Photo (above): Church of Saint Augustine, Phildelphia. It is still in use by the Augustinians.
Two Irish Augustinians, Matthew Carr O.S.A. and John Rosseter O.S.A. were sent to Philadelphia by the Holy See (Vatican) to purchase land, oversee the construction of a church, and ultimately to care for a growing number of Catholics from Germany and Ireland who lived in the northern sections of the city.
Saint Augustine's was not the first Catholic church built in Philadelphia, but became the first in the United States to be built and staffed by the Order of Saint Augustine (the Augustinians).
The church was designed by Douglas Fitzmaurice Fagan. Its bell tower, added in 1829, was the work of William Strickland, who designed a similar tower for Independence Hall, which was nearby.
Contributors to the building fund of the church included President George Washington, Commodore John Barry (the "father of the United States Navy"), and Thomas Fitzsimons, who was one of the signatories of the Constitution of the United States.
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