Catholic Missionaries Embark for Liberia

December 2, 1841

The American Colonization Society (Charles Carroll was an early president) founded the colony of Liberia in west Africa to provide a haven for blacks wishing to leave the United States. Two priests—Fr. Edward Barron of Philadelphia and Fr. John Kelly of New York—and a layman from Baltimore, Dennis Pindar comprised the first group of Catholic missionaries to work in the new American colony. They left from Baltimore on December 2, 1841, and offered Mass at Cape Palmas on February 10, 1842. Barron would go on to become the first bishop of the region as Vicar Apostolic of the Two Guineas, but the mission did not long survive due to the susceptibility of the missionaries to disease.


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