The Very Reverend Charles A Vassani (1831–1896) established the US Commissariat of the Holy Land in 1880, in New York City. It was from this location that Rev Vassani and Fr Godfrey Schilling OFM (1855-1936) began to plan to build a "Holy Land in America" and a Holy Sepulchre. They envisioned building on a high hill on Staten Island, overlooking the entrance to New York's harbor. These plans were later dropped. Eventually the plans changed to a wooded hilltop in Brookland, Washington DC. In 1897, Fr Godfrey purchased the McCeeney Estate in Brookland in order to found a monastery and church. The six Brothers lived in the abandoned McCeeney house. After purchasing the site, Fr Schilling visited the Holy Land and took measurements and photographs of the Holy Sites. In February 1898, ground was broken, and the cornerstone was laid on the Feast of St Joseph. Construction of the Holy Shrines, Gardens, and Rosary Portico continued for several years. The Church was consecrated in September 1924, on the twenty-fifth anniversary of its dedication.
Past the greenhouse, in the back of the Monastery, the Friar’s cemetery, can be found. Like at Arlington National Cemetery, all the cross-shaped gravestones are alike, no matter what job the Friars had or no matter what their social level. Some of the stones were recently knocked over in a fast-moving, aggressive thunderstorm system known as a derecho that barreled through the nation’s capital. A stutue of Christ on the Cross in the center of the cemetery. And between the large cemetery and the monastery, a smaller cemetery, can also be found.
In January 1992, Mount St Sepulchre, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
GPS Coordinates: 38.93759, -76.98352
- Added: 20 May 2008
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #2261890
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