This past week, it was announced at all of the Masses that Archbishop Lori has named Fr. Kevin Farmer pastor of St. Joseph’s in addition to being a pastor at St. John the Evangelist. People may want to know what a pastorate is. You can find information on “What’s a pastorate?” at the link to our June 29th and 30th 2019 Online Bulletin.
Now, that we have answered the question, “what’s a pastorate, it might be helpful to answer the question: “Can you tell me a little bit about St. John the Evangelist?” Here then is St. John’s at a glance.
* The pastor is Fr. Kevin Farmer and the associate pastor is Fr. John Streifel (sound familiar?).
* St. John’s has 3014 registered families and a typical weekend Mass attendance of 1300.
* St. John’s is the oldest Catholic parish in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
Some history from St. John’s Website:
* Lord Baltimore, who founded the colony of Maryland, first brought the Roman Catholic faith to this area in 1634 with the help of the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits.
* During the mid-1700s, the Jesuits were largely responsible for carrying that faith inland from the shoreline territories. Because Roman Catholics were forbidden by the Crown’s Penal Laws to build churches or practice their religion openly, the first worship space was established in the spring of 1763 in Frederick in a small brick home on the north side of Second Street owned by John Carey. The Penal Laws were repealed in 1776, and it wasn’t long before the Roman Catholic community outgrew the small home chapel.
* In 1789, Pope Pius VI created the first Roman Catholic Diocese in the United States, the Diocese of Baltimore. During the Jesuit suppression which began in 1773, Rev. John DuBois was named pastor for the area that included all Catholics from Frederick, Maryland, to Saint Louis, Missouri. He laid the cornerstone for the first St. John’s Church on the north side of Second Street; it bore the inscription: “The first stone of St. John’s Catholic Church was laid by Rev. John DuBois on the 15th day of May 1800.” The stone, unearthed in 1904 in what is now Chapel Alley, sits in the plaza just to the right of the front doors. Our pastor, Fr. Dubois went on to found Mt. St. Mary’s College and Seminary in 1808. On May 23, 1826, Fr. Dubois was named the Third Bishop of New York.
* Rev. John McElroy, S.J., became the pastor of St. John’s in 1822. The decision was made to tear down the old church and rebuild on the south side of Second Street. Work began in 1833 on what was to be the largest parish church in the United States at that time. On April 26, 1837, St. John the Evangelist became the first consecrated Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
* The Jesuits resumed leadership of the parish in 1814 when their suppression was lifted. They staffed St. John the Evangelist until 1902 when the Jesuit Novitiate located on Second Street across the street from the current Church, relocated to New York. In total, the Jesuits had a presence in Frederick for 144 years.
St. John the Evangelist is one of the most beautiful churches in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. There is information on the website at http://stjohn-frederick.org/history that describes the interior of this beautiful church.
FINALLY, A NOTE OF THANKS
With the newness of the pastorate being formed, we have set a goal of providing parishioners with the latest information. Our Constant Contact email will be one way we communicate with you. We want to express our profound thanks to Pam Mooney and Cassie Hintermister who have provided great ministry in getting these notes out to parishioners. They have been amazing week in and week out in providing updates, and we are most grateful.