Mission to Seafarers

By Mary Klein, diocesan archivist

Baltimore’s International Seafarer’s Center is affiliated with The Mission to Seamen, an English organization. When his son asked the Rev. John Ashley in 1835 how people on ships went to church, the Anglican priest began the Bristol Channel Mission, which served the needs of the seafarers on four hundred sailing ships in the Bristol Channel. By 1856, various similar ministries organized under the name The Mission to Seamen Afloat, at Home and Abroad, and in 1856 shortened the title to The Mission to Seamen, adopting the Flying Angel logo still in use today.

In Baltimore, the April 5, 1874, minutes of the meeting of the Convocation of Baltimore noted that the Rev. George A. Leakin, the chaplain for Public Institutions and Seamen, moved “that a committee be appointed to report what can be done to promote the spiritual interests of seafaring men in this city.” Always an advocate for the poor and neglected, Leakin ministered to  the Home for Incurables, Johns Hopkins Hospital, The Aged Women’s Home, The city jail, the Orphan Asylum, the House of Refuge, the Industrial Colored Home, Fort McHenry, the Penitentiary, the Maternity Sanitarium, a hospital ship, the Marine Hospital and the Nursery and Child’s Hospital. He did not give up advocating for ministry to the seafarers, and in 1881 urged the diocesan Missions Committee to “be instructed to take action for commencing services among the seamen of the Port of Baltimore”, and to report its progress. During the April 19, 1882, meeting of the Convocation of Baltimore, Mr. Leakin read “excerpts from the journal of the Rev. D.M. McCaffrey who visits the ships in our harbor and gave interesting particulars of his own work among the same people.” The Rev. Dominic McCaffrey worked at Church of the Ascension in Baltimore, the assistant to the Rev. Campbell Fair, and ministered to seamen in the port.

The Rev. Campbell Fair, rector of Church of the Ascension from 1875-1886, was to reiterate his interest in the needs of seamen at the 1889 General Convention. Having been called to become rector of St. Mark’s Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1886, he was a deputy to General Convention from Western Michigan and introduced a resolution: “many of our population are engaged on oceans, bays, rivers, canals, and lakes, contributing to the prosperity and comfort of our citizens, while no provision has been made for their spiritual welfare.” Noting that “recent missions on British waters have been remarkably successful”, he wanted a committee of three bishops, three priests and three laymen to form a committee and report to the next General Convention “what may best be done to aid any present organizations, or to originate missions on waters of the United States”. George Leakin’s insistence on caring for seafarers had echoed all the way to the national church.

In his 1890 report to the bishop, George Leakin said, “application was made to procure a Hospital Ship for the care of sick and wounded dredgers. In answer to this request, the Secretary of the Treasury sent the ‘Stevens’ (with every medical appliance) which about February 1st was anchored at the mouth of the Patuxent River amidst a fleet of bay vessels. I held services on board assisted by the choir from Solomon’s Island. One hundred twelve patients treated in the first month. Arrangements are organizing for procuring a library, organ and other offerings to brighten the hard lives of these “toilers of the Bay.” This ministry continues today with the Baltimore International Seafarers’ Center and is supported through gifts to the Bishops’ Annual Ministries Appeal.

An interview with The Rev. Joe Wood

In an article by the Associated Press on Friday, an interview by NBC4 Washington with The Rev. Joe Wood of Emmanuel, Baltimore (his name is mistakenly listed as Jeremy Wood on the screen) was included. Wood was attending services for the internment of Matthew Shepherd. “The ashes of Matthew Shepard, whose brutal murder in the 1990s became a rallying cry for the gay rights movement, were laid to rest in Washington National Cathedral. Shepard’s remains have for 20 years been kept by his family in Wyoming, where the 21-year-old college student was killed in 1998. His ashes were interred at the cathedral Friday morning. Shepard’s parents picked the Cathedral as his final resting place because he loved the Episcopal Church and felt welcomed at one he attended in Wyoming.” Read the full article by the Associated Press and see the video interview. Rev. Wood’s interview is included in the top video on the page.


A Ceasefire Weekend Invitation

Friends, It is our Christian responsibility to keep God’s people safe. The devastating mass shooting at a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh this weekend is one more in a string of violent tragedies that have no place in in the kingdom of God. Come join us this Saturday to learn more about our call, as Christians, to protect our communities from violence. And pray, with our nearly quarter of a million Jewish brothers and sisters in the Baltimore/Washington metropolitan area, for Pittsburgh, for Jewish communities everywhere and for all of us, that we may turn from hatred and fear to love. #prayforpittsburgh #love #antiviolence #episcopalevangelism

View the message from our Presiding Bishop, The Most Rev. Michael Curry, on the shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue +here. And join us Saturday. If you cannot join us in person, you can view the documentary, The Armor of Light, on Netflix. Discuss it at your local congregation or in your local community group. And then pray for the victims, the injured, the families of all involved, the first responders, and the shooter, that his heart might be turned to love, of the mass shooting in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Join Saturday for a Cease Fire Weekend event. We will gather at the Cathedral of the Incarnation, Baltimore at 9:00 AM. A screening of the documentary, The Armor of Light and a prayer walk are highlights of the day. A light lunch will be provided. Come learn more about our Christian responsibility to keep our children safe and to pray for those who have died.

9:00 AM     Welcome from Bishop Sutton

9:30            Screening of The Armor of Light

11:00          Discussion

12:00          Light lunch

1:00 PM     Rally at Bishops Square Park, followed by Prayer Walk

3:00            End at cathedral

Bishop Whittingham’s First Visitation to Western Maryland, 1840

By Mary Klein, diocesan archivist

Six weeks after his consecration as Bishop of Maryland, William Rollinson Whittingham set out to meet the clergy and congregations of Western Maryland. During his thirteen-day visitation, he visited 9 churches, a school, a Sunday School two ailing individuals, and travelled nearly 400 miles. Although he noted the number of miles he travelled each day, he did not specify the method of travel. In 1840 the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad did run between Baltimore and Frederick, to Hagerstown and Cumberland, so the bishop may have travelled by rail for some distances; although he probably used horse-drawn carriages to reach out-of-the way places. He confirmed 60 people, and preached 14 different sermons in church buildings, temporary chapels, and Methodist Meeting Houses. At age 35, he was full of energy, as demonstrated by the pace of travel, services he conducted and numbers of people he met along the way. On one day, he participated in Morning Prayer, administered Communion, personally visited a blind parishioner, attended Evening Prayer, held a Confirmation service for 11people and preached 3 different sermons. This exhausting pace would continue throughout his long episcopate of 40 years traversing a diocese which then included today’s dioceses of Easton and Washington.


From Whittingham’s Journal of 1840.

Saturday, October 31 [to Frederick – 63 miles] Evening. Read Evening Prayer and preached. Rev. U. Beall, the rector, and Rev. Mr. Hoff, of Georgetown present.

Received Rev. Theodore Benedict Lyman, deacon, by Letter dimissory from the Rt. Rev. Benj. T. Onderdonk, Bp. Of New York.


Sunday, 20th after Trinity. All Saints’ Day, November 1.  All Saints’ Church, Frederick. A.M. Rev. Mr. Beall, the rector, read Morning Prayer. I preached and administered the Holy Communion. 20 black communicants. Congregation large. Rev. Mr. Hoff present. After service, proceeded with Rev. Mr. Beall to the house of Mr. Potts, a venerable member of the church, afflicted with blindness and infirmity of body, but enjoying many years the light of the countenance of the Lord, and there administered the Communion for the Sick. Mrs. & Miss Potts, besides Mr. Beall, joining in Communion.


P.M. Rev. Mr. Beall, the rector, read Evening Prayer. I preached and administered Confirmation. 6 white and 5 black confirmed. Rev. Mr. Hoff present.

Evening, Rev. Mr. Beall, the rector, read the Third Service. I preached. Rev. Mr. Bulkley, Missionary at Maryland Manor & Rev. Mr. Trapnell, rector of Zion Parish, and Rev. Mr. Hoff, present.


Tuesday, November 3rd [to St. Mark’s Parish church, 11 miles]

A.M. Rev. Mr. Bulkley, Missionary in the parish, at Carroll Manor, read Morning Prayer. I read the Ante-Communion and preached. Rev. Mr. Beall, of Frederick, read the Preface to the Order of Confirmation. I confirmed 17 – 1 male (2 of the proposed St. Paul’s Church, Carroll’s Manor) I administered the Communion, assisted by Rev. Mr. Beall. Rev. Messer’s. Delaplane (the Rector), Bulkley, Trapnell, and Phillips present.

[3/4 mile to Barleywood – Rev. Mr. Phillip’s school]

Barleywood Female School of the Protestant Episcopal Church. Visited by invitation of Rev. Mr. Phillips, the Principal, in company with Rev. Mr. Lyman, of Hagerstown.

[1 ½ miles to Mr. Hawkins’]


Wednesday, November 4 [21 miles to Hagerstown]

Thursday, November 5 – Thanksgiving Day

St. John’s church, Hagerstown.

A.M. Read Morning Prayer, the Rev. Mr. Lyman, rector-elect, reading the lessons. I read the Ante-Communion Service, and preached. I administered the Communion, the Rev. Mr. Lyman assisting. 4 black communicants. Rev. Mr. Wheat present.

Evening. Rev. Mr. Beall, of Frederick, read Evening Prayer. I preached. Rev. Mr. Lyman and Rev. Mr. Hoff of Georgetown present.


Friday, November 6 [11 miles to Lonaconing]

St. Andrew’s Church, Lonaconing. A.M. Large congregation. I consecrated the church on presentation of a request and deed of donation, by the rector, churchwardens and vestry. Rev. Mr. Peterkin, the rector, read the request. Rev. Mr. Beall, of Frederick, read the Letter of Consecration. Rev. Mr. Lyman, of Hagerstown, read Moring Prayer, assisted by Rev. Mr. Owen of Lonaconing, read the lessons. I preached. No Communion. Rev. Mr. Hoff, of Georgetown, was present.

Evening. Mr. Owen, of Lonaconing, read Evening Prayer. Rev. Mr. Beall, of Frederick, assisting in the lessons. Rev. Mr. Peterkin, the rector, baptized one adult. I preached. Large congregation. Rev. Mr. Crampton, of Hancock, was present.


Saturday, November 7

A.M. at 91/2 Catechized the children (about 25, male & female – 1 colored) in the church. Rev. Mr. Peterkin, the rector, and Rev. Mr. Owen present.

At 11. Rev. Mr. Crampton read Morning Prayer; Rev. Mr. Owen assisting in the lessons. I read Ante-Communion service. I preached. Rev. Mr. Peterkin, as rector, read Preface to the office of Confirmation. I administered confirmation to 7 persons (1 male). I administered the Holy Communion, assisted by the rector. 22 communicants. . Rev. Mr. Owen present. Large congregation.

[15 miles to Hancock]

St. Thomas’ Church, Hancock.

Evening. Rev. Mr. Harris, of Cumberland, read Evening Prayer, assisted by Rev. Mr. Owen, in the lessons. Rev. Mr. Crampton, as rector, gave notice (the 1st.) of Communion. I preached. Small congregation. Large proportion males.


Sunday, 21st. after Trinity. November 8th.

A.M. Rev. Mr. Owen read Morning Prayer, assisted by Rev. Mr. Harris in the lessons. I read Ante-communion and preached. Mr. Crampton read Preface to Confirmation. I administered confirmation to 8 (2 males). I administered the Holy Communion (Rev. Kennand, Methodist Protestant communing as layman, assisted by Rev. Mr. Crampton.

P.M. At 3 ½ visited the Sunday School and after some collects, addressed the scholars. Rev. Mr. Crampton was present.

Evening. Rev. Mr. Harris read Evening Prayer, assisted by Rev. Mr. Owen in the lessons. I preached. After Service at 9, by request, I visited Mrs. Mary Scott, lying severely ill, at her house, going through the Office for the Visitation of the Sick; and then confirmed her, her two daughters and her servant. Rev. Messer’s Crampton, Harris & Owen present.


Monday, November 9 [40 miles to Cumberland]

Emmanuel Parish, Cumberland.

Evening. Rev. L.H. Johns read Evening prayer. Rev. Mr. Harris, as rector, baptized 1 adult and 2 children. I preached. Rev. Mr. Owen present.


Tuesday, November 10th.

A.M. Rev. L.H. Johns read Moring Prayer, assisted by Rev. Mr. Owen in the lessons. I preached after having read the Ante-Communion office. Rev. Mr. Harris read Preface of Office of Confirmation. I administered Confirmation to 13. I administered the Holy Communion.


Tuesday, November 10th. [11 miles to Frostburg]

At Frostburg, in the Methodist Meeting House, Rev. Mr. Owen read Evening Prayer. I preached. (Small congregation – 12 or 14 Episcopalians, Rev. Mr. Skinner, Presbyterian & Rev. Mr. Mill, the Methodist preacher.)


Wednesday, November 11th. A.M. [8 miles to Lonaconing]

At St. Peter’s church, Lonaconing. Rev. Mr. Owen, the rector, read Morning Prayer in the temporary chapel. I read the Ante-communion Service and preached. No Communion, no communicants being present.

P.M. [19 miles to Cumberland]

Evening. Emmanuel parish, Cumberland. Rev. Mr. Owen read Evening Prayer, assisted by Rev. L.H. Johns in the lessons. Rev. Mr. Harris baptized one adult & two children. I preached. Rev. Mr. Harris read the preface to the Office of Confirmation. I confirmed 2 (females).


Thursday, November 12th. [70 miles to Winchester, VA, on the way home]

Friday, November 13th. [120 miles, Winchester to Baltimore]

Herald Mail features St. Mark’s, Lappans pet blessing service

By Dave McMillion for the Herald Mail

FAIRPLAY — Some entered the fellowship hall a little nervous about it all.

Others bolted into the room, as if they knew this was all about them.

It was the annual blessing of the animals, when people all over the world stop and recognize the richness that pets bring to their lives.

One of the local services was held Sunday at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Lappans Road.

About a dozen people, mostly bringing dogs, attended a 5 p.m. ceremony led by the Rev. Anne O. Weatherholt.

The service is held in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, a 13th-century deacon and monk who is legendary for his loving and gentle way with animals.

“In your infinite wisdom, Lord God, when you created the universe, you blessed us with living creatures,” Weatherholt and those in attendance said in prayer. “We especially thank you for giving us our pets, who are our friends and who bring us so much joy in life.

Continued in the Herald Mail