Maryland

[seal of the state of Maryland] The 7th state to be admitted to the United States, 28 April 1788. In the Catholic colony of Maryland, established 1634, by Leonard Calvert, second son of George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore, at whose request the charter had been granted, "religious liberty," as Bancroft says, "obtained a home, its only home in the wide world." Through the wisdom of its founder freedom of worship was granted to all Christians. Mass was celebrated on the occasion of the first landing, 25 March 1634, on the island of Saint Clement's in the lower Potomac, by Father Andrew White, S.J. He and Father John Altham, with a lay-brother, Thomas Gervase, had accompanied the expedition in the Ark and the Dove from England, and when the permanent site was chosen, 27 March, at Saint Mary's, on tke river of the same name, about 12 miles above the mouth of the Potomac, the wigwam of one of the Indian chiefs was given over to them to be transformed into the first chapel. By 1637 a special building had been erected. Within a few years Father John Brock was stationed at Saint Inigoes, southeast of Saint Mary's, where tradition says the colonists had made a preliminary stop, Father Altham on Kent Island, Father Philip Fisher (Thomas Copley) at Saint Mary's, and Father White at Kittamaquindi, capital of Piscataway, an Indian village about 15 miles south of Washington. At the last place a bark chapel was erected for the baptism of the chief, Chitomachen or Chilomacon, and his wife. In 1651 Cecilius Calvert, second Lord Baltimore, gave the Jesuits a grant of 10,000 acres near Calverton Manor for their Indian missions. In 1649 the Toleration Act, formally establishing religious freedom and based on laws framed for the colony by Cecilius Calvert, was passed by the Assembly. The next year the Puritans, who had been freely permitted to establish a settlement at Providence (now Annapolis) when they fled from the intolerant laws of Virginia, seized the government of Maryland and repealed the Act, with subsequent appalling persecution of Catholics. The Act was restored to the statute-books, 1658, when Lord Baltimore's authority was again acknowledged, and was in force until the Protestant revolution of 1689. In 1673 Franciscans first came to Maryland, from England, their leader being the zealous Father Massreus Massey. By 1697 Maryland could boast a brick chapel at Saint Mary's, and frame chapels at Saint Inigoes, Port Tobacco, Newtown, Newport, Doncaster, and on the Boarman estate. English penal laws against Catholics began to be enforced after William and Mary had made the Anglican Church the established Church of Maryland in 1692. By Queen Anne's orders Masses said in private homes were tolerated, hence the manor-chapels and so-called Priests' Mass-Houses. Since Catholics were proscribed from institutions of higher learning, the Jesuits founded their own classical academy at Bohemia Manor, 1745, the foundation there having been made by Father Thomas Mansell, 1706. As early as 1677 the first school of this kind had been established in the colony by the Jesuits. When the impending Revolution made united opposition to England imperative, religious intolerance was once more restrained and the Catholics of Maryland were emancipated in the colony founded by them on such fair-minded principles.

Catholic influence on the place-names of the state is shown in the following: Ecclesiastically, the state is governed by the archdiocese of Baltimore.

See also,
New Catholic Dictionary

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