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August 24, 2011

Church deemed unsafe after quake, closed for work

The Archdiocese of Baltimore has closed St. Patrick Catholic Church indefinitely after engineers deemed the historic Fells Point church unsafe following Tuesday’s earthquake.

Founded in 1792, the parish is the oldest in Baltimore. The current church building was completed in 1898.

The archdiocese said Wednesday that the church’s badly damaged steeple will be “selectively deconstructed and stabilized,” a process it expects to take several weeks.

When the work is complete, the archdiocese said, the church will be reopened for use.

In the meantime, the archdiocese is encouraging parishioners to attend Mass at nearby Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Highlandtown, and offering shuttles for those who need transportation.

St. Patrick celebrates two Masses each week. Shuttles will leave the St. Patrick parking lot at 7:15 p.m. Wednesdays and 8:15 a.m. Sundays.

Archbishop Edwin O’Brien reviewed the damage with the Rev. Father Robert Wojtek, the Sacred Heart pastor who administers St. Patrick. Engineers determined that the parish hall, where the archdiocese had hoped to celebrate Mass temporarily, is structurally unsafe.

Posted by Matthew Hay Brown at 11:50 AM | | Comments (1)


This beautiful church sustained damage mostly due to its' age. With only two Masses per weekend and the probability of a lengthy repair time perhaps it's time to talk about permanent closure. A shame.

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About Matthew Hay Brown
Matthew Hay Brown writes and blogs about faith and values in public and private life for The Baltimore Sun. A former Washington correspondent for the newspaper, he has long written about the intersection of religion and politics. He has reported from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, traveling most recently to Syria and Jordan to write about the Iraqi refugee crisis.

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