About Our Parish

Humble Beginnings

When Holy Infant Church was built in 1962, there were just a handful of Catholics in the area, then a booming community powered by tobacco and textiles.

Early on, local Catholics went to Greensboro or Danville, Va., for Mass, then for years later they traveled to Eden, where St. Joseph of the Hills Church was built in 1938.

In 1951, Catholics obtained permission to have Mass said at a local funeral home in Reidsville and then at Reidsville Municipal Building. As the number of faithful grew, the second floor of a local washerette was converted into a chapel and classroom space.  In 1953, there was also a African American Mission in Reidsville conducted by Father Donovan from the African American parish in Greensboro. Mass was offered in the home of William Gravely, along with his wife, Mildred, their four children, and the Albert Clark family.

Through the influence of Mrs. Ashby Penn, a local philanthropist, the families were able to acquire land to build a church. At the bishop's request, they chose a hilltop site along the highway going into Reidsville – a visible location that would be easily accessible to Catholic travelers.

First they built a temporary chapel, later used as the rectory, and then with financial help from a Connecticut family interested in building churches in mission areas, they were able to finally construct a permanent church.

The church was dedicated on June 26, 1962, by Bishop Vincent Waters. The Connecticut family named the church Holy Infant.

A lot of the church furnishings were given as memorials from local families and companies, including American Tobacco Co., the area's leading employer.

But even with the growth and the new church, Holy Infant remained a mission church. Then in 1967, the church community became a parish on its own and received its first full-time pastor, Father Edward O'Doherty.

In 1982, the church underwent significant repairs after an unknown arsonist set fire to the building and caused considerable damage.

In 1985, the church was appointed the diocese's first permanent parochial administrator, Sister Pauline Mary Clifford, by Bishop John F. Donoghue.

Also in 1985, Father Peter Jugis, then pastor, began celebrating Mass in Spanish regularly each Sunday, drawing Hispanic Catholics from across Rockingham County as well as in nearby Virginia and as far south as Greensboro to be able to worship in their native language. He also served as pastor of Holy Infant Church from 1993 to 1996, so this 50th anniversary Mass was a kind of homecoming for him as well.

Now, about 150 Catholic families call Holy Infant Church their home, comprised of a diverse cultural mix of English- and Spanish-speaking Catholics.

See About our Church Architecture.

PRIESTS AND RELIGIOUS WHO SERVED AT HOLY INFANT PARISH

1962-1966 Father Thomas Clements

1966-1967 Monsignor Dennis Lynch

1967-1978 Father Edward O'Doherty

1978-1979 Father Gabriel Meehan

1979-1982 Father Joseph McCarthy

1982-1985 Father Don Baker

1985 Father Peter Jugis

1985-1988 Sister Pauline Mary Clifford, parochial administrator

1986 Father Carl Kaltreider

1986-1988 Father Tom Stott

1988-1989 Father Ron Marecki

1989-1990 Father Raymond B. Hourihan

1990 Father Cecil Tice

1990-1993 Father Richard Sotelo, S.J.

1993-1996 Father Peter Jugis

1996-1997 Father Joseph Valentine

1997-2000 Father John T. Putnam

2000-2005 Father Christopher Davis

2005 Father Luis Osorio

2006 Father Christopher Roux

2006-2012 Father Joseph W. Mack

2013- present Father Frank Seabo