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Historic St. Peter’s Parish kicks off a year of celebrations honoring its 200th anniversary
More than two centuries ago, the first Catholic Masses in Libertytown were celebrated in a private residence. Today, St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Libertytown, Maryland consists of nearly 1300 families with daily and weekly worship opportunities at its picturesque 14-acre campus. This fall, the parish at St. Peter’s will embark on a year-long celebration of its momentous bicentennial anniversary beginning with a festival in September 2022 and culminating with a Mass of Celebration and Bicentennial Bash in September 2023, 200 years after the completion of its first church.
“St. Peter’s history is rich with stories that illustrate the impact this Parish has had on the community.” – Ruth Riley, Bicentennial Committee Member
St. Peter’s Catholic Church Pastor Reverend Charles Wible shared that he is thrilled to be a participant in this very special moment of the parish’s 200-year history. “Our parish anniversary gives us the opportunity to express our gratitude for the blessings of the past, as well as to be hopeful for future blessings as we continue to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
In addition to planned events and activities throughout the course of the year, the Bicentennial Committee has been hard at work crafting an educational series about the history of St. Peter’s Catholic Church.
The Historical Committee scoured local archives augmenting content with parishioner memorabilia to craft a series of articles highlighting key moments in the church’s 200-year existence.
“St. Peter’s history is rich with stories that illustrate the impact this Parish has had on the community,” shared Ruth Riley, Bicentennial Committee Member. For example, many do not know that the first known memorial to victims of the sinking of the Titanic is on parish grounds or that its Sappington Hall was once known in Libertytown as the Opera House, the site of plays, theatre productions, and movies!
This series will also include stories about how the entire community and region rallied to help the Parish rebuild after a devastating fire in 2004. The series begins in September and the public will be able to view these weekly posts on the Parish’s website and social media.
To kick-off the celebratory year, the Bicentennial Festival will be held on September 11, 2022, consisting of a blend of elements from the current annual parish picnic and jousting competitions which were a part of the annual Libertytown Tournament and Picnic organized by the Parish in years past. The Committee has enlisted Maryland Jousting Association to perform an exhibition at this year’s festival. In addition to the exhibition, there will be food, games, and other activities for families at the festival.
Next year, the parish will host a special Bicentennial Celebration Mass and Reception on Sunday, September 24, 2023, that will be led by Archbishop William E. Lori, who serves as the leader of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Closing out the 200th anniversary festivities, will be a special Bicentennial Bash at the end of September 2023 with opportunities for the community to join in. Stay tuned for more details.
Bicentennial Committee Co-Chairperson Alan Duke encourages the community to join the parishioners of St. Peter’s in this yearlong celebration. He shared, “the Bicentennial provides an opportunity for the community to not only learn about the parish’s interesting history but also to worship with our parish family and join in the festivities.”
The committee is finalizing plans to dedicate a special project honoring the Parish’s 200 years of service to the community. In addition to several planned bicentennial events, the planning committee commissioned the creation of a commemorative ornament that will be available for purchase throughout the year at the parish center.
St. Peter’s Catholic Church is located at 9190 Church St. in Libertytown, one block from the intersection of MD Rt. 26 and MD Rt. 75. For more details about St. Peter’s Catholic Church Bicentennial Celebrations, visit http://www.stpeter-libertytown.org/200 or contact the parish office at 301.898.5111.