Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien issued a July 18 decree establishing Ss. Peter and Paul in Cumberland as an archdiocesan shrine. The shrine was established as a place of pilgrimage and to “foster the unique Catholic history of the Cumberland area,” the archbishop said.
Ss. Peter and Paul is part of the newly formed Our Lady of the Mountains parish headed by the Capuchin Franciscans. The pastor will have the primary responsibility for overseeing the use, maintenance and administration of the shrine and may appoint an administrator in consultation with the archbishop.
The archbishop noted that the shrine buildings may be used for pilgrimages or events sponsored by the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Our Lady of the Mountains, other parishes of the archdiocese, other Catholic organizations and other dioceses, parishes or Catholic organizations – in that order of priority.
Ss. Peter and Paul was established in 1848 on land chosen by St. John Neumann. Blessed Francis X. Seelos was pastor from 1857 to 1862 and the Capuchins have led the community since 1875.