 1938
Dedication St. Thomas More
Architectural type Modern
Completed 1961
Diocese Arlington
Bishop(s) Michael F. Burbidge
Rector Very Rev. Patrick L. Posey
Vicar(s) Rev. Kevin Dansereau
Deacon(s) Rev. Mr. Jonathan Fioramonti

The Cathedral of Saint Thomas More located at 3901 Cathedral Lane is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Arlington Virginia and the seat of Bishop Michael F. Burbidge. The Rev. Robert J. Rippy has been the Rector since 2005. The Cathedral also has a Parochial Vicar, two resident priests, Director of Religious Education, Youth Minister and Music & Liturgy Coordinator.


The cathedral is a modern design and is constructed with a basilica floorplan. The exterior is red brick with three doors at the front. The doors are in shallow porticos formed by barrel arches that extend to the roof and contain a stained glass window above each door. The sanctuary houses a three-manual M.P. Moeller organ with 28 ranks of pipes installed in 1961. The organ was redesigned and expanded to 53 ranks in 1980 by organ builder Robert Wyant. Wyant served as cathedral organist from 1964, after two years as assistant organist, until his retirement in 1998.


The parish was established in 1938 and named for St. Thomas More. Until the sanctuary was completed in 1950, Masses were held in what is now the school gymnasium. The current church was constructed in 1961 above the 1950 sanctuary. It was elevated to a cathedral when the northern counties of Virginia split from the Diocese of Richmond to form the Diocese of Arlington and the first bishop was installed on August 13, 1974. The parish currently consists of 2,500 members.

In 1944, the parish established St. Thomas More Cathedral School. It currently offers grade levels pre-kindergarten through eighth and has approximately 400 students. The school was operated by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary who established a permanent community at St. Thomas More August 25, 1945. Due to declining numbers, the order withdrew from the parish in June 1998.

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