photo_ft_news_Church sold.JPG

A not-for-profit group has purchased the former St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church and will restore it for use as a shrine.

The new owners of the former St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church at 79 E. Lee St. in Warrenton will return the property to religious use.

The property was sold on Sept. 16 to Guadalupe, Inc., a not-for-profit entity whose president is Dr. Francis D. Andres, a psychiatrist practicing in Warrenton.

Andres said the former church building will be converted to a pilgrimage shrine as a place of devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, whom Catholics revere as the patroness of the Americas. The building will also serve as a divine mercy shrine. In 1931, Sister Maria Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun, had visions of Jesus, who directed her to become his instrument of divine mercy.

The shrine will also support pro-life efforts and care for the needy. The rectory space on the site will be used for offices.

The former church building will also have an area set aside to commemorate Union and Confederate soldiers who died during the Civil War, Andres said. The building dates to 1860, a year before the war started. During the conflict, the building was used as a hospital following the battles in Manassas in 1861 and 1862.

“I am very grateful to all who helped to bring this project to this point, and I look forward to its flowing into a pilgrimage shrine in honor of Our Lady and for the greater realization of Divine Mercy throughout the world,” Andres said.

Andres said a number of lay Catholic organizations and others helped make the purchase possible.

The property was purchased for $795,000 from Barry Dixon, who used it as an interior design studio and storage space. The property was listed at $900,000 by Will Thomas of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty. The property includes the church, a meeting hall and rectory.

The site was under contract earlier this year to a family that had plans to open a restaurant there. Last year, a different party expressed interest in buying the property for a restaurant, wellness center and boutique hotel.

The St. John congregation moved during the 1960s to a new church built on Winchester Street.

Recommended for you

(3) comments

William Connery

Pauline Clarke Mosby, the wife of the Gray Ghost, was a strict Roman Catholic and attended Church here in the 1870s. Her Funeral Mass was performed here in May 1876. She died in the Mosby House due to complications from her 8th childbirth.


This should never happy because the Divine Mercy Devotion is something which should be avoided by true Catholics. Catholics should say an extra rosary or the Stations of the Cross instead. People should know that, in the 1950’s, the Divine Mercy Devotion was suppressed and Sr. Faustina’s diary was on the index of forbidden books. It was rehabilitated around the world by John Paul II. This is a false shrine.


Great news for the resurrection of a noble building!!

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.