St. Peter, Westernport

History of St. Peter, Westernport

In 1851, as many railroad workers moved to the area to work on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad; a parish named St. Peter in Chains was established in a Bloomington, MD schoolroom.  The first Catholic church in Westernport was established in 1857 when land was purchased for a small church. In 1873, the present St. Peter’s Catholic Church was built under the direction of Rev. Jeremiah O’Sullivan.  He also was responsible for building the convent (1874) and he promoted the parish school which was originally housed in the old church building. By January 1876, there were 60 boys and 110 girls attending the parish school. The Sisters of St. Joseph arrived in September 1875 and operated the school for 111 years.

Father Gallagher, pastor from 1902-1921, determined that a new school building was a necessity, and in 1905 the structure was begun and completed in 1906.  The rectory was built under the direction of Fr. Thomas E. Lyons, pastor from 1898-1902.  The beautiful, three-story, brick building has served as the priest residence, parish office, and parish social center.  The convent was demolished in 2003 and the school closed in June of 2002.