October 24, 2018 — (Wilmington, Delaware) — The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington has released a new video tour of the original St. Mary Star of the Sea Church, now called the Tubman Chapel; and the current St. Mary Star of the Sea, located across Hoopers Island Road from the original church, in Golden Hill, Dorchester County, Maryland. The video, a production of the diocesan Office of Communications, is the fifth in a series featuring historic churches of the Diocese of Wilmington and is available free to the public on the Diocese of Wilmington’s YouTube channel – www.youtube.com/DioceseofWilm.
In the 1600s, the first local Catholics worshiped in their homes or traveled to St. Mary’s City across the Chesapeake Bay to receive the Sacraments. After Tubman’s Chapel was built around 1767 on a donated corner of the Richard Tubman plantation, Jesuit priests from Old Bohemia in Warwick, St. Joseph in Cordova, and St. Peter the Apostle in Queenstown, Maryland – including the revered Fr. Joseph Mosley (1731-1787) – traveled there to conduct services. It is believed that Tubman Chapel is the third or fourth oldest Catholic church structure built in the English-speaking colonies.
The current St. Mary Star of the Sea Church, located at 917 Hoopers Island Road, was built in 1874 and is a mission of St. Mary Refuge of Sinners Parish in Cambridge, Maryland.
The video tour is hosted by Ms. Mary Jo Bosley, long-time parishioner and Chairperson of the St. Mary Star of the Sea Pastoral Care Committee, and Co-chair of the church’s 250th Anniversary Committee.
The video opens with a stop at St. Giles Field, a 1,000 acre plantation and home of the Tubman family, early Catholics whose ancestors still worship at St. Mary Star of the Sea. The tour includes visits to the Tubman family cemetery where Revolutionary War and War of 1812 veterans are buried, the historic Tubman Chapel, and the beautiful St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Church and cemetery.
The video is the latest in a series of video tours of historic Catholic churches in the Diocese of Wilmington. Other churches included the St. Francis Xavier Shrine (Old Bohemia) in Warwick, Cecil County, Maryland; Old St. Joseph’s Mission Church near Cordova, in Talbot County, Maryland; St. Peter the Apostle in Queenstown, Queen Anne’s County, Maryland; and the Cathedral of St. Peter in Wilmington, Delaware. Additionally, 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 is in the midst of its year-long 150th anniversary celebration that will conclude on March 3, 2019.
Throughout the sesquicentennial year, detailed information about the 150th anniversary celebration is being posted on the Diocese of Wilmington’s website, www.cdow.org/150th and at www.facebook.com/cdow150th, and @CDOW150th on Twitter and Instagram.
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Contact: Bob Krebs