This Saturday our parish will celebrate the 453rd Anniversary of its establishment. On September 8, 1565, theparish of the City of St. Augustine was established at the
same time as the City itself, and for all these years we have continued with an uninterrupted history. Amy Bushnell wrote in the book The Oldest City: St.
Augustine, Saga of Survival: “On that day St. Augustine, scarcely more than a ditch and a pile of barrels, became a Spanish municipality. This was no empty formality, for
the Spanish system of government was one of city-states. A Spaniard identified himself, not with a province or a kingdom, but with a city.” The pride that thousands upon thousands of people have had in continuing to identify themselves as citizens of this great City is filled with great dignity and joy by many still today.
As a native son, I still appreciate our City’s and Parish’s birthday. Both have been through much in their 450 year-plus history. And so it is that we are survivors.
We found out during the celebrations of our 450th Anniversary in 2015 that our town was America’s first “melting pot” – thanks to the diversity of those who were part of
the first expedition as well as the various ethnic groups that would continue to make this place their home.
Happy Birthday, St. Augustine. We may be “America’s Oldest City,” but we never tire of celebrating our heritage and history!