On July 20, 2008 St. Agnes Parish celebrate a truly historic event – the dedication of the new St. Agnes Church! Our new building is located behind the Parish Center at 106 S. Duke Street.
The following is the Letter of Welcome from our Dedication Booklet:
As the pastor of St. Agnes Church, I am happy to welcome one and all to this new edifice that will provide shelter for the people of God, an appropriate space for worship, prayer, and devotion. In this dedication bookyou will find the history of the Catholic community in Shepherdstown and an account of how we arrivedat this moment in time. The recent events leading up to this building project began in 2001. Starting with a small group of advisors and later expanding to a large committee with members representative of the entire parish community, there were countless meetings and parish gatherings.
Much to the surprise of many, a new church building did emerge from the shared vision of a people that came together to study, reflect, and pray for the creative guidance of the Spirit. The design of the building reflects the strong spirit of community that is so important to St. Agnes. The exterior opens its arms in a spirit of hospitality. Upon entering the worship space, the baptismal font stands as a reminder of our entry into Christ and the church community; the altar and ambo are central, and the assembly is gathered facing one another. This space is designed to nurture but also challenge us to grow in our faith and commitment to God and to each other. The building firmly roots us in our Catholic tradition as well as the Catholic community that has been present in Shepherdstown for over 200 years. We have built on the rich foundation of the many people who have gone before us, carrying on the mission to live the life of Christ in humble service to others.
As I call to mind the many individuals who have participated in this project, I am indeed humbled. First I must mention the parish members who have sacrificed in providing the necessary finances, giving innumerable hours of personal time, sharing abilities and expertise, and the prayer that this project would reflect the will and wisdom of God. In addition, we have been blessed with the support of many outside the parish, former members and friends who have recognized our need. We are grateful for their generous gifts and prayerful support. Finally, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Bishop Bernard W. Schmitt and Bishop Michael J. Bransfield. While Bishop Schmitt gave us the initial encouragement to explore the needs of the parish and develop a long- range plan, Bishop Bransfield gave his support soon after arriving as the Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston. His support and encouragement through many difficult moments kept us focused on our need and ultimate goal, to provide a fitting place for God’s people to gather and pray. We will always be grateful to Bishop Bransfield for helping us bring this new church building to reality. As we dedicate this new church building and altar, my prayer is that the people of Shepherdstown and the greater community will come often, pray with us, and feel at home. May the work of the people in this new church building bring honor and glory to God!
Father T. Mathew Rowgh, pastor