Natchez Trails: Holy Family Church and School - Natchez, MS
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Markerman62
N 31° 33.520 W 091° 23.800
15R E 652173 N 3492633
Located at St. Catherine Street and Orange Avenue, Natchez
Waymark Code: WM13FGH
Location: Mississippi, United States
Date Posted: 11/30/2020
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member scrambler390
Views: 1

In 1889 Bishop Thomas Heslin started the first parish for Roman Catholic African Americans in Mississippi. He first oversaw construction of a small frame church (above left) on Beaumont Street and brought Father A.N.J. Peters to Natchez to become the founding parish priest.
The congregation grew quickly, and Father Peters traveled north to raise money for a new, larger church and school. Heiress Katharine Drexel of Philadelphia became a major benefactor.
In 1894 the congregation dedicated a Victorian Gothic brick church, constructed by local builder William Ketteringham, and named it Holy Family Church. The building featured an upper-story sanctuary with classrooms below.
Pictured above (left to right) are the 1906 school auditorium/cafeteria, the 1894 convent and Holy Family Church. Not visible is the ca. 1895 rectory.

The interior of Holy Family has changed little since 1911. The aspe, the arch containing the altar, originally featured a wall painting of the Holy Family: Mary, Joseph and Jesus.

In 1899 the Josephite Society of the Sacred Heart, a Baltimore society focused on ministering to African Americans, took charge of the church. They assumed ownership of the property in 1904. Their strong commitment to social justice had a profound effect on the Civil Rights movement in Natchez.

The Gospel Choir of Holy Family presents a musical history of the Natchez African American experience during the Spring Pilgrimage tour of houses and also by special arrangement.

Father William Morrissey of Holy Family (far right) was the first white officer of the Mississippi Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Also pictured at a 1965 NAACP meeting at Holy Family (left to right) are Civil Rights activists Shead Baldwin, P.K. Pennington, George West and Charles Evers.
Date Installed:: 2010

Organization that placed the object:: City of Natchez

Photo or photos will be uploaded.: yes

Related Website:: Not listed

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Markerman62 visited Natchez Trails: Holy Family Church and School - Natchez, MS 12/15/2020 Markerman62 visited it