Holy Cross Catholic Church and School 60th Anniversary Newsletter
Holy Cross 60
Hello Holy Cross community,
Anniversary events are underway. Coming soon—a presentation of our Sacred Architecture given by George Martin! We are also preparing for a special 60
anniversary commemorative cookbook – but we will need your help! Stay tuned for more details!
We would love to have YOU get involved in the Holy Cross 60
anniversary events! Come join us! The 60
anniversary committee welcomes you! Please email
with your interest and we will connect back with you.
Do you have bit of history, a photo, a memory that you would like to share? Please contact us through our email address.
Thank you for being a part of this wonderful faith-filled community,
Father Robert Buchmeier, Pastor
Mrs. Lisa Kane, Principal
Mrs. Megan Harbold, 60
History of Holy Cross:
History collected by MaryAnn and Karen Crespy.
Holy Cross Church Leadership,
From the beginning, Holy Cross Church was an energized parish—and that is largely due to the encouragement and guidance of its pastors, associate pastors, in-residence priests, and deacons. Parish leadership never stops with the priests and deacons and we have enjoyed amazing contributions from lay women and men, which we will cover in later months.
Over the next couple of newsletter issues, we will profile a handful of our priest leaders. This month, we focus on Msgr. W. Louis Quinn, Msgr. Robert E. Lewis, and Msgr. Joaquin Bazan, three beloved Holy Cross parish priests and leaders who helped build and define Holy Cross.
Monsignor W. Louis Quinn 1960-1968
Father Quinn was assigned to St. Matthews Cathedral in Washington, D.C. following his ordination in Baltimore in 1945. In 1960, Father Quinn was selected to establish and lead a new parish in Garrett Park, Maryland.
Prior to his assignment in Maryland, Father Quinn had been part of the commission for the “Review of all Architecture for New Churches”. And as such, he was completely involved in every aspect of building his new parish church, Holy Cross. He chose the exact
placement of the Tabernacle in the Sanctuary, the color of blue paint for the walls, all the statues in church, the extraordinarily beautiful stain glass windows… including the large round window over the entrance to church.
When the church was dedicated in 1961, there was a half wall behind the altar that separated the sanctuary from the sacristy, the center section was covered with a blue and gold designed drapery from Italy. The drapery was later replaced by a heavy blue velvet fabric that was hand sewn by parishioner, Mrs. Lillian Lapp, in her home. The cloth was so heavy that she moved her sewing machine around the room instead of moving the fabric!
The parish was growing and soon included approximately 500 families within the parish
boundaries that included Garrett Park, Parkside Apartments, Garrett Park Estates, White Flint Park, Wickford, and Luxmanor. Houses in Garrett Park sold for less than $20,000 and most of the parishioners were young, growing families buying their first home.
Fr. Quinn established both spiritual and social organizations, as well as what is believed to be the first Parish Council in the United States (see March issue), to bring parishioners together and tap into their remarkable talents and experience—all of which inspired a very active parish life. The people were willing to do whatever it took to support their church and its growth. He was a visible presence throughout the neighborhoods, taking walks, visiting his parishioners, and blessing their homes and apartments. It was a time when there were more baptisms than weddings and very few funerals—truly a young parish.
The beautiful grounds are the result of many volunteer man-hours 60 years ago and as those original trees are dying away, new trees have been planted to enhance our little bit of heaven.
Each parish supper, dance, golf outing, etc. raised funds for the church and the parish school. Future articles in this series will cover many of the religious and social organizations begun by Fr. Quinn.
In 1963, Fr. Quinn assisted at the funeral Mass for President John F. Kennedy at St. Matthews. He was transferred from Holy Cross in 1968 and elevated to Monsignor in 1970. In 1979, as Rector of St. Matthew’s Cathedral, he hosted Pope John Paul II for lunch at the rectory during the Pope’s historic visit to Washington. And Msgr. Quinn was a close friend of Msgr. Gatto,
our pastor starting in 1983. In 2010, a Washington Post obituary states “Msgr. W. Louis Quinn dies; Washington Archdiocese longest-serving priest”.
Msgr. Quinn lives on at Holy Cross through Quinn Hall, the former convent, named in his honor; and his impact is forever felt through his architectural and design decisions on our Holy Cross campus buildings.
Monsignor Robert E. Lewis 1968-1983
Father Lewis came to Holy Cross in 1968 from a parish in Leonardtown, MD where he was the pastor. He immediately embraced our entire community: parish, school, neighborhood, and congregation. Father Lewis promoted the existing spiritual organizations, arranged “missions” (a three-evening spiritual renewal for men and women), weekend retreats for men at the Potomac Retreat House, bible
study groups, and May Processions in honor of the Virgin Mary. Whether a sporting event, dance, or church organization, Father Lewis liked to see people gather and have a good time.
Our elementary school was special to Father Lewis and he was a welcome and friendly presence whenever he walked the school hall visiting the students. He knew students, their families, where they lived, and called them by name, and is remembered with great fondness. He was a true pastor to all people and occasionally would be seen riding his bike through the neighborhoods on a Sunday afternoon.
School sports flourished during his 15-year tenure. Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) sports scores were often noted in the bulletin... especially when teams won a big game (more on sports in later issues).
The Men’s club and the Sodality continued to provide social and financial rewards for the parish. One of the most memorable things about Fr. Lewis is the mini-bulletin he produced in the rectory each week. This was a 10-1/2” x 6” piece of paper, printed on both sides, and folded in three which contained more information than you would think possible: listing of Sunday and daily masses including the altar servers assigned to each mass, and announcements of meetings, activities, upcoming marriages, etc. All you needed to know for each day of the week. It was a masterpiece of frugality with a week’s worth of “What’s Happening”.
Father Lewis was elevated to Monsignor while he was our pastor but asked the parishioners to continue addressing him as Father Lewis. He was a humble, wonderful man who was entirely dedicated to Holy Cross. The parish community was saddened when he passed away just 4 months after being reassigned in 1983.
In honor of his dedication and love for the people of Holy Cross, the social hall—the place where we gather—attached to the school was formally and appropriately named Lewis Hall.
Monsignor Joaquin Bazan 1962-1970
Father Bazan was ordained in 1962 and assigned as assistant to Father Quinn at Holy Cross. He was warmly welcomed and eager to get to work. He began a Teen Club for teenagers in the parish; more than 300 teens were a part of this youth group. He baptized many babies and would rise early to say the 6:45 a.m. Mass each weekday.
Soon after arriving, Fr. Bazan learned about homeless men who suffered from alcoholism sleeping near and on the railroad tracks that run through Kensington and Garrett Park. These men would gather, drink, and then fall asleep near the tracks. Some would eventually end up sleeping on the tracks. The morning train whistle would arouse most of them, but Father heard of a man who had been run over by a train. He asked Fr. Quinn if he could bury this man, and, given permission he did just that. Then he heard of a second and a third incident. Msgr. Bazan, interviewed in February 2021 for this article, said he knew he had to do something about this. He had befriended some of the men and promised to take them “to a place where it was warm, and the food was good”. This was before Holy Cross hospital was built so he took them to Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park where they were each admitted under the name “John Smith” and entered a detox program.
He saw these men as “not drunkards but rather individuals who needed help” and eventually found space on Howard Avenue where the men could safely stay overnight, eat breakfast, then leave for the day, and return to dinners prepared by volunteers from Holy Cross. As time went on, he founded other shelters and established half-way houses. He said that today there are 2,000 halfway houses in 36 states and Canada. Msgr. Bazan stated that “when the 13th home opened in Harrisburg, PA he thought he had hit the BIG TIME.” Holy Cross Rectory basement was used as a site for AA meetings for many years. Msgr. Bazan said that he considers Msgr. Quinn and Msgr. Lewis the best pastors with whom he had worked.
A true servant of people, Msgr. Bazan is remembered as an outgoing man who did his utmost to help people rise to a better level—helping children, adults, and all others regardless of faith, race, or circumstance. Everywhere he served he left the place better than when he arrived.
In 1984, Father Bazan was elevated to Monsignor. Today, he lives with the Little Sisters of the Poor in Washington, D.C. and in 2012 he returned to Holy Cross to celebrate his Golden Jubilee.
With such strong, faithful, and community-oriented leaders, Holy Cross was destined to be a tight-knit and active faith community. We will profile a few more of our parish priests in the May issue.
Interview by Kate Oczypok
Interview with Pascal and Evelyn Mba and Family
Pascal and Evelyn Mba moved to the Kensington, MD area in 2017. When they got settled, they began looking for a church close to home. After attending mass at a couple Catholic churches nearby, they found Holy Cross to be the best fit.
“We were looking for a welcoming church and a good one for families,” Pascal said.
The Mbas primarily chose Holy Cross for its proximity to them, but once they began attending mass there, they realized how much they loved the environment. They enjoyed the fresh flowers on the altar, the cleanliness of
the church and the beautiful landscaping outside. They also loved the fellow families that attended mass with them.
When the Mba’s boys were young, their typical mass time varied. Now that their oldest (age 9) is a member of the children’s choir, they are usually found at the 9:30 mass watching the children’s choir with their other boys ages 7 and 3. Pascal occasionally helps out with ushering when needed and before COVID, Evelyn would often volunteer to help clean up after church events.
“It’s very rewarding and something we enjoy doing,” Evelyn said.
Evelyn added that before COVID, the Mba children loved sitting at the foot of the altar to listen to Father Robert’s homily during the children’s mass.
“They also looked forward to donut days,” she added. “They longed for it, all the sugar!”
Both Pascal and Evelyn mentioned that their children love to come to church. They all love the families at Holy Cross and called parishioners “sociable, likable people who are very warm and welcoming.”
As far as the next 60 years, they hope Holy Cross will continue what they’re doing.
“The priests are wonderful and the families are great,” Pascal said.
Question from the last newsletter:
What year was it and what position did Mrs. Kane hold when she joined Holy Cross School?
Mrs. Kane joined the Holy Cross faculty and staff as the Resource Teacher and Testing Coordinator for the entire school back in 2004!
Please see Mrs. Kane's bio below for even more information about our amazing leader!
Lisa Maio Kane earned a Bachelor of Arts from Loyola University, a Master of Education from Marymount University and an Administration and Supervision Certificate from Notre Dame of Maryland University. She is a member of the Delta Epsilon Sigma National Scholastic Honor Society. Mrs. Kane began her career at Holy Cross in 2004 where she was the Resource Teacher and Testing Coordinator. In 2008, she added Assistant Principal to her duties. She was elevated to principal in 2009.
Mrs. Kane was named an Archdiocese of Washington Catholic School Teacher of the Year for 2005-2006. That same year she received the Knights of Columbus Monsignor O’Donnell Teacher of the Year Award. In 2012, Mrs. Kane was awarded a MEGGY from the Maryland Educators of Gifted Students. In 2013, she led Holy Cross School to its first National Blue Ribbon Award for Academic Excellence.
Mrs. Kane believes in educating the whole child ~ mind, body, and soul.
Which Holy Cross faculty member has the longest length of service to the school?
Please send your answers to
with the subject “April Trivia Question”. Answer will be in the next newsletter.
What year was it and what position did Mrs. Kane hold when she joined Holy Cross School?
Please send your answers to
with the subject “Mrs. Kane Trivia”. Answer will be in the next newsletter.
We Want Your Photos!
The Holy Cross 60th Anniversary Committee is looking for photos from the far or recent past, to share as a part of celebrating the 60th anniversary of our church and school.
Please email photos to
in highest resolution and if possible, please identify "who is in the photo, what the occasion was, when it occurred, where the photo was taken". Thank you!
Thank you for celebrating Holy Cross Catholic Church and School's
anniversary with us!
Volume 3, April 2021
Mary Anne Gadbois
on Thursday, April 1 at 2:34PM