It is a joy for me to welcome you to our parish family here at Saint Patrick. Since its founding in 1847, our parish has grown from a few families to well over 600 families. Among the many reasons I feel proud to lead and serve as priest, is the fact that we enjoy a diverse parish community that finds its source of unity in the gift of our Catholic faith and the power of the Eucharist to unite and sanctify.
Our mission at Saint Patrick’s Church is to help you find and experience Christ this this Eucharistic community. As Christ and the Holy Spirit are the ones that drive and move the Church and society. While none of us could have ever predicted the impact COVID-19 would have on our Nation, the Church, and our families, the way our parish responded over the past year in creative ways speaks to our resolve and trust in the Lord. As we return to public worship at full capacity in our church and with the dispensation from attending Sunday Mass now lifted, I look forward to worshipping with you in a regular basis. As we re-engage in our various ministries, your membership in our parish family will only serve to strengthen this community of faith.
There are many ministries and faith-based programs offered here at Saint Patrick’s Church. I hope you find a ministry in which you can participate in for the building-up of the Body of Christ. Our ministries and rich liturgical celebrations are dependent upon the generosity of our parishioners either by using weekly envelopes or through online giving using Give Central. You can access Give Central through our website: www.stpatrickhdg.com. Please don’t hesitate to call the office or drop us an email if you have any questions.
Thanks again for choosing to join our parish. Because of you, we are stronger. May St. Patrick, our Patron, watch over your family and may the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, intercede for us all.
Respectfully in Christ,
History of the Parish
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. In 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. Thomas (John) 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 in 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 built a school.
In 1890 a young priest Rev. James Fitz-Gerald was assigned to St. Patrick Church 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 on March 9th, 1907 and more land was bought 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 bought 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 built and dedicated on June 28th, 2003.
Between 1847 and today, 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.