In May 1989, Bishop Walter F. Sullivan requested that a committee be formed with pastors and representatives of St. Bridget's, St. Mary's, and Our Lady of Lourdes churches. The purpose was to study the establishment of a new parish in western Henrico County. The following year this committee recommended to the Bishop that a new parish be established on Diocesan properties located on either Gayton Road near Route 250 or on Springfield Road in Glen Allen.
The 1990 census indicated a growing Catholic population in Henrico County and in October 1991, a new committee was convened to review and update information. Bishop Sullivan approved this group's recommendation that the new parish be located on a 17-acre tract of land on Springfield Road. Rev. John Leonard, then Principal of Norfolk Catholic High School, was appointed as pastor and the process of building a new parish community began.
In April 1992, Fr. Leonard celebrated weekend liturgies at St. Mary's and Our Lady of Lourdes, inviting interested parishioners to Town Meetings to provide information, recruit charter members, choose a name for the new parish, and survey the new parishioner's interests. Outreach and education topped the list of priorities.
Bishop Sullivan approved the name "St. Michael the Archangel", and on the weekend of May 30-31, 1992, approximately 180 families attended the first liturgies celebrated at Good Sheperd United Methodist Church and Short Pump Middle School. By the end of the summer there were over 300 registered households and over a dozen ministries had been formed. On October 4, 1992, Bishop Sullivan installed Fr. Leonard as the first pastor of St. Michael.
In June 1993, Bishop Sullivan approved the recommendation of the Diocesan Building & Renovation Commission that St. Michael hire an architect and develp a Master Plan.
By the end of 1994, Bishop Sullivan approved the beginning of the construction of Phase I of the building project, a $1.5 million worship and educational facility. April 1995 was the groundbreaking. Dedication of Phase I was in March of 1996.
Father Leonard's philosophy emphasized stewardship - calling forth members of the community to share their gifts. The Pastor was the orchestrator of the gifts - the one who called the folks forth to share these gifts.
The priorities of the spring of 1992 have become the fabric of this parish community. Education and outreach are evident in every aspect of parish life. Generosity is woven throughout with hundreds of parishioners eagerly sharing their time and talents in many ministries.
After spending six years worshiping in Phase I's worship space, the crowded liturgies indicated a need for more space for worship, religious education and meeting areas. The parish had grown from 250 families to 1500 families with many children. In 1999, a Building Committee was formed to look into the completion of the "master plan" to build a larger worship space, a daily liturgy chapel, Blessed Sacrament Chapel, Sacristy, additional storage space and to add another education wing and to provide office space in the complex, and a grotto by the lake behind the complex. The undertaking was a challenge for the parish only seven years old, but the parishioners and the Building Committee accepted the challenge and moved ahead. On October 17, 2002, Phase II was dedicated by Bishop Walter F. Sullivan. The worship space has the capacity to seat nearly 1,000 people. Ten additional classrooms were added as well as office space for 5 full-time and 5 part-time employees. The final cost was approximately 8 million dollars.
In July 2003, the parish was awarded an "Outstanding Parish Award" from the Catholic Conference of Bishop and National Refugee Association for their outstanding work with refugee resettlement - "the welcoming of the stranger". The parish then moved to becoming a "twinning parish" for St. Jean Baptisti in Dos Polasis, Haiti. The movement developed into the goal of building a new school and supporting children who had been unable to attend school. The generosity of the parish continues to reach beyond the walls of the church to far away areas of poverty.
In February 2004, St. Michael welcomed Msgr. Robert Perkins as its new pastor after the retirement of Fr. John Leonard, founding pastor. Msgr. Perkins brought added liturgical and homiletic richness to the people of St. Michael. Under his leadership, the parish made great strides in reducing its debt.
In July of 2005, the longtime "face of St. Michael," Juanita Walker retired after 13 years of dedicated service to St. Michael. Juanita will always be remembered for her deep spirituality and her reminders to all of us of the need to always be grateful to God for all of the blessings He showers on us.
In June, 2006, Fr. Dan Brady was named the third pastor of St. Michael. Fr. Brady, a native of Long Island, spent more than twenty years in Southwest Virginia as the pastor of two, and later four, clustered parishes, which, though small in size, were mighty in spirit. Fr. Dan came to St. Michael in a time of growth, as the it welcomed its 2000th family in the summer of 2006. His dynamic homilies, his upbeat spirit, and his vision of church has been an inspiration to the St. Michael community.
The parish continues to flourish and accepts the challenge of the many ministries that call it to be open to the needs of others. We keep in our minds and hearts the question - "would the parish of St. Michael be missed if it ceased to exist today?"