Hundreds of people gathered at a Berryville church to welcome a new and long awaited pastor. Saint Bridget of Ireland catholic church had standing room only as parishioners joined to celebrate their new pastor . 

 “I  was really hoping to become pastor here at Saint Bridget because its a smaller parish, and Clarke County is just wonderful.” Rev. Stanley J. Krempa pastor of St. Bridget of Ireland says. 

Pastor Stanley Krempa’s hope came true on Sunday he was installed as the church’s first pastor by the most reverend Michael Burbidge, bishop of Arlington.

 It was only appropriate that father Krempa  who’s so known to this community, beloved, as you saw today with his standing ovation he received today, that he would be the first pastor.”  Bishop of Arlington,  Michael Burbidge says. 

Reverend Krempa has been pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus catholic church in Winchester, St. Bridget has been a mission of that church and now that its a parish it can have an identity and pastor of its own. 

“This community has really reflected to us the ability to have the resources, personnel, finances, to sustain an active ministry so it was a great joy to name this community, my first parish.” Burbidge says. 

St Bridget of Ireland mission was established in 1999 to serve the growing catholic population of Clarke county. Pastor Krempa says now that hes pastor hes ready to continue serving the community. 

 “The activities, bible study groups, women groups, the mens group, youth organization, various types of prayer groups, these are thing’s we want to start.” Krempa says. 

St. Bridget of Ireland has become the 70th parish in the catholic diocese of Arlington and newly installed pastor Stanley Krempa, says his journey has come full circle.

“My first assignment as pastor at the diocese of Arlington was at St. Marys in Alexandria Virginia,the oldest parish in the state, not the oldest church, the oldest parish. And now as you say I’m kind of rounding out, like you say my ministry, I’m in the newest parish.” Krempa says. 

ST. Bridget of Ireland is a part of the diocese of Arlington which is is home to more than six hundred thousand catholics living in central and northern Virginia.