Saints Philip & James Catholic Church & University Parish
Dominican Pastoral Care
On July 1, 2010, at the request of His Excellency Edwin O'Brien the 15th Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Dominican Friars of the Province of Saint Joseph were entrusted with the pastoral care of Saints Philip and James Parish and the ministry of the Johns Hopkins University Catholic Community. This new venture, a true union of ministries serving both residents of the Charles Village area and students of Johns Hopkins became known as Saints Philip and James Catholic Church and University Parish. Soon after the merger of ministries, the Johns Hopkins Newman Center was moved to the lower level of the parish rectory and the university students became a vibrant part of parish life with two Dominican friars serving the parish as dedicated chaplains to the university's Catholic community. In 2011, the parish also became home to the Baltimore Frassati Fellowship which serves young adults in their 20's and 30's of many parishes throughout the Baltimore area under the pastoral care of the Dominican Friars. The parish is historic and young, faithful and vibrant, stable and growing, welcoming all who seek to know, love, and serve our Lord Jesus Christ. We foster and nurture a truly Catholic Christian community with worship, prayer, faith-sharing, and community service. Our parish home is one of the most beautiful and unique churches in Baltimore, certainly architecturally, but even more so in the diversity and faithfulness of our parishioners.
James Cardinal Gibbons laid the cornerstone of the first home of Saints Philip and James Catholic Church on September 5, 1897. The present church building was dedicated on June 15, 1930. This grand and imposing structure incorporates the finest features of the Greco-Roman and Byzantine styles it represents. It is considered to be the preeminent accomplishment of the much-acclaimed Baltimore architect, Theodore Wells Pietsch. The interior walls of the church also display the gound-breaking work of John J. Early, who pioneered the use of marble chips in concrete, and represent the first use of this process in Baltimore. After more than a century of faith and service, Saints Philip & James continues to be a beacon of hope to its community and one of the most beautiful and architecturally significant churches in Baltimore.
What do the inscriptions on the Church mean?
Above the front and side porticos of Saints Philip and James Church you will find Latin inscriptions in stone. This follows an ancient custom of decorating monumental buildings as "books in stone" and clearly distinguishing the use for which the structure has been dedicated. Below are the inscriptions under which all who worship at Philip and James Church must pass:
West Portico (Main Entrance)
"INTER SANCTOS SORS ILLORUM EST"
"THEIR LOT IS AMONG THE SAINTS" (Wisdom 5:5)
"DOMUS DEI DOMUS ORATIONIS"
"THE HOUSE OF GOD IS THE HOUSE OF PRAYER" (Isaiah 56:7; Matthew 21:13)