St. John Memorial Prayer Center #4

This 40″ x 60″ image of Holy Family Church from the 19th century is on the wall to the right looking inside. Many have asked why the church has two front doors . . . well, the reason is that originally there was a tree standing in the middle that provided shade. Note the period dresses and the horse-drawn carriage!

The wood frame and the plexiglass cover were cut by Bobby Ramiro. Here we have Roy Cobo posing next to it to demonstrate its size.

The church was largely built by the local tenant famers and share croppers themselves. After ten hour days working in the fields, the men would walk or hitch-hike to the site to work on the project. Two stoves heated the church in the winter. The coal chute is not visible and would be on the right side. The mud basement now holds an oil tank and furnace that heats water.

There was no paved parking lot. Even the trees in back were short. There was no rectory either.

The Jesuits from White Marsh were pledged to offer Mass here for the African-American community. The building of this church was a huge accomplishment.

This photo commemorates Holy Family Church as a Prince George’s County Historical Site.

This room was updated primarily for private prayer, small liturgies, Eucharistic exposition and religious talks or meetings.

When the parish church was renovated many years ago a number of the extra kneelers were stored away. Bobby Ramiro has recycled them in part by using the kneeling pad for two large prie-dieu. Each has two shelves for prayer books or cards.

This is the view that the priest has when offering Mass in the Prayer Center. The back of the altar-table has a drawer and shelves. Two units heat and air the room for all-year use.

This particular building may be nearly as old as the church. The Knights of St. John Commandry is over a century old and this was their meeting hall. On the side where we se the canvas of the crucified Christ was once a wood burning stove. Behind the wall there is a large chimney that reaches from the floor to the roof. However, the stove is gone and the chimney is just for show. Heat and air is now electrical (Pioneer). We also have top-of-the-line Emerson fans. The flooring is made of of ceramic pads that resemble wood. The chairs have a two-inch cushion in each and are rated for 500 lbs.

Journey with Jesus to Golgotha! It was remarked by many critics at the end of the renovation project that the sacred space was missing the traditional stations of the cross. We purchased the 14 sculpted brass plaques pictured above for the back wall. The measure 4.75″ square.

We would have to move the portraits of the saints around to make room for two heating and air units, but here is Fr. Joe Jenkins and Bobby Ramiro celebrating a job well done and our legacy as a faith community. Immigrants past and present have come here to make this land their home. Others are here today because their people were brought by force and in chains. Together today we gather as one family in faith. We hope that this room will both facilitate the practice of our faith as an adjunct to the church and testify to our history as Catholics in Prince George’s County, MD and in the United States. God bless Holy Family Parish! God bless America!