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Maryland’s Religious Heritage

Destination Frederick County

National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

Further west from Baltimore in Frederick County, groups will find a number of religious heritage sites, including one dedicated to the memory of Elizabeth Ann Seton.

Nestled in the foothills of the Catoctin Mountains, the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is a large Catholic complex that preserves another of Seton’s homes. Groups begin their visits with a film presentation about Seton’s life and accomplishments and then tour the 1770s farmhouse and 1809 Colonial-style house that she called home during her time in western Maryland. For a longer experience, plan a day retreat at the center, complete with religious services.

After visiting the shrine, religious groups can continue to the Grotto of the Lourdes, the first replica of the famous grotto built in the Western Hemisphere. Another site, the centuries-old Zion Lutheran Church, offers an interesting perspective on Protestant history in the area.

While you’re there: Nearby Frederick has a charming, walkable downtown and is home to the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. Many groups that tour Frederick also visit the Community Bridge Mural, where an artist has transformed an ordinary concrete bridge into an image of an idyllic ivy-covered stone bridge.


Maryland Office of Tourism


Brian Jewell

Brian Jewell is the executive editor of The Group Travel Leader. In more than a decade of travel journalism he has visited 48 states and 25 foreign countries.