click here for gadget for god  
about the ship sign up for our newsletter
community the mystery worshipper gadgets for god caption competition foolishness features ship stuff
mystery worshipper home reports from the uk and ireland reports from the usa reports from australia and new zealand reports from canada reports from elsewhere famous and infamous reports comments and corrections
the mystery worshipper
See our archive of reports

UK & Ireland
Oz & NZ
If you would like to become a Mystery Worshipper, start here.

2719: St Mary's, Alexandria, Virginia, USA

Read this report | Other comments

August 5, 2014

Just as a benevolent clarification, the parish is not only the "mother church" of the Diocese of Arlington but actually dates to 1795, not 1810. Our cemetery was the site of the original church, which burned around 1810. The current building dates to 1827 and has undergone renovations ever since. Land was purchased by Father Fairclough, who mortgaged himself personally to support the debt, returning later to England, where he died.

As a parish, the Church of St Mary was founded by the Society of Jesus missionaries in 1795 (as noted on the sign in front of the church) and Col Fitzgerald, aide-de-camp of General George Washington. The Jesuit fathers came from Maryland (Catholic colony originally) when it was illegal to be a Catholic priest residing (even overnight) in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Originally part of the "Maryland Assistency" churches, St Mary's is considered the "jewel in the crown" of the churches of that era, when Baltimore was the only see in the Colonies and later the country. In the 19th century it became part of the Diocese of Richmond. By 1973, when the Catholic population increased, St Mary's and other Northern Virginia churches formed what is now the Diocese of Arlington.

Mary A.D. Petrino, ASID


August 6, 2014

Thank you for your post of our beautiful parish. We are so very blessed to have such a beautiful church, wonderful parishioners, and wonderful and caring shepherds.

Come back anytime!

Laurie Schultz

please give to the floating fund
Easter 2010 reports
Easter 2010
From Yunnan in China to Louisville in Kentucky, we report on Easter services, 2010. Read here.
camino pilgrimage
The Mystery Pilgrim
One of our most seasoned reporters makes the Camino pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Read here.
follow ship of fools on twitter
buy your ship of fools postcards
sip of fools mugs from your favourite nautical website
      ship of fools