We are a community
We are missionary
We are disciples
And, we've been in Ellicott City for a while now - officially since 1893, but everything really began in 1866. Read more about our history here.
*Our Lady of Perpetual Help Novena following the 8:15 am morning Mass
** School Mass from Labor Day to Memorial Day - all are welcome!
For more information on Sacramental Preparation please click here.
Not sure who to talk to? Please give us a call or email us and we'll connect you with the right person!
Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Our Parish Office is open Monday-Friday from 9:00am-4:00pm and you can always email or leave voicemail after hours and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.
Rev. Erik Arnold
A local from Columbia and Catonsville, Fr. Arnold has served as pastor at Our Lady of Perpetual Help since 2007. He loves being a priest but didn't even hear the call to priesthood and seminary until he had already completed his bachelor's degree in computer science from UMBC. Following a conversion that brought his Catholic faith to life, he entered seminary (to the relative surprise of his parents and two brothers) and spent a year at St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore and five years at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, where he received a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University.
He was ordained a priest in 1999 and since then has served at St. Louis in Clarksville, the Church of the Crucifixion in Glen Burnie and now at OLPH.
What do you love best about OLPH? "I love the strong sense of family and the focus we have on evangelization. Nothing beats being able to spend your life doing what makes you happy."
What do you do in your free time? "I love to get out on the hiking trails in the Pataspco Valley State Park. I also really like to eat."
Rev. John Rapisarda
Fr. John, the third of four children of Greg and Carol Rapisarda, was raised in Bel Air, MD, and went to St. Margaret grade school and John Carroll high school. In 2000, he graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville with a bachelor’s in history. Growing up in the faith and having that nurtured in college, Fr. John discerned his vocation in his senior year of college. He went to St. Vincent and Mt. St. Mary’s Seminaries, and was ordained in 2008. It is a joy for him to be a spiritual father.
In 2003, Fr. John’s Dad was ordained a permanent deacon for the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The following year, his Mom was diagnosed with cancer. After an almost two-year valiant and holy battle, Carol died in 2006. In August of 2008, Fr. John’s Dad entered St. Mary’s Seminar, and was ordained a priest in 2010. They are the first father-son duo in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
Fr. John’s first assignment was Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Essex. In 2011, he was assigned as both Associate Pastor at Our Lady of Perpetual Help and the Chaplain for Catholic Campus Ministry at UMBC.
What do you love best about OLPH? I love that we have such strong witnesses to Jesus and His Church from every generation and so many walks of life.
What do you like to do in your free time? Spending time with family and friends, reading, and playing the guitar are all great ways for me to unwind.
Who is a hero of yours? Pope John Paul II - to me, he is a joyful witness of what it means to be disciple of Jesus Christ and a priest.
If you had told me 15 years ago that my job title would be OLPH Parish Administrator, I probably would have laughed harder than I should have. But here I am, deep in the trenches of Parish life and loving it. My bio is a witness to the saying, “You can get there from here.” Where was there, well geographically I grew up on Long Island, was educated by the Jesuits (woo hoo) at Fordham University. I became a Certified Public Account through years of auditing Investment Banks and Not for Profit Organizations in New York City (yes, no lie – Price Waterhouse Coopers liked to mix the rich with the poor). I then spent a few years working on Wall St. for JPMorgan Chase before moving with my husband, Clint to Maryland. While Clint finished his medical training at UMMS, I also made a modification and began working in Maryland for Wells Fargo Bank as a Corporate Trust Manager. As Clint completed his medical training, we welcomed our three children (Lauren, Kelly and Christopher) into the world and moved to NJ for a brief stay and then back to Maryland. Upon moving back to Maryland in 2002 I found my spiritual home at OLPH, first as a school for our children and parish for our family, then as a volunteer and finally, as a staff member.
What do you love most about OLPH? Hands down – the people. My fellow parishioners bring out the best in me, inspire me to love more, and serve generously. They have been the hands and face of Jesus to us and true witnesses to what it means to serve in love. How can I not be inspired to commit my heart to the Lord, when I witness His goodness all around me?
What do you do in free time? I love cooking a big meal to enjoy with family and friends, especially when cooking with others who love food. I also enjoy reading and I love biking. Now some might think this crazy, but I also like to clean in my free time. In fact, I have been known to make a mess, just so I can clean it up. (Don’t judge me!)
Why do you work for the church? The most fulfilling thing for me is the ability to help people. Earthly rewards are found when our work through the Church helps Christ be known to His children. I LOVE every chance that I have to share with others that Faith is the only way to face heartache, trauma or tragedy and Trust in the Lord is the pathway to peace and real joy. So why do I work for the Church? I cannot imagine a work setting that would not allow me as much freedom to fully express who I am. And who that is, is a Child of God, fully devoted to His mission with hopes of sharing His love for everyone through my work. (Plus OLPH rocks!!)
Sr. Lorraine McGraw
Born and raised in Lowell, MA
Moved to Maryland in 1966
Mother of 6, grandmother of 16
Outreach Chairperson for 15 years at St. Mark in Fallston, MD
Pastoral Associate at St. Mark (Falston, MD) for 7 years
Masters in Pastoral Care from St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute
A Sister of St. Francis of Assisi since 2002
Pastoral Associate at Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish since 2006
What do love best about OLPH? It’s the people of Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish who energize me. Their faith life, compassionate hearts, quest for more, and openness all help make this parish unique. Their outreach to those who are in need especially the poor, sick and dying are most inspiring. There is a real family atmosphere here.
What inspires you? I love to begin my day by welcoming the dawn of new day…especially over water. Water has always brought me a sense of inner peace where I readily connect with God. It’s a place I go to discern my life, seeking answers to questions within.
Who is one of your heros? My aunt, Sr. Maxine, a Grey Nun of the Cross inspired me from the time I was little. She was head of the pharmacy at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Lowell, MA. She worked tirelessly never taking vacation. But, she always took time for prayer. She was well known and well respected. She was a woman of few words but had the most compassionate heart for the sick and elderly.
Raised in Hyattsville, Maryland, Judy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and a Teaching Certification in Early Childhood Education. She completed her Master’s Degree in Religious Education from Felician College in 2007. Through these years, Judy has also enjoyed raising her three sons and four step-daughters with her husband.
Judy joined OLPH as a “small, country parish” in 1982. The warm welcome of parishioners immediately drew her to service. “I wanted to be a part of this loving community.” She began serving as a catechist, then part-time Pre-K Coordinator. She, also, taught at Father Charles Hall Catholic Elementary School in Baltimore City and at Hillcrest Elementary in Catonsville. In 2001, she accepted the position as full-time Director of Religious Education.
What do I love best about OLPH? Over these years, I have faced many difficult, family challenges. As each challenge arose, the OLPH Community was there to strengthen me and see me through the storms. I want others to know the comfort and friendship that they will find in this parish community.
Who is one of your heros? My Dad is my hero because he has taught me patience, faith, and hope. Jesus is his constant companion and he has modeled for me a true relationship with the Lord. I hope to share this same patience and understanding as I serve others.
Kristen grew up in Carroll County with her parents, older sister, and 3 younger brothers. She enjoyed playing sports and violin, and playing pranks on her siblings. Though a “cradle Catholic”, Kristen had a hard time with her faith, even to the point of almost rejecting it entirely, until she had a life-changing experience with the Eucharist in 10th grade.
Kristen attended Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio and started volunteering in the local youth ministry program in town, loving every minute. She graduated in 2002 and has been a youth minister ever since. She has been the Director of Middle School Youth Ministry and Confirmation Prep at OLPH since 2003.
Kristen is married to Greg Fisher, and they have 3 wild and crazy, beautiful children. You can often find Kristen and Greg in the church narthex, chasing their energetic 2 year old.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE BEST ABOUT OLPH?: I never really knew how amazing a parish family could be until I got to OLPH. The love and support that we have found here, the friendships that began here, are like nothing we’ve ever experienced before. It is so wonderful to come and worship the Lord together and receive the sacraments, and then to receive and share His love through all of those around us as well!
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO IN YOUR FREE TIME?: I love to spend time with my family and friends! It doesn’t really matter what we’re doing, as long as we’re doing it together. BUT… a lake or a beach doesn’t hurt.
WHAT’S SOMETHING QUIRKY ABOUT YOU?: When I get stressed out, I surround myself with as many ridiculous things as possible to help me remember to smile and laugh; the joy of the Lord is my strength. Come check out my crazy pen collection sometime, it’s my favorite.
Born and raised in the cornfields of northern Illinois, I love all things Chicago. I spent my childhood trying to be as cool as my older brother, and that pursuit led me to a relationship with Jesus, as well as Franciscan University in Steubenville, OH. I spent countless hours crying over piles of readings and papers while studying catechetics, theology, and spanish, but it has provided me with an amazing opportunity to minister to youth, which is my greatest passion, even above hockey and rugby.
What do you love best about OLPH? Being in such a Spirit-led and prayerful parish really creates a synthesis of being a family and striving for holiness. OLPH is a unique and wonderful place to call home as a Catholic.
What's something quirky about you? I hate shoes. Any chance I have to wear sandals, or nothing at all, I don't hesitate. Nothing can conquer my open-toe passion- not even snow.
Melissa is originally a small-town girl from Tolleson, Arizona (Just west of Phoenix. Blink and you’ll miss it.) She is an alumna of Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana, (an all-women’s Catholic College across the street from The University of Notre Dame) where she majored in Theatre and sang in the Women’s Choir. While working in a parish in South Bend, Indiana, she met and fell in love with her husband David, after meeting him through friends at Notre Dame. She turned down admission to Notre Dame Law School and married David in 2006. They have two beautiful children, a son and a daughter, who have given her quite a few new gray hairs. Melissa has been working as a Parish Administrative Assistant off and on since 1998, and has worked in three different parishes in three different states (Blessed Sacrament, Tolleson, AZ; Saint Therese, Little Flower Catholic Church, South Bend, IN; and OLPH). She has been at OLPH since 2009 and currently shares the Administrative Assistant job with Crissy Reid. She is a member of St. Augustine’s in Elkridge, the parish where her husband grew up.
What do you love best about OLPH? "I love the community‘s devotion to Christ and to one another. People genuinely care for and love each other here. There is a warmth here that radiates out and welcomes others. It’s part of what brought me to this job. There are so many beautiful and friendly souls here."
What do you like to do in your free time? "I’m a mom with two kids under the age of 5. I don’t have any free time. All joking aside, I love to cook and bake, and when I’m not searching for new recipes to try or experimenting in the kitchen, I am a complete genealogy and history nerd. I’m fascinated by family research and family trees. I’ve been at this for over 15 years. I’ve traced my husband’s family back to England in the 1300’s and my own family line to a freed slave in 1600’s Mexico (Nueva Vizcaya--New Spain). There are close to 3000 people in the combined family trees and it’s constantly growing. I also do genealogy look ups for friends."
What’s something quirky about you? "I’m incredibly good at digging up information (documents, addresses, names, just about anything) on people and events, which goes hand in hand with all of the genealogy I do. One of my nicknames is “Garcia” (for a character in Criminal Minds, an FBI Technical Analyst) I’ve been told many times that I should just become a private investigator or some sort of analyst. If that’s not really quirky enough for you: I’m a human homing pigeon with a fantastic sense of direction (If I’ve been somewhere once, I can find my way back), I’ve never been beaten at Trivial Pursuit, and I also collect anything and everything Shakespearean (…and I may have a slight obsession with the TV show, Doctor Who. Don’t judge me.)"
Growing up in the Archdiocese of Washington, Crissy Reid moved to Howard County and became a member of OLPH in October 1989 switching over to the Premier See. Crissy is a wife and mother of three boys. After working at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington DC for 20 years she opted to stay home with her boys after her 3rd child was born. Crissy then became a volunteer at her children’s schools and at OLPH and worked as many hours as before but with NO PAY (as her husband would say). Crissy’s volunteer work at OLPH first began by teaching Religious Ed and IMPACT, then as a member of the Pastoral Council and various other activities and now shares the job of Administrative Assistant in the parish office with Melissa Stevens.
What do you love best about OLPH? “I just love the feeling of belonging to such a great community of people. Especially at mass, during Communion. We sit closer to the front of the church and after praying I feel so much joy when I look up and there are still so many people in line to receive the Lord. It overwhelms me every week. This is our parish; my parish!”
What do you like to do in your free time? I’m from a large family and I love getting together with them to do whatever - whenever, but especially cooking and eating good Italian food.
Who is a hero of yours? “Both my parents are my heroes. I have always said if I am half the mother that my mom was that my children would be in great shape. Both were kind, generous, loving and would do anything for anyone kind of people.”
I was raised in Laurel, MD and I am the youngest of 4 daughters (people said to me “Oh, you’re a YOUNG” a lot while growing up). I graduated from the University of MD College Park. While in school I worked part time for Marriott Hotels and continued to work for them for another 10 years after graduating. I’ve been lucky to be able to stay home and raise our children (Matthew and Ashley), while working temporary job assignments that fit into our family schedule. Now that they are older, I feel blessed to have this opportunity to work for such a wonderful Parish family.
We have been members of the Parish since 1996, and in 2001 we became school parents. I cherish my time as a school parent and volunteer.
What do you love most about OLPH? What I love most about OLPH are the friendships I’ve made and the sense of family and belonging that you feel when you’re here.
What do you like to do in your free time? In my free time I like to read and hang out with family and friends. My favorite genre of books is Mystery. My ideal setting to read is on the beach in the late afternoon.
Who is a hero of yours? My heroes are my parents, they are great examples of patience, kindness, selfness and doing for others. If I can be the best combination of my parents, I will be very lucky.
A local from Baltimore, Janet grew up in a devout Catholic Family, and is currently a member of Our Lady of the Chesapeake Parish (OLC) in Anne Arundel County where she lives. She graduated from University of Maryland College Park with a degree in Business Management & Marketing, and married her high school sweetheart over twenty years ago in 1994. She and her husband, Steve raised their two beautiful children Shannon & Ryan in Pasadena, Maryland where they attended St. Jane Frances Catholic School. Years have flown by so fast, she is approaching an empty nest with Ryan a Junior at Archbishop Spalding High School searching colleges, and Shannon a Freshman at Towson University. Over the years, Janet says she felt a pull to strengthen and continue her own faith journey; when a friend introduced her to Our Lady of Chesapeake she was hooked. She became an Adult Leader in the HSYM Confirmation program and is starting her fifth year there this fall. “The kids really teach me and I am strengthened by them.” “OLC reminds me a lot of OLPH, similar evangelization and volunteerism in these two parishes. People are the heart and soul, they love their parish! That’s so important in this day and age to instill in your children; after all, they are the future of the Catholic Church.”
Janet worked as an accountant for over seven years at an economic consulting firm in Annapolis before finding a slower pace at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in 2013; she is now the senior accountant at OLPH for both the school and the church. This was the perfect fit for her as well to help supplement a new venture in life with her husband this past year. Janet and Steve opened a restaurant in their neighborhood of Pasadena called Founders Tavern & Grille. Her husband is the chef and creative soul behind the food and offerings. Janet used her design background and talent to do the décor and marketing for the restaurant. She is also the financial business manager, so she is one busy girl.
“OLPH has been such a blessing to give me, to have a job in a loving positive atmosphere where I get to go to work is an amazing gift!”
What do you love best about OLPH? "Feeling of family here, so nice to see such an active Parish where people care so much, it has a lot of heart and soul."
What do you like to do in your free time? "Since opening the restaurant I don’t have much free time, however I long to once again go kayaking on weekends, camping with my children and family, cooking and experimenting with food and recipes with our best friends and our kids, also we love drinking a great bottle of wine, and photography I LOVE to capture memories."
Why do you work for the Church? What emotional reasons? "I find that working here was like coming home, I belonged here before I ever set foot on campus. That’s the benefit of growing up Catholic and then getting to come to work in that same environment. I have had the misfortune of working in some intimidating sterile hostile work environments, but here we are surrounded by love. The business runs like any other, but then you realize the higher purpose of the service provided and it’s a wonderful peaceful feeling to be a part of that."
I was born on April 4, 1961 in St. Petersburg Russia. I am an only child. I attended the Marine Academy and attained a master’s degree in Diesel Engineering in 1984. Over a twelve year period I worked on merchant vessels around the world. In 2002 I came to the USA with hopes to find work in my field because many of the European ship companies were closing. Unfortunately I was not able to find employment as a mechanical engineer so I worked in construction for six years. I met my lovely wife shortly after coming to the USA and through her contacts was informed of the Facility Manager position at OLPH. I was blessed to start my career as the Facility Manager at OLPH in 2008.
What do you love best about OLPH? The parish staff are like the sisters and brothers I never had and the school staff are my friends. I view the OLPH campus as my large ship which is sailing without any major problems due to my hard work, dedicated helper, amazing staff and abundant volunteers.
What do you like to do in your spare time? Drive to my home at Deep Creek Lake to enjoy quiet time with my wife and labrador retriever dogs.
What is something quirky about you? I have an operational casino quality slot machine in my office at home.
Emily Targonski was born and raised in Ellicott City, Maryland. She grew up right down the street from OLPH and first found her love for performing as a member of the parish youth choir. She attended Mount de Sales Academy in Catonsville, MD and completed her Bachelor of Music in Music Education, summa cum laude, at Elizabethtown College in 2014. In May of 2016, Emily completed her Master of Music in Vocal Accompanying at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Emily has performed on stages in the U.S., South America, and Europe, including Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. In addition to her role as Director of Music at OLPH, Emily maintains a private piano studio in Ellicott City and works as a freelance music director/ pianist for musical theater productions in the Baltimore and D.C. region.
What do you love best about OLPH? I love all of the different people I get to meet and work with in the music ministry. After every Thursday evening choir rehearsal, I go home thinking about how lucky I am to love my job this much!
What do you do in your free time? I love spending time with friends and family, reading, walking, and playing with my wonderful and ridiculously fun puppy - Elvis.
What's something quirky about you? I guess you could say I'm an "old soul." I love black and white movies, show tunes from the classic musicals, and listening to Frank Sinatra or Ella Fitzgerald on my record player.