St. Vincent Christmas Pageant - 24 Dec 2011
The church was dedicated in 1841 and is "the oldest Catholic parish church in continuous use in Baltimore.
The history of St. Vincent is entwined with the history of Baltimore itself. It was founded in 1840 by Irish workers who were building the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. Fr. John Baptist Gildea was the first pastor when the building was opened in 1841 to parishioners. The Irish immigrants working on these landmarks were a large part of the Catholic community, though membership included those from all social ranks, even slaves. It was the fifth Roman Catholic church constructed in Baltimore, and was built to serve the ever increasing, wealthy, English-speaking Catholics in the Gay and Pratt Street area. In 1875, the church was consecrated by Archbishop James Gibbons, one of four churches so recognized in America, which placed it under the direct protection of the Holy See. The parish’s most famous son was James Cardinal Gibbons (1834-1921).
In the 1960s the church was actively involved in movements against the Vietnam War and social changes which helped to attract young activists to the parish and its causes. The church and its members are very proud of the wide variety of backgrounds and cultures that have accumulated over their long and diverse history. St. Vincent is still a growing and active church in 2007. The current pastor is Father Richard T. Lawrence. ( http://www.stvchurch.org)
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