Historic Church Tour #2

November 14, 2006

St. Mary's County, Maryland


All Aboard!!!!  Setting out on our 2nd bus trip.

St. Mary's County, named for Mary, the Mother of God, and birthplace of Maryland.


St. Clement's Island, birthplace of Maryland

St. Clement's Island Museum



Maryland begins here....

... at St. Clement's Island.


St. Clement's Island as seen from the museum grounds.

Models of The Ark and The Dove which brought the first colonists to Maryland.


Display showing the history of St. Clement's Island and the founding of the museum.

Calvert family coat of arms


Flag of the State of Maryland, composed of opposing quadrants of...

the Calvert family flag and...

...the Crossland family flag.

Mural of the landing of the Maryland colonists on St. Clement's Island in March of 1634 by artist George McWilliams.
Actual people from the community were used to represent the original colonists.


Lunch break at Cafe des Artistes

Good food and pleasant company

Nourished and ready to continue our trip.

St. Francis Xavier Church in Newtowne, which as the name implies, was the first 'new' settlement in Maryland after the original at St. Mary's City.  St. Francis Xavier parish was founded in 1640.  The current church was built in 1731. (From parish history, established date incorrect on sign.)

This semi-octagonal addition was made to the rear of the church in 1816.  The upper level is used as the choir loft today.


Side view of St. Francis Xavier church, the center section built in 1731, the front (right side) rounded section added later, giving the original rectangular frame building an unusual, if not unique shape in Maryland ecclesiastical architecture. The rear (left side) was added in 1816.

St. Clement's Island as viewed from the side of St. Francis Xavier church.


Shellie Graziano is the first reader as we celebrate Mass at St. Francis Xavier

Betsy Brooks shares the second reading.

The Gospel is read by Fr. Daly.

Msgr. Brady and Fr. Daly listen to the readings.


We join together in the Prayer of the Faithful...

...as we prepare to celebrate the Liturgy of the Eucharist.


Marker commemorating the acreage first obtained by William Bretton from Cecil Calvert in 1640, later acquired by the Society of Jesus in 1668 and known as the Manor of Little Brittaine.

A one and one-half story manor house was constructed in 1789, later raised to two full stories and capped by an attic in 1816.

St. Ignatius Church at Chapel Point, Port Tobacco, Maryland was founded in 1641 by Fr. Andrew White.
St. Ignatius is the oldest continuously active parish in the United States


St. Ignatius Church and St. Thomas Manor at Chapel Point.

St. Ignatius cemetery overlooking the point where the Port Tobacco River meets the Potomac River.

Some markers go back to the Civil War and honor Confederate soldiers.


Hand-etched markings...

  ...weather-worn and eroded...


...but ancestors still remembered and honored by family.

A listing of the Jesuits buried beneath the church sacristy.


Plain stones mark the final resting place of some the the Jesuits who have served at Chapel Point.

A large memorial stone lists some of the Jesuits ''who labored and died on the Maryland mission whose place of burial is unknown''.


Marker commemorating the dedication of the outdoor ''Way of the Cross Garden'' on the 200th anniversary of the current church building.

"Way of the Cross Garden'' across the street from St. Ignatius Church and cemetery.


Msgr. Brady reads the plaque marking the origin of St. Thomas Manor. St. Thomas Manor plaque.


Fr. Edward O'Connell, S.J., shares some history of St. Ignatius at Chapel Point. Fr. O'Connell shows us the silver and glass case containing the relic of the true cross, which Fr. Andrew White wore around his neck.  Fr. White blessed an Indian with the relic who had been impaled by a tree branch and was near death.  The next day the man was completely healed with only two small marks remaining of the wound.


Memorial plaque in dedication to former servants and workers of St. Thomas Manor.

Frame building next to the manor house which was once slave quarters, and later the cook's house.


Marker commemorating the laying of the cornerstone of the present church in 1798 by John Carroll, first bishop of Baltimore

Cornerstone of the present church at Chapel Point, laid by Bishop Carroll in 1798, and dedicated to God and St. Ignatius Loyola.


Marble statue of St. Ignatius Loyola was a gift to the parish from the Jesuits in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

These wooden doors leading into the church proper were saved from the December 27, 1866 fire which destroyed the interior of the building. Plaque in St. Ignatius at Chapel Point commemorating restoration of Jesuit order in 1805.


We listen as Fr. O'Connell explains the stained glass window...  ...commemorating the baptism of Chitomachon, the king of the Piscataway Indians by Fr. Andrew White on July 5, 1640, in the presence of Governor Leonard Calvert.


Hearing more stories and learning more history of St. Ignatius Church at Chapel Point. Colonial iron railings on the balconies in the church


Painting behind the main altar. Floor length panels like these were used to separate the pews between landowners and slaves.  Interestingly, when one older African-American lady was asked why she still sat in the rear of the church, she said it is where she always sat with her grandmother.  It was her 'family pew'.


Every kneeler is covered by hand needlework, each having some religious significance, such as the landing and first Mass on St. Clement's Island. The story of Noah, the animals, and the Ark.


Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit Crucifixion of Christ


Reverently touching the recepticle of the relic of the true cross. The relic of the true cross brought from England by Fr. Andrew White in 1634.

translates to:
Most Holy Cross of Jesus

Venerating the relic of the true cross.


The 3 pieces of the 'saddle chalice'...

...used to disguise the chalice...

 ...as a bell when the early Jesuit priests traveled the mission circuit.

Carved wooden crucifix and old wooden tabernacle made of mahogany from Santo Domingo had been saved, possibly by former slaves, from the burning church on December 27, 1866.

The sewing within the tabernacle was done by the Carmelites before 1830.


Heading back home to rest up for our next bus trip.

  Photography and Captions by Sharon Seckens

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