St. Patrick Church, Est. 1847
175th Anniversary Year
During this 175th anniversary year, we celebrate our past, our history, our present and our future. we celebrate the legacy of the prior generation, the commitment of the current generation and the hopes of the future generation.
Our 175th Anniversary Committee co-chairs are Mr. Joseph Schmitz (443-310-0071), and Mr. Ron Pojunas (443-417-5623).
The church of St. Patrick’s in Havre de Grace has an interesting and storied heritage.
It all started when Fr. James Reid the pastor of St. Ignatius in Hickory, started reaching out to the farthest corner of his parish. A mission he called St. James the lesser. Where our current Mt Erin cemetery is located. About 5 years, the mission church was outgrown, and the first St. Patrick’s church erected on the corner of warren and stokes street.
In 1847, Rev. O’Neill obtained a lot at the corner of warren and stokes streets to build a catholic church in Havre de grace. Records from the Harford County courthouse states that Rev. Thomas O’Neil purchased six building lots for $250 on May 22nd, 1847, from Otho Scott. The corner stone of the church was laid in September of 1847, but the building was not completed until 1850. It was a plain granite structure, 60feet I length and 36feet in width. The first baptism in the new parish was registered on June 13th in 1852.
The first rectory was built by Rev. J. George Steinhauser around 1862. In 1865 Rev. Joseph L. Barry, improved the interior of the church, adding an organ, a bell tower and build a school.
In 1890 a young priest Rev. James Fitz-Gerald was assigned to St. Patrick’s by Cardinal Gibbons. He was a pastor until 1930. He was a skilled stone mason also known for his generosity to the poor regardless of race, color and creed. He worked with both the Italian and Irish communities in Havre de Grace to embark on an ambitious dream of building a new church which is the current church building that we have. In 1898 he started to mobilize parishioners to go to port deposit and quarry stones for the new church.
In 1907 the land where the current church building stands on (On stokes and Congress Ave) was bought from Robert K. and Laura Vanneman that on March 9th 1907 and the more land was bout from Henry and Roxanna Lawder on March 11th 1907. The corner stone for the new church building was laid on August 4th 1907. On September 24th 1913 the land where the convent building sits was about from the Estate of Frances A. Barnard.
Rev. Monmonier who over saw the building of the school and convent. This projects broke ground on December 21st 1952. The school was staffed by the sisters of the holy Union of the Sacred hearts. The school closed in July 1973 as enrollment dwindled. This building is now used for religious education, offices, and meeting spaces for the various parish ministries.
The cornerstone of the current rectory was laid in 1964. The Hall, our newest building was build and dedicated on June 28th 2003.
Between 1847, and 2022, St. Patrick’s has seen close to 23 pastors.
St Patrick’s Church has produced several vocations as well including Rev. john T. Spragger, Rev. Raymond Brezna, Rev. John Abrahams Rev. John Mike, Rev. Robert Panza.
In 1920-21 a mission church of St. Patrick was established at Aberdeen proving ground. This church founded as St. Louise the crusader became St. Joan of Arc Parish in Aberdeen.
Archbishop Lori's Homily for kicking off the anniversary Year on March 20th 2022
Events for the Anniversary Year
I. 175th Celebration Opening Mass & Celebration Dinner: 12:00 Mass Sunday March 20, 2022, to be celebrated by Archbishop Lori; to be followed by our St Patrick’s Day Irish Dinner. Earlier this morning, we will have a St. Patrick’s Birthday Party for our children in Sunday morning faith formation classes.
II. 175th Celebration Parish Picnic: Sunday May 22, 2022.
III. 175th Celebration“St. Patricks Expo”: Saturday September 17, 2022, 5:00 – 7:00.
IV. 175th Celebration Closing Weekend Celebration May 20th -21st, 2023.
Other events we to hope to bring to fruition include:
·Community Outreach – We plan to have a presence in HdG’s First Fridays events, and an entry in the HdG 4th of July Parade.
·Microbrew Beer Social – A Sunday afternoon “Oktoberfest” at Hopkins Brewery, with beer tasting and a caterer. To be held October 2, 4:30 – 7:30.
We also hope to make several commemorative items available to build our sense of community, including:
·A parish gift, such as prayer cards or mugs bearing a parish design.
·An updated Parish History Book
·A Pictorial Directory to help you know and be able to contact fellow parishioners.
Finally, we are hoping to begin some projects such as improving the prayer garden, setting up a small museum to house parish artifacts, and blessing or rededicating the 2022 section of the Cemetery. Previously scheduled events like our September Golf Tournament remain on the calendar!