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Souvenir of Loretto Centenary


which the pastor had been the victim, served to make him better known and attracted more settlers from the east. The log church was now filled to excess, and in 1808 he enlarged and otherwise improved it, at his own expense, for it may be stated here, once for all, that he never received any salary or income from the people, but paid out of his own resources the expenses of the church as well as the maintenance of his own household. In fact, it was his extreme antipathy to the pewrent system that induced him to apply to the Bishop for permission to leave Taneytown and come to the mountain, where he could mould the affairs of the Church after his own views. The colony began to branch out and lay the foundations of other congregations that have a separate history of themselves Ebensburg, Carrolltown, St. Augustine, Wilmore, Summit, etc. In September, 1808, Father Gallitzin wrote to the Bishop, asking for a priest to take part of his territory, and leave him to labor for the Catholics of Cambria County alone, and to manage the temporalities of Loretto; but owing to the scarcity of priests, that prelate was unable to comply with the request. The temporalities gave him no little anxiety. His just expectations of receiving aid from Europe was constantly doomed to partial, often to total, disappointment, so that for almost thirty years, his mind had but meager repose.”


    After Father Gallitzin had settled at Loretto and began his visits to the outlying communities which extended over the greater portion of the Pittsburg diocese, he found located near the confluence of the Little Conemaugh and the North Branch near the present town of Wilmore, a family whose name is now appropriately commemorated in the name of the village for which these people did so much. Godfrey Wilmore, the father of the family, was a Negro, but, intellectually and morally, was far above the average of his race. His wife was a white woman, of Irish nationality, a “redemptioner.” Both lived in Harford County, Md., and the husband being energetic, worked enough extra outside of his serv-

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Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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Lynne Canterbury, Diann Olsen and contributors