History of St. Patrick Catholic Church
in Mount Savage, Maryland

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in the History of St. Patrick Catholic Church
in Mount Savage, Maryland

circa 1758 John Mattingly, first Catholic in Allegany County, settled in the vicinity of Fort Cumberland. The Mattingly family would purchase land at Arnold’s Settlement, to become the town of Mount Savage.

1791 First Catholic death in Allegany County (established in 1789) recorded as John Arnold (April 26, 1791).

1793 First Catholic Mass celebrated at Arnold’s Settlement by Rev. Stephen Theodore Badin, first priest ordained in America, in travels via Braddock’s Road from Baltimore to Pittsburgh.

1795-1799 Mass celebrated infrequently at Arnold’s Settlement by Rev. Demetrius Augustine Galitzin, second priest ordained in America, a circuit rider.

1799-1810 Mass celebrated occasionally at Arnold’s Settlement by Rev. Felix Brosius of Taneytown, Galitzin’s traveling companion.

1810-1812 Mass celebrated occasionally at Arnold’s Settlement by Rev. Nicholas Zocchi of Taneytown.

1812-1819 Mass celebrated occasionally at Arnold’s Settlement by Rev. Matthew Ryan of Hagerstown.

1819-1825 Mass celebrated regularly (three or four times a year) at Arnold’s Settlement by Rev. Timothy Ryan, a missionary, named pastor at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Cumberland, in 1822.

1825-1828 Mass celebrated four or five times a year) at Arnold’s Settlement by Rev. Francis Ruloff.

1828-1835 Mass celebrated more regularly by Rev. Francis Xavier Marshall, an ex-Jesuit, who built a new brick church at Arnold’s Settlement and dedicated it to St. Ignatius, founder of the Jesuit order.

1835-1840 Rev. Fathers Henry Myers and Bertrand S. Piot served St. Ignatius as a mission of Cumberland, though the Mount Savage congregation was larger.

1840-1845 St. Ignatius mission served by Rev. Leonard Obermeyer, stationed in Cumberland.

1845-1855 Rev. Charles C. Brennan assigned first resident pastor at St. Ignatius.

1856-1861 Rev. James Carney promoted from assistant pastor at St. Patrick in Cumberland to pastor at St. Ignatius.

1861-1868 Rev. Richard Brown leads parish in building a new church. Excavation begun late 1862. Cornerstone laid late 1863. New church named St. Patrick in tribute to Irish immigrants. Cornerstone blessed April 23, 1865.

1868-1875 Rev. Jeremiah Hendricks makes improvements to church building and grounds, re-dedicated October 5, 1873. Father Hendricks first to be buried at lot at east side of church.

1875-1894 Rev. Patrick Francis O’Connor expanded church grounds, built hall behind rectory, installed new stained glass windows and belfry, led blessing celebration October 9, 1892. Died April 30, 1894. Buried next to Father Hendricks at churchside.

1895-1904 Rev. Edward A. Williams, native of Ireland, raised money and established a school at St. Patrick. School opened September 9, 1896 in old hall behind rectory by Ursuline Sisters. School Sisters of Notre Dame opened classes on September 5, 1899. On May 14, 1900, ground was broken for a new school. Father Williams enlarged and embellished the sanctuary and beautified grounds.

1904-1923 Rev. John W. Dowling constructed present rectory, erected wall around church property, built parish hall in 1921.

1923-1932 Rev. George H. Tragessor devoted efforts to parishioners’ spiritual welfare, “sewing the seed of many religious vocations.”

1932-1940 Rev. Francis J. Egan maintained parish financial stability through end of Depression, made improvements to school and church buildings.

1940-1943 Rev. Joseph T. Lane continued to reduce debt and make needed repairs to buildings.

1943-1967 Rev. Michael S. Smyth, native of Ireland, paid off debt and made repairs, built Marion Shrine (dedicated September 26, 1954). Third pastor buried in church plot, St. Patrick’s Day, 1971.

1967-1992 Rev. John J. Mackey made many improvements to church, hall, rectory, cemetery. School closed with last graduating class June 13, 1969. Celebrated silver anniversary of ordination in June 1974, chaired by distinguished parishioner Mary E. Murray. Together, Father Mackey and Miss Murray planned a celebration October 28, 1990, to honor Cardinal Mooney and other religious who came from Mount Savage. St. Patrick parish in Mount Savage is known in the Archdiocese of Baltimore as producing at one time the greatest number of religious among its population.

‘Til May 1992 Rev. Thomas Bevans

May 1992-
Summer 1993
Rev. Edward Henricks focused on evangelization, development of youth groups, growth of the religious education program.

Summer 1993-1995 Rev. Brendan Carr began church renovation and purchased new organ.

1995-1996 Rev. Fathers David Lawlor and Bill Craig completed renovation.

April 1997-
January 31, 2003
Sister Joan Minella, SSND, former teacher at St. Patrick School, assigned Pastoral Life Director for St. Patrick in Mount Savage and St. Ann in Grantsville. School demolished, hall renovated.

Februay 1, 2003-
June 30, 2003
Deacon Loren Mooney, serving St. Patrick in Cumberland, assigned Temporary Administrator/Pastoral Leader

July 6, 2003-
Rev. Doug Kenney, native of Frostburg, assigned Associate Pastor/Pastoral Leader.

Summary of History of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Mount Savage, Maryland
by Nancy E. Thoerig
(c) April 5, 2004


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