Historic Cecil County Church focus of new video

Tour of St. Francis Xavier Shrine in Warwick, Maryland, founded in 1704, available on Diocesan YouTube Channel

October 31, 2017 — (Wilmington, Delaware) — The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington has released a new video tour of a church and rectory/museum that stands on the site of one of the oldest Catholic churches in America, St. Francis Xavier Shrine, also known as Old Bohemia. The church was founded by Jesuit missionaries in 1704 near present-day Warwick in southeast Cecil County, Maryland, during a period of vigorous repression of Catholicism in English colonies of the New World.

The video is a production of the Office of Communications of the Diocese of Wilmington in cooperation with the Old Bohemia Historical Society, who has managed the property since the 1950s. Ms. Marji Matyniak, the Society’s President, hosts the ten-and-a-half minute video. The historic shrine is under the pastoral and sacramental care of St. Joseph Church in Middletown, Delaware.

The video is available free to the public on the Diocese of Wilmington’s YouTube channel – www.youtube.com/dioceseofwilm.

Highlights of the video include the kitchen which is on the site of the original 1704 log church, the 1825 rectory/chapel that contains the museum, vestments that date back to the 1700s, an iron apparatus from the 1700s that was used in making communion wafers, and the beautiful 1797 church that was gutted by a fire in 1912, and rebuilt. The property is on the United States Department of the Interior’s National Register of Historic Places.

The St. Francis Xavier (Old Bohemia) video is the latest in a series of video tours of historic Catholic churches in the Diocese of Wilmington. Other churches included the Cathedral of St. Peter in Wilmington, Delaware, and Old St. Joseph’s Mission Church near Cordova, in Talbot County, Maryland. Additionally, early last year, the diocese produced and released a short video on the life of Maryland Eastern Shore native, the Rev. Paul Wattson, SA, (1863-1940) – also known as Father Paul of Graymoor – who may be the first person born in what is now the Diocese, to be a canonized saint. All these videos are available on the YouTube site.

The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington was established in 1868 and comprises 56 parishes, 18 missions and 36 schools serving the State of Delaware and the nine counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The diocese will observe its 150th anniversary with a year-long celebration beginning March 3, 2018. Information is available at www.cdow.org.

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Contact: Bob Krebs
302-573-3116
[email protected]