Pierce Deanery Strategic Planning

The Pierce Deanery is the first to be part of the renewed strategic planning effort across the Archdiocese. The deanery began its urgent strategic planning work after Holy Rosary Parish  was determined to no longer be viable.

A New Parish Vision

Following Archbishop Paul D. Etienne’s vision to foster a sustainable, thriving Catholic community in Tacoma, the Pierce Deanery continues efforts to merge Holy Rosary, Visitation, St. Rita and St. Ann parishes into one new parish, associated with the mission of St. John of the Woods.

Pastors of these parishes appointed lay members to a joint Stakeholder group to lead this process. These Stakeholders will invite parishioners to play an active role in shaping the new parish that embraces cultural diversity, creates missionary disciples, and provides multiple ministries for the community.

Corpus Christi Mass at St. Ann with altar servers from Holy Rosary, Visitation and St. Ann. Photos courtesy of Francine Mastini.


Heavenly Father,

We thank you for gathering us together and calling us to serve as your disciples. You have charged us through Your Son, Jesus, and his shepherds, with the great mission of evangelizing and witnessing your love to the world.

Send your Holy Spirit to guide us as we discern Your will for the spiritual renewal of our parish communities. Give us strength, courage, and clear vision as we use our gifts to serve You.

We entrust our parish families to the care of Mary, our Mother and ask for her intercession and guidance as we strive to bear witness to the Gospel, celebrating the qualities of each faith-filled community and together building an engaging parish.


Embracing Parish Heritage

We honor the unique history and rich contributions from each of these five parishes. These parish communities have enriched the lives of their parishioners and have positively impacted their local communities. Each will bring its unique gifts and talents to the new parish to continue the long-standing history of helping others know Christ.

Holy Rosary Tacoma123_F2

Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Parish, Tacoma

Founded in 1891, Holy Rosary, which welcomed German-speaking Catholics, was the second parish in the Tacoma area. lts first pastor was Father William Eversmann, O.S.B. who celebrated Mass in German and opened a school in September of 1891.

Link to more info

St. Ann Church Tacoma126_F2

St. Ann, Tacoma

Established in 1924, St. Ann parish has been a home for many multi-cultural communities including the Korean, Somoan and Vietnamese communities. 

Link to more info

St. John of the Woods Tacoma128_F2

St. John of the Woods, Tacoma

Established in 1926 by Fr. Huber T. J. Mertens, St. John of the Woods was a small rural Catholic parish. Its church burned down in 1940 and was rebuilt in 1947, along with a parish hall completed in 1958.

Link to more info

Phot of St. Rita of Cascia

St. Rita of Cascia, Tacoma

Established in 1922, St. Rita of Cascia celebrates a rich Italian heritage and a history of service and outreach to the local community.

Link to more info

Visitation Tacoma134_F2

Church of the Visitation of the Blessed Mary, Tacoma

Established in 1892, Visitation parish is rooted in the Benedictine Order. Its church building was erected in 1912 and is known for its stained-glass windows. 

Link to more info


Visitation STEM Academy

On August 23, 1925, Visitation Catholic School was dedicated. Today the school has a strong emphasis on teaching the faith, project-based collaborative learning, and providing an excellent education in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. 

Link to more info

Resources for Parishes

Common Questions

Read full Q&A here

"We are so grateful to have engaged Catholics at our parishes who are willing to participate in this important journey. This is undoubtedly a challenging journey – and one that none of us would elect to take. However, faced with today’s realities – fewer active Catholics, an abundance of parishes, a lack of priests, and a decline in many ministries and Sacraments – we must consolidate our efforts so that we can be better positioned to achieve our mission of spreading the Gospel." 

~ Bishop Daniel Mueggenborg, January 2021 Letter