Historic Church Tour #6

August 29, 2007

Annapolis, MD


We begin our 6th bus trip, to Annapolis, with the recitation of the rosary.

Stepping stones marking one entrance to the Mary Garden of St. Mary's Church.

Following an old European custom, a quiet garden beside the church is dedicated to Mary, the Mother of Jesus.  The garden is full of flowers and herbs named after the Blessed Virgin.


Wooden box just inside one entrance to the Mary Garden with information of the plants in the garden and their Mary names.

A dogwood tree (The Cross) reminds us of Mary's sorrow at the end of Jesus' life on earth.

Ring of herbs in the garden with their medicinal properties listed.


Oregano is for more than just seasoning.

Old fashioned pump in the garden.

Pink Vermont granite statue of Mary with her arm protectively around the child Jesus sculpted by Leo Irrera.  Mr. Irrera was also the sculptor of the Celtic cross and designed and created the statue of St. Thomas More seen in St. Patrick's church in Washington, D.C, visited on Bus Trip #4.


Strolling through the Mary Garden.

A child-size statue of two angels in the children's area in the center of the garden.

Statue of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, C.Ss.R., pastor of St. Mary's parish in 1857 and again during the Civil War years of 1862-3.


Visiting with Blessed Seelos.

Reading about the life of Blessed Seelos.


The Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the Title of the Immaculate Conception, commonly known as St. Mary's Church.  The parish was established in 1853; the church built between 1858 and 1860 on land once owned by Charles Carroll of Carrollton, only Roman Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence. 

The interior of St. Mary's church is similiar to that of St. Alphonsus Liguori in Baltimore City (Bus Trip # 3), named for the founder of the Redemptorists, who have served at St. Mary's since the church was dedicated. 

Our tour guide, Mr. Henry Robert, greets us at St. Mary's.


Photograph of Blessed Francis Seelos

Stained glass window in back of church honoring Blessed Seelos.

Photograph of St. John Neumann, Provincial Vicar of the Redemptorists, who signed the deeds to St. Mary's property in 1852.  While Bishop of Philadelphia, Fr. Neumann laid the cornerstone of the church in 1858, but died 10 days before the church was dedicated in January, 1860.


Stained glass window honoring St. John Neumann in the rear of the church.

Statue of winged angel holding holy water

Angels with holy water flanking main doors of church.


Frescoes of the Ascension and the Good Shepherd flank the high altar which is made entirely of wood.

The statues to either side of the center statue of the church patroness, Mary, the Immaculate Conception, were installed in 1885.


From left to right, St. Anne, mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus, holding the child Mary.

27  St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), first of only three women honored as a Doctor of the church (1970), 16th century mystic and inspiration to St. Alphonsus Liguori that prayer is ''nothing but a friendly relationship, and frequent solitary converse, with Him Who we know loves us.''  Prayer for St. Teresa, and later St. Alphonsus, was not just heartfelt word, but also strong deeds, discipline, and commitment, validated by the prayer's attachment to the will of God

Mary, Immaculate Conception, patroness of the The Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the Title of the Immaculate Conception.



29  St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787), Bishop and Doctor (1871) of the Church and founder of the Redemptorists (1732).  Gleaning lifelong insights from St. Teresa, whom he called his ''second mother'', Alphonsus developed a lay spirituality rooted in prayer.  Integrating aspects of Oratorian, Salesian, and Jesuit spiritualities with Teresian spirituality, Alphonsus reached out to the least as well as to the privileged with a single focus: prayer.

St. Joachim, father of Mary and grandfather of Jesus.

One of three first copies to come to America of the venerated icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, dating from 1868, the most reproduced work of art in the world and a symbol of the Redemptorists' devotion to the Blessed Mother as a source of Perpetual Help.


Rear of St. Mary's church showing organ in choir loft.  In 1906 Charles Adams Zimmermann, while longtime Naval Academy bandmaster and St. Mary's organist, composed the Navy's "Anchor's Aweigh", whose refrain opens echoing the melody of the ancient Latin Marian hymn, "Salve Regina''.

Ceiling of the choir loft depicting the heavens.


We prepare for the communion service .

"The Lord be with you."

We listen to the readings of the day.


"Let us pray..."

"The Body of Christ."

Mr. Robert tells us the history of St. Mary's church.


St. Mary's church from the rear of the building.

The Charles Carroll House was the birthplace of Charles Carroll of Carrollton.  He was born in 1737 at the home of his parents, Elizabeth Brooke Carroll and Charles Carroll of Annapolis.  Molly and Charles Carroll of Carrollton used this house as their principal residence, and several of their seven children were born and died here.

Charles Carroll of Carrollton was one of the four Maryland signers of the Declaration of Independence, and the only Roman Catholic.  He was considered one of the wealthiest men in the country at the time.


Charles Carroll of Carrollton built the terraced garden sloping from the Carroll House to the waterfront in the 1770's.  Archaeologists have found more than 200,000 artifacts in this area, along with the foundation of the house of Carroll's grandfather, Charles Carroll the Settler (1660-1720).

In 1852, Charles Carroll of Carrollton's four Caton granddaughters conveyed the house and surrounding land to the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (the Redemptorists) on the condition that the property "be always consecrated to religion".

In 1826, at the age of 89, Carroll became the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence with the deaths of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams on July 4th.  Carroll died in 1832 at the age of 95.


A small cemetery, resting place for more than 100 Redemptorist priests, brothers and oblates is in the Carroll House Garden.

Plain stones mark the final resting place of reverent men.

From simple men to saintly martyr.


St. Justin the Martyr, who was beheaded sometime between 308-314 AD, is buried at the end of the garden in the Redemptorist cemetery.  It is said that one of the Redemptorist fathers brought him here in 1873 to save his remains from sacrilege or destruction.  The bones were found in a church safe in 1987 and buried in the garden in 1989.

Statue of Mary and Jesus after He was taken down from the cross stands watch over the Redemptorist cemetery.

A lone stone marker on the lower terrace of the Carroll Gardens.


Stone marker to the memory of Charles Carroll of Homewood (1776-1825), only son of Charles Carroll of Carrollton.

Standing on the steps of the Charles Carroll house, one of only 15 surviving signers' birthplaces in the United States.  Maryland is now the only state in America in which the homes of all of its signers of the Declaration of Independence still exist, and all 4 are located in Annapolis.

Ready to move on to our next stop.


Monument at the Annapolis city dock depicting Alex Haley, author of Roots, sharing heritage stories with children of diverse ethnic groups.

Looking down Main Street from Church Circle to the Annapolis Harbor.

Looking from Church Circle to the Maryland State House, the oldest state capitol in continuous legislative use, dating to 1772.  The dome of the state house which is depicted on the Maryland State quarter has the distinction of being the largest wooden dome built without nails in the nation and is topped by a lightning rod that was constructed and grounded to the specifications of the inventor, Benjamin Franklin.  From November, 1783 to August, 1784, the Maryland State House was used by the Continental Congress as the capital of the United States, and is where the Treaty of Paris was signed, ending the Revolutionary War.


St. Anne's Church is an Episcopal Parish in the Diocese of Maryland.  Anne is by legend the mother of the Virgin Mary and the grandmother of Jesus Christ. Childless until advanced in years, Anne is said to have prayed for a child and pledged to the Lord that her child would serve Him. With the birth of Mary, blessed as God's servant, Anne was rewarded. Her daughter was destined to serve God in the most important role to humankind, the mother of His son, our Savior Jesus Christ.

The first St. Anne's church was built between 1696 and 1704 on the second highest piece of ground in Annapolis; the highest being reserved for the State House.  Except for a private chapel where Roman Catholics worshiped in the Carroll house, it was the only church in colonial Annapolis.  It remained in use until 1775 when it was demolished to make room for a larger building.  The door of this first church faced East, toward the State House.  By contemporary accounts, St. Anne's was the only brick church in Maryland until at least 1708 since the Brick Chapel at St. Mary's City had been dismantled by the time the first St. Anne's church was completed.

The second church building was designed by Joseph Horatio Anderson, who was also the architect of the State House but the church was not started until 1792 due to the Revolution and the resulting severe economic depression.  It was consecrated by the first Episcopal Bishop of Maryland, Thomas John Claggett, who had been a curate in the old church.  This second building was destroyed by a furnace fire on Valentine's Day in 1858. 


The third and present church of St. Anne's was begun in 1858 in the Romanesque Revival style and incorporated a portion of the old tower.  The church was completed in 1859, except for the present steeple which was delayed by the War Between the States and was not built until 1866. 

Original St. Anne's cemetery

Grave of Benjamin Tasker, Sr. (1690-1768), President of the Maryland Council for 32 years and acting Governor of Maryland on several occasions, and his son Benjamin Tasker, Jr. (1720-1760), mayor of Annapolis from 1754 to 1755 and Deputy Secretary of Maryland from 1756 until his death in 1760.


Grave of Margaret Tilghman Carroll (1743-1817). 

Recently discovered within the vault of Margaret Carroll are the remains of Dr. Charles Carroll (1691-1755), his second wife, Anne Plater Carroll (d. 1766), his younger son John Henry Carroll (1732-1754), and his elder son, the eminent constitutional lawyer, patriot and husband of Margaret Carroll, Charles Carroll the Barrister (1723-1783).  These Carroll family members are cousins of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, having a common ancester in 1531.


Memorial in the vestibule of the church to Charles Carroll the Barrister, Vestryman of St. Anne's Church and president of the Convention of 1776 which gave the State of Maryland its Bill of Rights and first Constitution.

Plaque in St. Anne's vestibule recognizing Maryland's 4 signers of the Declaration of Indepence.  Samuel Chase, William Paca, and Thomas Stone were members of St. Anne's church, and Carroll was recognized as a respected colleague.

Plaque noting that Francis Scott Key, author of our national anthem "The Star Spangled Banner", had worshipped at St. Anne's while a student at St. John's College.


Interior St. Anne's Church

The organ in the rear gallery was built by the Freiburger Orgelbau and installed in 1975.


71  Learning about St. Anne's church

The stone altar was carved by Maryland sculptor William Henry Rinehart (1825-1874).


Carving on the front of the altar showing carpenter tools and nails to either side of a cross.


The walnut reredos depicting the Risen Christ offering the Book of Life to mankind was made in 1920 by the Oberammergau woodcarver, William Kirchmayer.

The walnut bishop's chair was made for the new church in 1859


We listen to our very knowledgable guides, Mr. Archibald Weems McFadden and his daughter Ann Weems McFadden.

The font was also carved by Maryland sculptor William Henry Rinehart.

The Episcopal flag is full of history.  The red cross on a white field is the St. George Cross, indicating the link to the Church of England, mother church of the Anglican Communion.  The nine miniature crosses in the blue field symbolize the nine original American dioceses that met in Philadelphia in 1789 to adopt the constituition of the Protestant Episcopal church in the United States.  The outline of the miniature crosses is in the form of St. Andrew's Cross in tribute to the Scottish church's role in ordaining the first American Episcopal bishop, Samuel Seabury, in 1784.  The colors red, white and blue symbolize, respectfully, the sacrifice of Christ and Christian martyrs, the purity of the Christian faith, and the humanity of Christ received from the Virgin Mary. In duplicating the colors of the American flag, they also represent the Episcopal Church's standing as the U.S. branch of the Anglican Communion.


This stained glass window on the South side, depicting St. Anne instructing her young daughter, the Blessed Virgin Mary, was made by the Tiffany Studios and exhibited at the Colombian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 before being put in the church.

Just a few of the 600 needlework kneelers in the church.


At the request of the City of Annapolis, the town clock has been housed in the church steeple since the time of its completion in 1866.  The St. Anne's Compass Rose adorns the top of the church steeple and signifies the universal call of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the mission of St. Anne's Parish to the city and county.

Homeward bound once again.

  Photography and Captions by Sharon Seckens

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