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Lecture: Newport’s Early Irish and Rhode Island’s First Catholic Church

March 24 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

The Museum of Newport Irish History presents a lecture by Steve Marino entitled: “Here’s the church, here’s the steeple, open the door and see all the people: Newport’s early Irish community and Rhode Island’s first Catholic Church”

A reception with complimentary light hors d’oeuvres will be held following the lecture and Q & A (cash bar).

The 1820s were tough times for Newport. No longer was the harbor the international entrepôt that it had been during the colonial era. The mills along Thames Street were yet to be built and summer visitors were scarce. Yet, in 1828, Bishop Benedict Fenwick, Archbishop of Boston, decided to purchase a schoolhouse on Barney Street in Newport, thus creating Rhode Island’s first Catholic Church. There is a great deal of mystery and controversy surrounding this schoolhouse/church but the church and the individuals that worshiped in it, would inevitably change the course of Newport History.

With the help of sacramental records, contemporary newspapers and genealogical sources, we will attempt to shed some light on the early history of the Newport Irish

To read a full lecture description, including guest speaker bio. visit the “Lectures” page on www.NewportIrishHistory.org

Reservations are required and a fee applies. To make a reservation click the website link on this page You may also phone Ann Arnold at (401) 841-5493. To learn more about the Museum’s popular Michael F. Crowley Lecture Series, now in its 18th season, please visit the “Lectures” page on www.NewportIrishHistory.org or write to NewportIrishHistory@gmail.com

PHOTO CAPTION: The historic Irish cemetery at the corner of Barney & Mt. Vernon Streets in Newport, site of the first Catholic church in Rhode Island.

ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION The Museum of Newport Irish History, a volunteer-driven, non-profit organization, was founded in 1996 and now boasts 800 members. In addition to operating an Interpretive Center on Lower Thames Street, the organization sponsors numerous educational, cultural, social and fundraising events throughout the year, including the popular Michael F. Crowley Lecture Series. The organization also restored and maintains the historic Barney Street Cemetery at the corner of Barney and Mt. Vernon Street, steps from Washington Square. It is the final resting place of many of Newport’s earliest Irish residents and was the cemetery established to support Rhode Island’s first Roman Catholic parish, the forerunner of the current St. Mary’s Church at the corner of Spring Street and Memorial Boulevard. To learn more or join, please visit www.NewportIrishHistory.org


March 24
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Event Tags:


Museum of Newport Irish History


Knights of Columbus Hall
7 Valley Road
Middletown, RI 02842 United States
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