Sunday, September 29, 2013

St. John the Evangelist, Frederick, Maryland

St. John the Evangelist is the Roman Catholic church in Frederick where we went to Mass on Sunday. It is a beautiful basilica-style church with lots of room and light inside. Unfortunately one of us was feeling ill so we did not hang around after Mass for pictures. I went back a few days later but the church was locked in the afternoon! I was able to get a few exterior shots.

St. John the Evangelist, Frederick

Ironically enough, the prayer garden had a statue of Jesus welcoming children. It is unusual and moving and maybe made up for not being able to get inside where Jesus is present in the Blessed Sacrament. Probably not.

"Suffer the little children to come unto Me." Matthew 19:14

The church does have an interesting history. The parish was established in 1763. Back then, laws prevented public worship so a Jesuit priest said Mass in a private chapel dedicated to St. Stanislaus Kostka. The parish is the oldest in the Archdiocese of Baltimore; in fact the parish was founded 26 years before the archdiocese!

The first permanent church was built in 1800 when Father John DuBois was pastor. It was dedicated to John the Baptist. Father DuBois went on to found Mount St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg, which is now Mount St. Mary's University and Seminary. Later, he became the third bishop of New York.

The second church (the one currently standing) was built in 1837 during Jesuit Father John McElroy's time at the parish. He went on to found Boston College. So the parish celebrated its 250th anniversary and the church building's 175th anniversary this year. That may not be long by European standards but it is quite impressive for North America!

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