The local Catholic community at St. Dominic Church welcomes their new pastor, Father George Schommer who comes to St. Dominic’s from Saint Gertrude’s Catholic Church in Cincinnati, Ohio where he served as an associate pastor for several years.
Fr. Schommer is a native of Detroit, Mich. and is the eldest of four sons. His parents, married 51 years, still live in the home where Fr. Schommer was born and raised. Fr. Schommer knew he was bound for a religious life and the priesthood at the age of 26 while listening to the divine gospel. His calling to serve from God struck him when he heard the words of Jesus as recorded in John 15:1-2; “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.”
Fr. Schommer studied at the Dominican House of Studies, a graduate school for theological study, here in Washington, D.C. His roots in D.C. expand to St. Dominic’s where he was ordained as a priest in May of 1994. His return to St. Dominic’s is noted to be “like coming home.”
His familiarity and love of the District will be evident as he settles in to his new role as pastor of the only Catholic Church in Southwest. He wishes to bring good preaching, programs and evangelization; and solid Catholic catechises and meaningful service to the neighborhood. Fr. Schommer is determined to cross the “great divide” (I-395) and reach out to the community, reminding everyone that St. Dominic’s is a vital part of the neighborhood and will do its part to participate in local events and social responsibilities.
St. Dominic’s bids farewell to Father Gregory Salomone, OP who served as the church’s pastor for more than eight years. While Fr. Salomone will be missed, the church is excited about the arrival of the new leader and is looking forward to what he will bring to the community.
St. Dominic Catholic Church has graced the Washington skyline since its dedication in 1875. The 24 stained glass windows depict significant life events of the church’s patron saint, Spanish-born Saint Dominic of Osma. St. Dominic was the founder of the Dominican Order of Preachers (O.P.), or Dominicans. The church remains the Dominican residence for the D.C. area. One floor of the residence, located behind the church, is a center for assisted living for senior priests and brothers, who are cared for by the Dominicans themselves and a small staff of lay nurses.