About Our Parish

The Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary stands on the hilltop in northeast Seattle’s Bryant-Assumption area, with a view of the Olympic Mountains to the west and the Cascade Range to the east. For many years it has been a house for the Church: the People of God and the Body of Christ under the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

Bishop Edward John O’Dea founded Assumption parish in territory, which had been part of Blessed Sacrament Parish. The site for the new church was chosen on May 26, 1923, and named for Mary, Assumed into Heaven, a tribute to the Mother of God in her final glorification. Bishop O’Dea chose monks of the Order of Saint Benedict of Lacey, Washington, to take charge of the parish.

Father Joseph Golob, OSB, became our first pastor on February 12, 1924. At that time the population was sparse and streets were unpaved in the area. Trees, low brush, ferns, and old-growth stumps covered the site for the church. Orchards and woods grew in much of the parish’s geographical area, and pioneers remember berry farms and a few Japanese truck farms in the lower part of what is today known as Hawthorne Hills. They sold their produce at the Pike Place Market.

In March of 1924 a temporary building was constructed which served as a combination church and hall. The body of the structure measured 28 X 60 feet. First parishioners used folding chairs, and they curtained the sanctuary at the altar rail when they used the room as a social hall. The sacristy, a lean-to measuring about 18 X 32 feet off the side of the church, also contained kitchen equipment and a stove for preparing church dinners, which usually cost fifty cents. The original building was located at the present main entrance to the school. The fledgling community of sixty-six members celebrated its first Mass on April 6, 1924.

Our parish obtained a social hall in 1926 by purchasing “the little brown church” formerly used by Ravenna Methodist Church. The price of $125 was raised at a church dinner. This 32 X 62-foot structure served the parish until 1932, when it was taken down.

Our present church building was constructed in 1931 under the pastorate of Father Louis Carey, OSB. Architect Paul Thiry designed a Romanesque edifice of solid brick, tile and reinforced concrete. The original plan was that this permanent, fireproof structure would be used later as a parish hall. However, it remained as a church with a seating capacity at that time of 450. Two club rooms complete with French doors and fireplaces stood off the vestibule. In these rooms, early parishioners remember attending catechism lessons taught by the Dominican Sisters from Blessed Sacrament School. We celebrated our new church building’s solemn opening on March 15, 1931.

Post-World War II burgeoning in the area made planning for adequate religious education of parish children a necessity. The sixth pastor, Father Alcuin Lawrence, OSB, arranged for remodeling of the club rooms and church hall to provide temporary classrooms for the first four elementary grades. Sisters of St. Dominic of the Congregation of St. Thomas Aquinas of Tacoma came to teach at the school, which opened in September 1947.

The present school building, designed by Roger Gotteland, was blessed on September 11, 1949, by Bishop Thomas A. Connolly. The first eighth-grade graduation took place on May 28, 1951. The school is now known as Assumption-St. Bridget, reflecting the two parishes which it serves. A junior-high wing was added to the school in 1986. In November 1996, four new classrooms were added and seismic upgrading was done in the original building.

Meanwhile, the rectory was built and in use by Easter, 1953. Plans long underway culminated in the remodeling of the church that same year. Club rooms were removed and eighty-foot extension of the church permitted an increase of seating to 670. A new baptistery, a choir loft, and two additional classrooms downstairs were also added while preserving most of the original architectural design.

Father Philip Bagan, OSB, the seventh pastor, oversaw the building of a large convent across the street from the church. It was used for many years by the Sisters teaching in the school and is now owned by the Edmonds Adrian/Dominican Sisters. Father Philip also negotiated the purchase of other properties, which enable the parish to own the entire block from NE 62nd Street to NE 65th Street, and 32nd NE to 33rd NE.

These purchases made possible the completion of the parish plant in the golden jubilee year of 1973, when a large gymnasium/meeting hall named for Father Arnold Fox, OSB, the eighth pastor was added.

Prior to Father Arnold’s appointment in 1968, St. Bridget’s Parish was created from the Laurelhurst, Windermere, and parts of Hawthorne Hills areas of Assumption Parish.

Father Joseph Petosa (1982-1988) was the first Diocesan Priest to lead Assumption. During his tenure, the church was remodeled, adding a northern transept, moving the choir to a space behind the altar, and raising the altar, ambo and baptismal station on a dais of native stone. Assumption Parish celebrated the 65th Anniversary of our founding in 1988.

Sister Kay Lewis, O.P., joined Assumption as the Parish Administrator in 1988 leading the parish until 1997. Rev. Michael Angelovic acted as Pastoral Vicar from 1989 through 1997. In this period, Assumption-St. Bridget School was retrofitted to withstand earthquakes and two new classrooms were added to accommodate the anticipated growth of students.

Deacon John LaRussa and Deacon Dave Warmuth acted as Pastoral Vicars from 1997- 2000 and 1997 – 2001, respectively. In 1998 Assumption parish celebrated its 75th Anniversary. That year, a Lenten Fish-Fry was inaugurated, a community-building event that is held every Lent. In 1998, Father Emil Andersen celebrated Masses at Assumption, remaining until 2000

Assumption over the years has supported an orphanage, Nosotros Pequanos Mermanos, in Haiti.

The Jubilee Year of 2000 Assumption became a member of the Washington State Catholic Conference.

Rev. Oliver Duggan came as Pastor of Assumption in 2001. He initiated the Prayer of Terce before weekday Masses shortly after his arrival.

Early in the millennium, with Father Oliver’s leadership, a master plan was generated, following with a large project, “Remembering our Past; Building our Future.” The successful project expanded the narthex of the church, eliminated the former rectory and replaced it with a new social hall facility adjacent and connected to the church. The facility and the church are now wheelchair accessible. A pair of classrooms to Assumption-Saint Bridget School were built as well. The new Blessed Sacrament Chapel provides a sanctuary where all can pray and meditate. Our connection to God in Nature is enhanced by removing the old asphalt and planting a beautiful Garden of Remembrance, located on the west side of the church.

In 2003, we expanded our Advent celebrations to include the Fillipino tradition of Simbang Gabi, a novena of Masses that precede the Christmas Feast. Assumption joins eight other Seattle parishes that each host one of the Masses. Assumption is decorated in bright parols to remind us of the proximity of the Nativity of Jesus and the joy that we can observe in its anticipation. While Simbang Gabi is traditionally held in the pre-dawn hours, we celebrate in the evening to allow working people to participate. After the mass a feast of Fillipino foods are served and enjoyed by all.

With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, adult education sessions occur both during the day and the evening: scripture study is held weekly on Wednesday mornings; we have had evening sessions on prayer, history of the church, the morality of stem-cell research and plans to reduce homelessness. The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults follows a deep, annual cycle.. The Spirit guides groups of adults and children to join the church at every Easter Vigil.

The middle of the first decade of the Millennium marked the resumption of the work of a Chapter of the Knights of Columbus at Assumption. The Chapter supports seminarians with a variety of projects, including excellent breakfasts that are held 5-6 times a year after the Sunday Masses.

Benedictine Fathers staffed and served Assumption church for 58 ½ years; pastors not mentioned above include Fathers Anthony Hack, Albert Erkens, Paul Keera, Peter Sand, and Justin McCreedy.

Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen appointed Father Joseph Petosa as the first Archdiocesan pastor on July 1, 1982. During Father Petosa’s pastorate the church once again was remodeled to conform with Archdiocesan liturgical directives and to make some necessary improvements. In 1988, Hunthausen appointed Sister Kay Lewis, OP, as Parochial Minister (later called Pastoral Life Director). She served in this position for nine years.

Father Michael Angelovic, who had been a student at the parish school, began serving as Parochial Vicar in July, 1989.

Archbishop Thomas J. Murphy named Deacon John LaRussa as Pastoral Life Director in July, 1997. Assisting him was Deacon Dave Warmuth, who worked with Liturgy and Worship.

In Fr. Emil Anderson served as priest for one year in 2000-2001.

Father Oliver Duggan was named Pastor in 2001 and continues to serve the parishioners at Assumption.

Through the years many priests of the Order of Saint Benedict have served the Assumption Parish Family.

Serving as pastor from 1924 to 1926 was the Rev. Joseph Golob, OSB.

Rev. Anthony Hack, OSB, 1926-1929;

Rev. Louis Carey, OSB, 1929-1935;

Rev. Albert Erkens, OSB, 1935-1937;

Rev. Paul Kucera, OSB, 1937-1945;

Rev. Alcuin Lawrence, OSB, 1945-1960;

Rev. Philip Bagan, OSB, 1960-1968;

Rev. Arnold J. Fox, 1968 -1982

Rev. Joseph Petosa, 1982-1988

Sister Kay Lewis, OP, Parocial Minister/ Pastoral Life Director 1988-1997

Deacon John LaRussa, Pastoral Life Director 1997-2000

Deacon Dave Warmuth, 1997-2001

Rev. Michael Angelovic, 1989-2000


Rev. Emil Anderson, 2000-2001

Rev. Oliver Duggan, 2001-Present

Serving as Associate Pastors, weekend Associates, or in-residence at Assumption have been:

Rev. Fabian Sexton, OSB, the first assistant pastor,

Rev. Francis O’Driscoll, OSB,

Rev. Gabriel Donohue, OSB,

Rev. John Raymond, OSB,

Rev. George Monda, OSB, who served as Vicar Substitute,

Rev. Martin Toner, OSB,

Rev. Damian Glenn, OSB,

Rev. Meinrad Gaul, OSB,

Rev. Michael Feeney, OSB,

Rev. Dunstan Curtis, OSB

Other Benedictines serving were:

Rev. Marcel Berthon, OSB,

Rev. Dominic Hahn, OSB

Rev. Placidus Reischman, OSB,

Rev. Arnold Fox, OSB,

Rev. Thaddaeus Arledge, OSB.

Rev. Alfred Hulscher, OSB.

The Rt. Rev. Raphael Heider, OSB, lived at Assumption for some years after his retirement as Abbot of St. Martin’s.

We salute our forebears—priests, religious, and laity—for their generosity, vision, sacrifice, and commitment.  Our church and entire parish complex belong to each of us and bear witness to the vitality of faith in our Catholic community in this part of Seattle.



Daily Mass: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday - 9:00am

Communion Service Tuesday - 9:00am
(quiet prayer begins at 8:45am)

Saturday Vigil Mass 5:00pm

Sunday Mass 8:30 and 10:30am Coffee Hour to follow each Sunday Mass

(Hearing assisted devices are available)

Reconciliation-Saturday 4:00-4:45pm

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