Our Lady of Pompei Catholic Church

Can you spot the one major difference (no, not chairs instead of pews)?   Looking at the altar, in 1924 the left side is the Virgin Mary with the Our Lady of Pompei image.  The right side if the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Now in 2024, the left side if the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the right side if the Virginn Mary.  The original Our Lady of Pompei image from the 1924 is not in the center of the altar.   The date of the change is unknown.

The original Vincentians and Filippini Sisnters at Our Lady of Pompei

As the Italian families who made Baltimore their home grew, so did the church. The small school in classrooms above the church moved into the new, two-story school building in the 19502. In the 1960s, the gymnasium was built. From the #1 soccer team, to feast day celebrations, to stories of Fr. Lou #1 and Fr. Lou #2, to the street carnival where the best fried dough in Baltimore could be found, Our Lady of Pompei was an anchor to the Highlandtown community.

Through the years, the missionary spirit of Our Lady of Pompei never died. When a large number of scattered immigrants, this time from Mexico and South America, came to Baltimore, Our Lady of Pompei was the church that welcomed them. Over the last 20 years, as the parish has grown with more Latino parishioners, and the baton has been passed to them to carry on the mission of the parish for the next 100 years.  Throughout all the changes, all priests at Our Lady of Pompei have been Italian!  The priests that have been ministering to the Latino community since 2022 are from the Italian led mission group, Operation Mato Grosso, which does missionary work in Peru.  Fr. Lou met Fr. Ugo, who leads the group, while visiting Baltimore.  Fr. Lou asked for his assistance for a bi-lingual priest.  The relationship between Our Lady of Pompei and Operation Mato Grosso was born.

Our Lady of Pompei remains, possibly, the only tri-cultural parish in Baltimore: Italian, American, Latino. The parish is a like a tree: planted with Italian roots, grew through the years with a trunk of new generation of Americans, and branched out to Latinos.  Our Lady of Pompei continues where it started 100 years ago – a missionary church to go forth and share God’s love.

On January 16, 2023, the cornerstone was laid at Conkling and Claremont Streets.  At the time Conkling Street was 3rd Street and the church would have been in Baltimore County, but the city annexed a large portion of the country just 5 years earlier.  At the time, the area was called Highland but was changed to Highlandtown after annexation to avoid confusion.   Construction began and took over one year to complete!  The first Mass was celebrated inside the church on June 1, 2024.  It is the only church in Baltimore founded and built by Italian immigrants!

Our Lady of Pompei got its start as a missionary church of the Vincentian Fathers from Naples. Archbishop Curley appointed then pastor Luigi Scialdone as pastor to minister to the large numbered, scattered Italian immigrants living in Highlandtown. As more Italians immigrated to Baltimore, Our Lady of Pompei became their home.
Italian immigrants are still active members of our faith community today.  And for one family, Our Lady of Pompei has been the church of their family for now 5 generations! 

Our Lady of Pompei: 100 Years Apart

                     Sanctuary in 1924                                                                          Sanctuary in 2024

Our Lady of pompei turns 100 years old!

3600 Claremont Street | Baltimore, MD 21224
Email: OurLadyOfPompei at OLPMD dot org
Phone: 410-675-7790
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A Highlandtown parish since 1923