History of St. Mary’s Altar
Alfred Joseph Pike was born in Preston, England, in 1865. He brought the altar to our church from England. From 1893, Mr Pyke lived at “Richland” Widewater, Virginia. He built a private chapel where Mass was celebrated by the priests of Fredericksburg. There was no previous knowledge of Mass said in Stafford County since the early days of the Brent settlement when priests from St. Mary’s County, Maryland secretly crossed the Potomac River to say Mass at various homes. Mr. Pyke died in 1938 and is buried at Aquia Church, Stafford County, Virginia.
The John Hertnick family donated the altar to St. Mary’s Church, Manassas, Virginia.