St. Teresa’s marks 150 years with celebration
PORT DEPOSIT — While its location in town and the faces in the pews may have changed over the last 150 years, the basic mission of St. Teresa of Avila Church has not, according to The Most Rev. W. Francis Malooly, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington.
“Hospitality then and now is critical,” Malooly said Sunday in a service to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the church.
Originally served by the Baltimore diocese, Malooly speculated about the early days of the church, which was formed as the Civil War drew to a close. While Catholics worshiped in Port Deposit as early as 1854, many traveled to St. Patrick’s Chapel in Pilot Town or crossed the Susquehanna River to worship at St. Ignatius Church in Hickory before St. Teresa of Avila Church was formed.
After first opening in the home of the priest and then moving to various buildings along Main Street, the church built its current home in 1866. Malooly told the full house Sunday that it’s likely the priests would take the train from Baltimore to Havre de Grace, then cross the river by boat to get to Port Deposit.
Now a part of the Diocese of Wilmington, St. Teresa is included in the Good Shepherd Parish along with St. Agnes Church in Rising Sun, Good Shepherd Church in Perryville and St. Patrick’s.
Malooly encouraged his flock to continue in the tradition set by the founders of St. Teresa of Avila so many years ago.
“We have to share our faith,” he said. “We need to talk about why our faith is so important.”
“Hospitality, persistence and a balance,” Malooly said, are vital.
After celebrating communion, the congregation filed out of the church on North Main Street and paraded to The Carriage House for a celebratory luncheon. David Bailiff, a bagpiper, led the way along with members of the Knights of Columbus from the St. Francis Xavier and Charles Carroll Assemblies.
Father Jay McKee, pastor of St. Teresa of Avila Church in Port Deposit, and The Most Rev. W. Francis Malooly, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, take turns reading as part of the rite of communion during the 150th anniversary celebration of the church Sunday.
The adult choir from Good Shepherd Church in Perryville lends its voices to the 150th anniversary celebration Sunday morning at St. Teresa of Avila Church in Port Deposit.
The Most Rev. W. Francis Malooly, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, encourages the congregation of St. Teresa of Avila Church in Port Deposit to continue its mission of hospitality.
Led by bagpiper David Bailiff, members and guests of St. Teresa of Avila Church in Port Deposit proceed from the church to The Carriage House to continue the celebration of its 150th anniversary.