Our Lady of Good Hope Church, Camden, Maine

Declining work at her employers’ summer cottage in Camden unless she and fellow Catholic staff could attend Sunday mass, the devotion of domestic worker Mary Molloy is remembered to have incited the 1911 construction of Our Lady of Good Hope. Along with the pioneering Catholic families of Camden, her charitable employers, the Albert H. Chatfields of Cincinnati and other summering families united to build the first Catholic Church in Camden. Although Ms. Molloy did not live to see the Carpenter Gothic style church built, she was cherished as the first service remembered her with a high requiem mass.

St. Patrick’s Church, Newcastle, Maine

Perched on a hill near the Damariscotta River resides St. Patrick’s Church, the oldest Catholic church in continual use in New England. Completed in 1808, St. Patrick’s was designed by Irish architect Nicholas Codd in the Federal style and houses a bell forged by Paul Revere himself.

Much like the turmoil that occurred during the Revolutionary War, the township of Newcastle fought its own battle when an anti-Catholic sentiment swept the United States in the mid-19th century. Friendship between Newcastle’s Catholics and Protestants saved the church from arson in 1854. The community staved off the mob; no lives were lost and St. Patrick’s survived.

The church, which is constructed of eighteen inch thick brick walls, achieved its founders’ goal of constructing “a good brick church”—unintentionally emblematic of the strong community which it has served for over 200 years.