St. Patrick’s Catholic Church (619 10th St., NW)
According to the history provided on the Church’s web site and the plaque displayed at the entrance:
St. Patrick’s was first established in 1794 to serve the Irish immigrant population helping to build the White House and Capitol building. It was one of the first church buildings erected in the new Federal City.
The first pastor, Father Anthony Caffry, was brought over from Ireland, apparently at the suggestion of a parishioner, James Hoban, the architect of the White House who also would provide the design for the church’s first reconstruction in 1809.
In 1804, Father William Matthews, the first American to be ordained a priest in the United States, became St. Patrick’s pastor. He held the post for fifty years and was a notable leader in the Catholic community and the developing Federal City. During his fifty-year tenure, He was also President of Georgetown University, Administrator of the Philadelphia Diocese, co-founder of the D.C. Public Library, long-time member of the D.C. Public School Board, as well as founder or promoter of innumerable institutions.
The present gothic style church was begun in 1872 and finally dedicated in 1884. The present rectory and school building were completed in the gothic style in 1904 and dedicated by Cardinal Gibbons and President Theodore Roosevelt.
Over its long history, St. Patrick’s has hosted a number of Presidents and dignitaries and championed many worth causes. I encourage you to visit the web site to learn more about how this beloved neighborhood Church helped support our community throughout the incredible events of U.S. history.