Wow! Two-hundred years of worshipping in downtown Augusta comes to the Church of the Most Holy Trinity.
Formed as a Catholic community of faith back in 1810, the parish fell under the province and Archdiocese of Baltimore. Those early Catholics began worshipping God in the downtown area near Telfair Street, and they began building their first church on the corner of Seventh and Telfair streets in 1812. They began praising God for their blessings in that church in 1814.
THIS CHURCH was not big enough as time passed, and the community sought to build a new, larger structure in 1857. At that time, the pastor of Most Holy Trinity was the Rev. John Barry, a true Irish-born pastor. He saw the development of the construction there on the corner of Eighth Street and Telfair streets over the next seven years. The completed Catholic church was dedicated in 1863. This priest later became the bishop of Savannah, and Bishop Barry is buried beneath the altar of Most Holy Trinity in the crypt downstairs with another eight Irish priests who served the parish in the 1800s.
Now the pastor is the Rev. Michael Joseph Kavanaugh. He has been here since Jan. 13 as our pastor leading us into the special celebration to be held at Most Holy Trinity on Friday, Sept. 10, with a Holy Mass at 7 p.m., with the Archbishop Edwin O'Brien of Baltimore expected to attend. Bishops of the region also will be present.
Bishop J. Kevin Boland of Savannah will be a concelebrating bishop, as well as Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta and other bishops from South Carolina and North Carolina. Former pastors and former parishioners will be invited to attend.
Special people of longstanding allegiance with Most Holy Trinity will be sent invitations to attend.
THIS HISTORIC event marks the presence of God's people gathered to worship and praise God for all their blessings. Yes! The rich heritage of Catholicism is found in the long, holy, 200-year frame of time, which celebrated their faith in God and Jesus and Jesus' teachings as the source of all holiness and life and eternal life to come in heaven.
This historic event in life of Most Holy Trinity asks God to keep on blessing their people and pastors with a strong love of God and neighbors, for this is the essence of Catholic faith, service and commitment to God and others in a way that leads to God's love.
This historic event marks a new beginning of grace and promise for the people of Most Holy Trinity to continue to work in the fields of ministry to youth and aged, and new Catholics and to form a people in the image and likeness of Christ, our Savior and Lord.
May this bicentennial event of Sept. 10 mark a rich blessing by God upon the parish of this church faithful so that they will strive with all their energy to be a people favored by God in word and sacraments, and rich in devotion to their rich heritage of Catholicism for years to come. May the Church of the Most Holy Trinity be richly blessed by God on its 200th anniversary.
(The writer is parochial vicar of the Church of Most Holy Trinity in Augusta.)