Alexandria, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
First Catholic Church in Virginia
A. D. 1795
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.
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. Touch for map. It is in front
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); 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); Jones Point (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Lost Village of Cameron at Great Hunting Creek (approx. 0.3 miles away); Battery Rodgers (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Alexandria.
Also see . . .
1. About Saint Mary’s. “St. Mary’s was established in 1795, and is the oldest Catholic parish in the Commonwealth of Virginia. To fund the church, Colonel John Fitzgerald, friend of George Washington and an early mayor of Alexandria, took up a collection. According to local tradition, Washington himself made the first donation. A chapel was built at the south end of the city, on land still used today as St. Mary’s (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.)
Categories. • Churches, Etc. •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 21, 2008, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 5,161 times since then and 133 times this year. Last updated on December 16, 2014. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 21, 2008, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.