St. Mary's Church of Newport, Rhode Island

The parish was founded in 1828 to served the many Irish Catholics who were working at Fort Adams.  The first church was built.  But from 1830-1845, railroads reduced the use of the seaport so the Catholic population went elsewhere to seek jobs.

In 1846 the government was once again working on the seaports and the Catholic community was once again growing.  By November 1846, there were enough Catholics for services every week instead of once a month.  On February 2nd, 1847 Father James Fitton bought land on Spring Street for $4,000.  This became the site for St. Mary's Church.  The church was designed by Patrick Charles Keeley, an architect from Ireland, who designed a church for the congregation in 1848.

On August 7, 1848 work began on the church with each man volunteering one day of labor to dig the trenches.

The church was dedicated on July 25, 1852, by Bishop Bernard O'Reilly, under the patronage of the Holy Name of Mary, Our Lady of the Isle. It is of second period Gothic architecture, and one of the most beautiful edifices in all of New England.

On September 12, 1953,  John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Lee Bouvier were married in this church.


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           Corps of  Engineers, Marriage, Religious Conversion