"The Church will have its glory in triumph in the colored race, and, for aught I know, be the salvation of this nation." So stated the Rt. Reverend A.A. Curtis, Bishop of Wilmington, Delaware, in his dedication service for St. Peter Claver Church, on September 9, 1888. Founded by the Josephite Fathers, it was the first parish in the world dedicated to St. Peter Claver, the "Apostle of the Slaves," who was canonized on January 15, 1888 by pope Leo XIII.
The parish, founded from St. Francis Xavier parish, was created to serve black Catholics in the western section of the city, and to provide training for students at St. Joseph Seminary. Father Charles Randolph Uncles, the first black priest trained and ordained in the U.S., practiced here as well as St. Mary's Seminary.
Housed in the old Whatcoat Methodist Episcopal Church on Carlisle Street, the parish remodeled its building in 1905, retaining only a portion of the original structure.
St. Peter Claver himself was born in Verdue, Spain in 1580. As a member of the Society of Jesus, he sailed in 1610 to Cartagena, Colombia, where he worked for 44 years among slaves. Despite the horrible conditions within the slave ships, he entered them to feed, bathe, and doctor the slaves. He also taught and baptized them; by the time of his death he has converted
more than 300,000.
(Inscription under the image in the upper left) St. Peter Claver Church, 1888.
(Inscription under the image in the upper right) Father Uncles.
Democratic Women, Sponsor, St. Peter Claver Church, Sponsor, William Donald Schaefer, Mayor-Baltimore City Landmark