Father Edward V. Mullarkey (1890-1953) came to Virginia in 1920, the year following his ordination in his native Ireland. In 1931, he came to St. James as our fourth pastor. At the time Saint James posted these demographic numbers:
Parish membership: 85 families
School enrollment: 85 students
Deep in the Great Depression, families were struggling and Father Mullarkey made it his goal to become acquainted with every one of those families in the parish. He shepherded his parishioners and the IHM community through the financial concerns of this difficult time.
The war years then came. World War II brought a flood of government and military families to Northern Virginia. The decade of the 1940’s was a time of increased growth.The school was too small and the church was crowded. Father Mullarkey oversaw land acquisition, the construction of a new academic facility and renovations enlarging the original stone church.
During his pastorate, Father Mullarkey led the parish in meeting the many challenges of a changing community and at the same time managed to care for the spiritual welfare of his increasing flock. When he died in 1953 he left not only legacy of brick and mortar, but a parish community numbering 1,698 families and a school enrollment of 1,744 children. Father Mullarkey is buried in St. James Cemetery. A bronze memorial plaque is located in the front vestibule of the church.