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Fr. Andrew White, S.J. established a chapel along the shore of the Port Tobacco River in 1641. We are very much still here as an active Catholic Parish, we are not just an historical site, a fossil from the past, but a living worshiping community. As with all churches, we are rooted in our history. Our history begins in the Holy Land, where Jesus taught, worked miracles and ultimately died and rose. Through his ascension and sending of the Spirit, he handed on the development of the Church to his disciples, who in turn shared the Word throughout the Roman world.
St. Ignatius the Founder of the Society of Jesus learned of Jesus in his native Basque country but traveled back through Spain, France, Rome and the Holy Land on a spiritual quest to know his Savior Jesus Christ more deeply and personally. His followers, the Jesuits followed European explorers throughout the world to preach the Gospel.
Jesuits arrived in Maryland in 1634 and Port Tobacco by 1641. From those humble beginnings the Church took root and spread. As recently as 1924, Jesuit priests served much of Charles County from the St. Thomas Manor residence here at Chapel Point. As the parishes at Indian Head, Hill Top, McConchie, Pomfret and LaPlata gained status as parishes, the geographic reach of the Parish of St. Ignatius diminished.
The mission of St. Ignatius Church at St. Thomas Manor remains the same, to draw people to God through preaching the Word of God and administering the sacraments. Our wonderful buildings are old and interesting, but the Church, the People of God, sharing in the ministry and grace of Christ are ever new.
During the celebration of our 375th Anniversary, we wish to help people to appreciate the nature and mission of the Catholic Church in the history and future of Maryland and the nation.