Our Sister Parish in Baltimore City
In 1883, St. Gregory the Great Church became a newly created parish under the order issued by then Archbishop Gibbons, who later became cardinal. Rev. O.B. Corrigan celebrated the first Mass in the new parish on January 7, 1884.
On October 12, 1884, Archbishop Gibbons blessed the new schoolhouse and chapel and officially changed the name to St. Gregory the Great. This was soon followed by the dedication of a new Gothic mini-cathedral at the corner of Gilmor and Baker Streets. This beautiful new church which had been made possible by the legacy of Mr. Patrick McKanna, was officially dedicated on the First Sunday of Advent, November 1886.
Membership in the new parish reached its zenith in 1921 with an enrollment of more than 5000 parishioners. However, the widespread sociological changes in the 1940's had a profound effect on the membership of St. Gregory's and its school. By 1951 the school had only 35 children on the roll and was closed on the advice of the Archbishop. By 1954 profound change was demonstrated in the racial composition of the parish. Approximately 80% or 395 of the 507 members of the parish were African-American.
In 1971, the rectory, which housed only one priest, became a Quarterway House, later Liberty House and now Bright Hope House, a residential treatment facility for men struggling to overcome alcohol and/or chemical addictions.
In 1973, with great reluctance, the parish family moved from the Gothic mini-cathedral to the original chapel. With a generous bequest by Rev. Corrigan, the old school house was re-converted into the current church, for the people of St. Gregory the Great. The site of the old church has been converted to the Sandtown-Winchester Senior Center. Seniors from the parish and surrounding community may participate in activities sponsored by the Commission on Aging and Retirement Education (CARE).
Over the years, St. Gregory's has maintained its commitment to Jesus' teaching in Matthew 25:35 - "the least of these people" gospel. Weekly, parishioners support the numerous charitable ministries benefiting the Sandtown-Winchester community. The parish has been a stalwart in the storms of life, offering love, support, spiritual healing and friendship. St. Gregory's is committed to continuing its presence and ministry in the years to come.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parishioners assist our sisters and brothers in St. Gregory's parish in the following ways:
- Periodic poor box collections for the needs of the food pantry at St. Gregory's
- Contributions for meals at Easter
- Faith formation classes prepare candy bags to accompany the Easter meal donations
- A Thanksgiving food drive (meal including turkeys) for 300+ families
- A Christmas Adopt a Family program providing food and presents for approximately 64 families and food for an additional 130 families
- Christmas presents of sweatshirts and sweat suits for approximately 62 senior citizens
- Monthly preparation of macaroni and cheese casseroles for the soup kitchen
- Periodic deliveries of clothes and other donated household items
- An annual exchange of choir visits between parishes
If you would like to assist in this program or would like more information please contact the parish office.