St Mary City

When I was in junior high, I didn't go to normal kid summer camp or even band camp. Instead, I hung out on college campuses for talented and gifted camp. One year it was Creative Writing Camp. Another year it was Public Service camp. And the first year, which was by far the best, it was Critical Thinking & History Camp. Sure it was geeky, but it was the really fun kind of geeky!

History Camp was held at St. Mary College, a hop skip and a jump from History St. Mary City.

If you've not heard of Historic St. Mary City, it was the fourth permament settlement in British North America and the first Capital of Maryland, which was originally a Catholic Colony. When I was there, we did a little bit of excavation which they were just beginning. They had just discovered the foundation of St. John's Chapel, the first Catholic Church in the American Colonies.
Well, apparently they've now reconstructed the Church!

By 1988 his organization began planning the rebuilding of the first brick Catholic chapel in the U.S., and 21 years later the work is nearly complete. The first brick was laid for the new St. John's Chapel in 2003, and its official reopening is scheduled for September.

A notable team of historians, archaeologists, architects, archivists and others worked together to re-create the chapel -- originally built in 1667 and known to be the first brick Catholic church in the English Colonies.

The chapel served as the focal point of the Catholic faith in Maryland until 1704, when the royal Colonial governor ordered the building to be locked and never to be used for religious purposes. The Jesuits later dismantled the building and used some of the material for other structures in the historic town, the original Colonial capital of Maryland. ...

Jesuit priests -- including Father Andrew White -- made their journey to Maryland from Great Britain in 1634 aboard the Ark and the Dove, and settled near the Chesapeake Bay in present day St. Mary's City.

They acquired a parcel of land, where they built a wooden chapel and established the Catholic Church in English America.That wooden chapel was burned in 1645 during an attack on the city by forces hostile to Lord Baltimore and the Calvert family, the founders of the Maryland colony, said Susan Wilkinson, a spokeswoman for Historic St. Mary's City, a museum of living history and archaeology.

By 1667 the Jesuits were in a financial position to build a brick chapel, an architectural first for a Catholic place of worship during that time period in the English American Colonies, Miller said. ...

The new chapel is slated to open Sept. 20, the 305th anniversary of the day the sheriff locked the door of the original chapel.

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1 comment:

Garpu said...

Interesting...and that program looks way cool. I would've given my right arm to learn Russian back then. :)