Alexandria, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
First Catholic Church in Virginia
A. D. 1795
This stone taken from the canal of the Potomac Company of which Washington and Fitzgerald were Directors commemorates the erection of the First Catholic Church in Virginia, A. D. 1795, which stood until 1839 about twenty feet behind this marker.
In grateful acknowledgement of their aid in establishing this church the three trees to the north of this stone have been dedicated as follows to General George Washington as subscriber to the building, Colonel John Fitzerald, his favorite Aide de Camp, as the collector of the building fund, Colonel Robert Hooe, Major of Alexandria, as the donor of the acre of land.
In commemoration of the bicentennial of the birth of George Washington this tablet was donated by the Holy Name Society of Sacred Heart Church (Vailsburg), Newark, N.J. on the 133rd anniversary of the funeral of Colonel John Fitzgerald, December 4, 1932.
Erected 1932 by Holy Name Society of Sacred Heart Church (Vailsburg), Newark, N.J.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Churches & ReligionFormer U.S. Presidents: #01 George Washington series list. A significant historical date for this entry is December 4, 1898.
Location. 38° 47.678′ N, 77° 2.945′ W. Marker is in Alexandria, Virginia. Marker is on South Washington Street (Virginia Route 400) south of Church Street, on the right when traveling north. It is in front of St. Mary’s Cemetery, outside the fence facing the sidewalk. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Alexandria VA 22314, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Freedmen’s Cemetery (within shouting distance of this marker); Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Former USCT Burial Ground (within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome to Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); The Original Saint Mary's Church (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); William Clayborne Memorial (about 600 feet away); Jones Point (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Alexandria.
Also see . . .
1. . The following information was found on an earlier version of Saint Mary's Church's website. It is no longer (Submitted on June 21, 2008.)
2. Fitzgerald Warehouse, 6 King Street. Excerpt from Robert Madison’s book, Walking with Washington. “George Washington’s diary shows that he and [John] Fitzgerald met together frequently. Fitzgerald’s home was on the southeast corner of King and Fairfax Streets where the Burke & Herbert Bank is today. Since there was no Catholic church in Alexandria at that time, services were sometimes held in Fitzgerald’s home. According to tradition, while dining there on Saint Patrick’s Day in 1788, George Washington contributed to a fund to build Alexandria’s first Catholic Church.” (Submitted on June 21, 2008.)
3. Sacred Heart (of Vailsburg) Roman Catholic Church. The Holy Name Society from this Newark New Jersey church erected this marker in Alexandria Virginia. (Submitted on June 21, 2008.)
Credits. This page was last revised on April 29, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 21, 2008, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 5,726 times since then and 101 times this year. Last updated on December 16, 2014. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 21, 2008, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.