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St. Ignatius in Port Tobacco, Charles County, Maryland is the nation’s oldest active parish with a continual pastorate. It was founded in 1641 by the Reverend Andrew White, S.J., who accompanied Catholic Settlers to Maryland in 1634. Jesuit priests have been in residence on this site since 1641 attending to the spiritual needs of Catholics. The church and its accompanying manor house, a residence for priests at Chapel Point for more than 300 years, is located on a 120-foot bluff overlooking the confluence of the Port Tobacco and Potomac rivers.
The cornerstone of the current church was laid in 1798. Much of the interior and most of the original records were destroyed by fire in 1866. Some modifications were made during the ensuing rebuilding.
Troops were quartered at Chapel Point in May 1865 after the escape of John Wilkes Booth.
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