About Our Church
We the people of St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Community are called by our Lord Jesus Christ to grow in the faith, celebrate hope, and experience His loving presence in our midst. Drawing our life from the Eucharist and guided by the Holy Spirit, we seek to follow God's Word by supporting one another, continuing our faith formation, promoting social justice, reaching out in service, and inviting others to share in our journey.
The history of Libertytown and the Catholic Church are much interwoven. The town, originally called Duke's Woods began in 1754. Maryland was originally established as a safe haven for Catholics. However, in 1718, penal laws were enacted against Catholics and they were not permitted to worship in churches. Instead, they gathered and worshipped in Mass houses. In 1782, Duke's Woods was renamed Libertytown in the fervor that followed the Revolutionary War. Richard Coale and his wife, Katherine McSherry, first invited Jesuit priests to Libertytown to worship in their home, Coale House, built in 1783. The Coale house remained in the Sappington family, descendants of Richard Coale and Katherine McSherry, until 2021 (when it was sold).
The first church was dedicated in 1823, and served the parish until 1871 when the second church was built. Both churches stood within what is now the footprint of our current church. The white statue of St. Peter stood on the spot of the original church during the age of the second church, and now has been relocated on our patio in a prominent place. The stones of the original church were used to build the foundation of Sappington Hall. Our second church, though built in 1871, was not consecrated until September 8th, 1903; exactly 105 years prior to the dedication of this present Church. Back in those days, a church was not consecrated until it was paid for. We commemorated our two previous churches in our corner stone. Another nod to our previous churches can be seen in our steeple. The open-arched steeple of the south tower - the new, secondary steeple - hearkens back the original 1823 church design, while the taller tower of our primary steeple is a replica of the spire that caught fire on June 3rd, 2004 and destroyed our church. At the time a new roof was being installed on the church, it accidentally caught fire as the roofers were soldering. The dry timbers aided by a nice, steady breeze quickly saw the entire church engulfed in flames.
In the aftermath of the fire, several options were considered regarding the rebuilding efforts. Our late deacon, Mike Misulia, was instrumental in determining that a church of the size we needed, as instructed and required by the diocese, could actually fit on the grounds of the present site. Once the decision to rebuild on this site was made, our next directive was to incorporate some of the old Church's walls into the new structure. That section became our Daily Mass Chapel and the exterior brickwork and window design gave the pattern for the new church's brickwork and windows.
My wife, Marguerite Alexandrine, and I moved to our farm and into St. Peter’s parish in 1948—72 years ago. As newlyweds, planning to raise a family, my wife and I agreed that we would establish our home near a Catholic Church. We were blessed to have the opportunity to purchase our farm close to St. Peter’s. At the time the parish was very small and we were made welcome. We were introduced to the entire parish by our fellow parishioners. The spirit of friendliness and welcome continues to this day. The hospitality, generosity and sincerity of the people of St. Peter’s is a true gift to be valued and appreciated.
Derick and I have been parishioners at St. Peter’s for more than 17 years. We became members shortly after we were married and moved into the community. We had several family members and friends that were parishioners at that time and based on the positive feedback we received about the Parish, we thought it would be a great place to continue our spiritual journey. It was also nice to know we would be seeing some familiar faces! We were immediately welcomed with open arms and smiling faces and have since had two children who are also members of the St. Peter’s community. St. Peter’s is truly an amazing place. The friendly nature of our fellow Parishioners, commitment and prayerfulness of the staff, and the strong sense of family assure us week after week that St. Peter’s was the right choice to call home. At St. Peter’s, you are not just another face in the crowd, but truly a member of an amazing church community.
-The Brightful Family
I have been at St. Peter’s for 72 years, and sang in the choir for 42 years. I have been an active member of the Ladies’ Club for 19 years.
I became a member of St. Peter’s when we moved to the area, and St. Peter’s became our home parish.
St. Peter’s is a warm parish that warmly welcomes all – parishioners and visitors alike.
- Elizabeth Lee
Archdiocese of Baltimore
For more information about our home diocese