Thursday, September 24, 2009

Reopening of Colonial Maryland Jesuit Church Brings Tears to Eyes of Jesuit Father Edward Dougherty

                                                                           Photo Courtesy Washington Post 

The pine and oak doors of the rebuilt Brick Chapel were opened to visitors last weekend in Historic St. Mary's City, Maryland, completing a 15 year fundraising and historically accurate construction effort to bring the chapel back to life. The chapel was initially constructed by the Jesuits in the 1630s, when they arrived as some of the first European settlers to America to assist in forming the new English colony.

When the chapel burned down in 1645, it was rebuilt by the ruling Calvert family of Maryland but the chapel was locked by decree of royal governors from England in the early 1700s. After that ruling, the chapel was eventually dismantled.

"The first time I saw it, it actually brought tears to my eyes," said Jesuit Father Edward Dougherty of St. Ignatius Church in Port Tobacco, Md., the oldest continually serving Catholic Parish in the U.S. He described the settlers' actions as "the experiment that was derailed a bit but has never stopped and has grown to what it is today."

To read more about the opening of the Brick Chapel in Historic St. Mary's City, visit The Washington Post.  

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