St. Francis, Great Falls, is located in Fairfax County, a suburb of Washington, D.C. It once was a farming community and while the region has experienced considerable growth over the years, the village has maintained its rural character. Great Falls is named after a series of spectacular waterfalls on the Potomac River, which forms the boundary between Maryland and Virginia. Recreational activities are close by—Riverbend and Great Falls National Parks offer miles of beautiful horse and hiking trails, and opportunities to rock climb, fish, picnic or just plain relax along the scenic Potomac.

The village of Great Falls, about a mile from the church, has a small collection of stores—a grocery, drug store, coffee shop and other small businesses for everyday convenience. The Village Green is the site of many annual activities that reflect the family orientation of the community. In the summer there are evening music programs and a Fourth of July parade. Christmas is the time for the tree-lighting ceremony and in spring, local merchants host an Easter egg hunt on the green.

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stephk-178Stephanie – Great Falls

quote-left-green I'm a single parishioner who has been a member of the church for about 15 years.  I discovered St. Francis one Sunday while driving on the beautiful Georgetown Pike, trying to decide if I wanted to venture back into church.  I attended the service that day and stayed.  I work in DC, and used to live closer to the city, but love the community I found at St. Francis.  I've recently moved to Great Falls and now feel I have the best of both worlds—the beautiful rolling hills of western Fairfax County with an easy everyday commute to Washington, DC.  I was worried when I moved that a stressful drive to and from work would undo all the peace I found at St. Francis on Sundays—but I've been happily surprised that’s not the case. Great Falls has the feel of a small town with a huge metropolis in our backyard! quote-right-green

About a third of our parishioners live in surrounding communities in Fairfax or Loudoun Counties. Both counties are ranked, consistently, as "Best Places to Live in America" and boast high quality educational opportunities and cultural activities. Shopping and restaurants are plentiful and can be found at nearby Tysons Corner, Dulles Town Center, and Reston Town Center.  Washington, D.C. is just down the road and has its own set of unparalleled museums and cultural activities. History buffs enjoy colonial and Civil War sites, such as Mount Vernon and the Manassas battlefields. Washington, D.C.'s metro line was extended to our area in 2014, with close by metro stops at Tyson's Corner and Reston's Wiehle Avenue.

Residents who want to get away for a day or weekend often head to the Chesapeake Bay or to Atlantic Ocean beaches. To the west are the famed Blue Ridge Mountains, where skiing opportunities await in winter. For trips further afield, Washington Dulles International and Reagan National Airports are nearby.

As part of this economy, our parishioners tend to be affluent and well educated. They have high expectations for their jobs, public services (especially schools), and their church.

Additional Resources

Fairfax and Loudoun Counties

And The 10 Best Counties In America Are.. (Huffington Post)

Public Schools

Fairfax County Public Schools Website

Living and Working in Northern Virginia

Guide to Living and Working in Northern Virginia (PDF)

Celebrate Great Falls