HISTORY OF SAINT MARGARET PARISH
SAINT MARY MAGDALEN MISSION
November 19, 1900, Rev. J. Alphonse Frederick, the first pastor of Saint Margaret Parish, purchased three acres of land in Bel Air, Maryland for the sum of $3000, using money which was bequeathed to him by his mother, Anna Margaret (Hild) Frederick. Five years later, this land became the location of the Church of Saint Margaret.
- Following are some facts and significant events in the
history of Saint Margaret Catholic Parish, and the development of Saint Mary Magdalen Mission as
a mission of Saint Margaret.
Fr. J. Alphonse Frederick was ordained a Priest, December 18, 1874.
On May 1, 1905 the cornerstone was laid and volunteers helped build the
Church. The Church was named in honor of Fr. Frederick's mother's
patron saint, Saint Margaret, a 3rd Century martyr. Mass was first
celebrated in the Chapel on October 1, 1905. This was the first
known Celebration of a Catholic mass in Bel Air. The original
church, presently our Adult Education Center, was used for
Eucharistic celebration until 1969 when the new Church was finished.
The original Church was remodeled to provide offices for the staff of
Saint Margaret until 1995 when the new two story building was
completed. The new building now provides staff offices and
Pre-school and Kindergarten facilities on the first floor.
The original Church now also houses the Archbishop William D.
Borders Library. The Adult Education Center was dedicated on
May 13, 1995 by His Eminence William Cardinal Keeler.
The Library was dedicated in the Fall of 1995.
A Mass of Dedication was celebrated on April 20, 1969, by His
Eminence Lawrence Cardinal Shehan to consecrate the present
house of worship for the Church of Saint Margaret.
The altar is a five ton piece of marble carved in the shape of a table.
Within the altar is the relic of Pignatianus, a holy Roman martyr of the
third century. The tabernacle of the Blessed Sacrament is located in the
Chapel at the rear of the Church.
On May 13, 1995, ground was broken for the new Mary Magdalen
Mission Center on Churchville Road, which has become the
mission church of Saint Margaret. It was dedicated on
April 12, 1997 by William Cardinal Keeler. A single
multi-purpose building seats 600 for Mass and 300 for
banquets. The complex also includes an Education Center/Saint
Margaret Middle School which was completed in the Spring and
opened in the Fall of 2001.
On September 20, 2001 the Saint Mary Magdalen Education center
was dedicated by Bishop William C. Newman, Eastern Vicar
of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The education center consists
of nine classrooms, a library/multimedia center and a
gymnasium. The building houses Saint Margaret Middle School
(grades 6-8) during the day and Religious Education and
Continuing Education classes at other times.