- Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
St. Augustine Catholic Church, 1169 Kerr, will celebrate its 75th anniversary Friday, Aug. 24 through Sunday, Aug. 26.
The parish, whose congregation is predominantly African American, celebrated its first Mass in a building at 903 Walker Ave. on Aug.28, 1937.
Representatives of the Catholic nuns order of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who taught at the parish's elementary and high schools, and former Franciscan and Paulists priests who served the parish will participate.
A special Mass will be said at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 25. The Mass will be concelebrated by the former priests, Monsignor Albert Kirk and current pastor Father Tony Clark with the Homily by former pastor Father Frank Coens. Following the Mass, a state historical marker commemorating the parish's founding will be unveiled at 10 a.m. outside the church and current St. Augustine Jubilee School.
U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell Jr. and Memphis Mayor AC Wharton Jr. will be among the special guests for he unveiling, which will be followed by the parish's annual community festival from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The festival will include a donation of children's books to St. Augustine School and the distribution of free school supplies to the school and neighborhood children.
Another special Mass commemorating the 75th anniversary will be said at 10 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 26, which will be followed by a 75th anniversary luncheon beginning at 1 p.m. at the Holiday Inn-University of Memphis, 3700 Central.