Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church is located in Tacoma, Washington, near Puget Sound.
Since its founding in 1891, it has grown from the impossible dream of a few dedicated German-speaking immigrants to the grand old lady of Tacoma’s Catholic parishes. From the neighborhood church of Germantown to a shining beacon on a hill, seen by all who pass through the city.
Photograph by Ernie Misner
For more than a century it was a Benedictine parish, and the influence of the monks and sisters can still be felt, even now, twenty years after they left. During that time, the parish has endured many challenges. The collapse of the timber industry dealt Tacoma a blow that took a generation to recover from. The construction of Interstate-5 tore a long gash through the heart of the parish.
Through it all, the parish survived, even thrived, in its adversity. And each time, the parish reinvented itself while remaining true to its traditions, its mission, and its Catholic Faith.
The core of the parish has always been its school, in all of its phases from first parish school in Tacoma in 1891 to Regional School and dual-immersion Spanish language academy.
Recently, Holy Rosary Church has become a destination parish for a more traditional celebration of the sacred liturgy. Latin has returned, at least a little, as have the sacred chants of the Mass and Vespers during Advent and Lent. The annual Corpus Christi Mass and Eucharistic procession across the Interstate have become one of the cornerstones of the liturgical year.