From the Pastor’s Desk
Amy Bushnell is a historian who now teaches at the prestigious Brown University. She also has done much research on the nascent colony of St. Augustine, Florida. Writing in the 1983 book The Oldest City: St. Augustine, Saga of Survival she recounts the day on which the city was founded:
Pedro Menéndez de Avilés stepped from his launch with his gentlemen, announced by trumpets and artillery. Chaplain Francisco López de Mendoza Grajales walked forward to greet him, carrying a cross and intoning the Te Deum Laudamus. The company knelt to kiss the cross and, while banners hung limp in the sultry air, heard a mass in honor of the Nativity of Our Lady. Then Menéndez, notary at his side, took possession of Florida in the name of His Most Catholic Majesty and as lord of the land received the fealty of his captains and the officials of the royal treasury…. On that day St. Augustine, scarcely more than a ditch and a pile of barrels, became a Spanish municipality.
And, we can add, a Catholic parish, the first one in what is now the United States of America and Canada.
On this 454th Anniversary of our Parish’s Founding, we celebrate something that is unique to us and one that is a long-term blessing. Proud of our heritage and the roots of the Gospel that run long and deep from the community of faith, we celebrate today our birthday. God bless all who built on the foundations of those first settlers and upon us as we continue to proclaim the Gospel of Christ in word and deed.