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MARYLAND - A CATHOLIC COLONY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maryland was a Catholic refuge in the new world.   In his book "Catholic Families of Southern Maryland" Timothy J. O'Rourke reminds us of the pivotal role that St. Mary's county played in the history of Catholicism in America:

"St. Mary's County is where it all began " the cradle of Catholicity."  There was established the first Catholic parish, the first Catholic school, the first community of religious men in English-speaking America."

As O'Rourke notes, St. Mary's County remained the nucleus of the development of the Catholic Church in America.  Catholics from St. Mary's County were later to spearhead the westward movement.  There were Johnson's in the Catholic migration to Kentucky after the American revolution.

Among the early Catholics of St. Mary's County were our ancestors.  They were mostly farmers.  They were patriots.  They were the common folk that worked hard to make a better life in the new world.  The following passage by O'Rourke could be a good summary description of our early Catholic Johnson ancestors:

"The unsung heroes are the plain people.  And so it was with the Catholics of St. Mary's County, mostly farmers whose roots in America reached back to almost the beginning of their state."