Natchez in Adams County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
Holy Family Church and School
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 redtory.
Bottom Left 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
Top right 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.
Bottom Right 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.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Natchez Trails marker series.
Location. 31° 33.519′ N, 91° 23.802′ W. Marker is in Natchez, Mississippi, in Adams County. Marker is at the intersection of St. Catherine Street and Orange Avenue, on the right when traveling west on St. Catherine Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Natchez MS 39120, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Holy Family Catholic Church (a few steps from this marker); Dr. John Banks House - 9 St. Catherine Street (within shouting distance of this marker); 20-30 St. Catherine Street and Eduation Hospital Hill Neighborhood (within shouting distance of this marker); Voss Family and A-B Motor Company (within shouting distance of this marker); Rhythm Night Club (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Views of St. Catherine Street - Western End (about 300 feet away); 300 Block of Martin Luther King Street (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Natchez.
More about this marker. St. Catherine Street is one way westbound at this location.
Part of the Natchez Trails "St. Catherine Street" walking tour.
Categories. • African Americans • Churches & Religion • Civil Rights •
Credits. This page was last revised on September 22, 2017. This page originally submitted on June 19, 2017, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana. This page has been viewed 91 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on July 8, 2017.