The origins of the parish go back to the middle of the 19th century. In 1847, Georgetown College purchased a farm and a house on present-day Wisconsin Avenue. Each was used as a place for recreation and a retreat house. During the Civil War, Tenleytown became the site of one of the strongest forts that protected the nation’s capital and was a place for training and encampment. Local Catholics asked the Jesuits at Georgetown College to establish a Sunday mission church. A small wooden church was opened in 1867, across from the juncture of Wisconsin Avenue and Grant Road.
A second parish church with a Neo-Classic style and a stone structure, was completed in 1903 and is located at the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and Yuma Street NW.
Construction of the current church began in 1946. The church was dedicated in 1948, with a dedicatory sermon by the Most Reverend Patrick A. O’Boyle, the first Archbishop of Washington.