About the Parish
Founded in 1986 and located on Route 60 in Quinton, New Kent County, Virginia, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish boundaries include the entire County of Charles City and the entire County of New Kent, with the exception of that part of New Kent County bounded to the west by Route 33 (including the entire corporate limits of Eltham), to the south by Interstate 64, to the east by the James City County line, and to the north by the York River.
Our Parish Roots
In early 1986, a small group of Catholics living in New Kent County came together to organize an effort to have a Catholic Mission established in the county. At a meeting with Reverend J. Scott Duarte, pastor of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Parish, comprised of King William, King and Queen and New Kent Counties, they presented the needs of the Catholic community and the desire to establish a new parish in New Kent. Bishop Walter Sullivan established the New Kent County Catholic Mission which was given the name Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Mission in late 1986. Father Duarte served as pastor of the Catholic community, along with two Trinitarian Sisters, Sister Mary Alma Jankowski and Sister Mary Agnes Nagle during the first year.
The group obtained permission from New Kent County to use the auditorium of George W. Watkins Elementary School for Sunday Mass. Every Sunday and Holy Day, vestments and supplies needed for Mass were brought to the school and an “altar” was set up on the stage of the auditorium. Father Duarte would drive the 20 miles from West Point to the school to celebrate Mass.
Benedictine Priory in Richmond and other priests came weekly to New Kent County to celebrate Sunday Mass. The joyful enthusiasm of the small Catholic community supported a regular Wednesday evening Mass and fellowship which was held in a member’s home. An active Religious Education program made it possible for the children to receive First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion as well as Confirmation. The Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Mission congregation was able to meet at Watkins School for a few years but then needed to find another location for Sunday services. A converted barbershop in Quinton was the meeting place for three months until the pastor of Kentwood Heights Baptist Church offered the use of their new sanctuary on Saturday evenings for Mass.
This generous ecumenical agreement lasted until the Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Mission grew and was able to purchase the current property on Pocahontas Trail near Bottom’s Bridge.
The church property was dedicated on September 7, 1991. A multi-purpose building and an open pavilion were the first buildings on the property. Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Mission was elevated to parish status.
In 2008, Father Duarte returned and the parish grew by almost seventy-five percent, so the multi-purpose building has been renovated to serve the parish as a church, and the open pavilion was enclosed and turned into a social hall. A Religious Education building has been erected, and a parish rectory has been purchased. Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton offers three Masses each weekend.
Plans are underway for a new church building that will accommodate the needs of the parish into the future.
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish looks forward to the day when our new church will stand proudly as a visible Catholic presence for the counties of New Kent and Charles City.