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Historic Saint Mary’s Church now Welcoming Visitors Daily
July 21, 2022 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Beautiful and historic Saint Mary’s Church, home to Rhode Island’s oldest Catholic parish, welcomes visitors daily this summer. Thanks to volunteer docents from the parish community, we are able to open the doors for prayer and visitation outside of regularly scheduled services.
The building and grounds will be open Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
Please use the William Street side entrance, accessed from Spring Street. If wheelchair access is required, please use the ramp to the breezeway entrance on William Street, between the red brick rectory and its garage. There is a parking lot adjacent with several handicapped spots.
Note: Weekend Masses at St. Mary’s are Saturday at 5:15 pm and Sunday at 8:00 am and 11:00 am, during which time the building will also be opened.
We encourage you to visit the website and confirm the church will be open on on your desired day/time, since the schedule is subject to change, based on the availability of volunteers. Funerals may also impact full access to the church.
The parish was established in 1828 to serve Newport’s growing population of Catholics, many of whom were Irish immigrants working on the construction of nearby Fort Adams. The congregation soon outgrew its first two buildings, which were located at Barney & Mt. Vernon Streets, a short stroll from Washington Square. The Gothic Revival style building you see today at the corner of Spring Street and Memorial Boulevard West was designed by Irish-American architect, Patrick C. Keely. Construction began in August 1848, and in July 1852, the building was dedicated to “The Holy Name of Mary, Our Lady of the Isle.” Future president, John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, whose mother and stepfather summered in Newport, were married here on September 12, 1953. Saint Mary’s was designated a National Historic Shrine in 1968 and it is was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.
Today, Saint Mary’s is a vibrant Catholic faith community of approximately 1,200 families led by Fr. Mark A. Sauriol, who is also pastor of nearby Saint Augustin’s Parish.
Photo by Kyle Medeiros