Wolf Run Studio - Houses of Worship
Bill Harrah
Wolf Run Studio
P.O. Box 444
Clifton VA 20124

(703) 250-6711
(703) 764-9204





. . . HOUSES OF WORSHIP . . . (Click on an image to see the actual notecard size)
St. Mary's Catholic Church
Alexandria, Virginia

#NC-08250-WP - Notecards
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St. Mary's Catholic Church in Alexandria was the first permanent Catholic church in Virginia. Few people who pass through the well-worn wooden doors into the hallowed atmosphere of St. Mary's are aware of its unique history. In a state once unfriendly to Catholics, St. Mary's served its flock through war and peace and ultimately became the mother of many Virginia Catholic churches due to the perseverance of mission priests, religious communities, and many faithful souls.

The person who was considered most instrumental in establishing Catholicism in Alexandria was Colonel John Fitzgerald, who had served as aide-de-camp to General Washington during the struggle for independence. Masses were said in the Fitzgerald residence until a small square brick chapel was built on land at the southern end of Washington Street, the present site of St. Mary's cemetery. When the building was razed in 1810, the congregation purchased the Methodist meeting house on Chapel Alley.

A permanent church home was finally realized in 1826 when a forty-five by sixty foot building was constructed on Royal Street. In 1856 the church was enlarged and beautified. The sanctuary was lengthened twenty feet, galleries were installed to accommodate the overflowing congregation, and Gothic windows and a marble altar were added.

Produced with the cooperation of St. Mary's Church, Alexandria, Virginia.

Text © 1996 Dianne Harrah, Drawing © 1996 Bill Harrah

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Adat Reyim    Christ Church    Clifton Baptist Church    Clifton Presbyterian Church    The Falls Church    Fort Belvoir Chapel    Fredericksburg Baptist Church    Fredericksburg United Methodist Church    Memorial Chapel at Walter Reed Hospital    Mount Zion Old School Baptist Church    The Old Post Chapel    Pohick Episcopal Church, Truro Parish    The Presbyterian Church of Fredericksburg    St. George's Episcopal Church    St. Joseph's Church    St. Mary's Catholic Church    St. Mary's Church    St. Peter's Lutheran Church    St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church    Trinity Episcopal Church, Sheperdstown    Trinity Episcopal Church, Upperville    Truro Episcopal Church    Vienna Presbyterian Church    Wakefield Chapel    
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Drawings Copyright © 1992-2010 Bill Harrah, Wolf Run Studio (SM), All Rights Reserved. Wolf Run Studio is a service mark of Bill Harrah and has been in continuous use since 1992. All of the images on this website are in tangible form and are fully copyrighted. Each has an invisible digital identification which is traceable through the Digimarc Corporation. Viewers of the Wolf Run Studio website are allowed to browse and print out images for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not distribute copies of images or image files to anyone else for any reason. Images may not be reproduced or used in any form or any manner, or displayed on any website without the express written consent of Bill Harrah.

Text Copyright © 1992-2010 Terry White or Dianne Harrah. Text on this website is used with permission from the authors. Viewers of the Wolf Run Studio website are allowed to browse and print out text for personal, non-commercial use only. Text may not be reproduced or used in any form or any manner without the express written consent of the authors.

Information Accuracy
The information for the written description of each location has been carefully researched by the authors and is believed to be accurate. New findings, however, could make some information out-of-date. If you are a professional historian, archaeologist, or architect, and have new information that you are willing to share, please contact Dianne Harrah .