St Peter Parish History (Page 5)

In   1864,   Father   Pellicer   was   transferred   to   Mobile.   Father   Dominic   Manucy   was   appointed   pastor of   St.   Peter’s   that   same   year.   Manucy   was   noted   for   his   intellect   and   superior   theological   training. During   his   tenure   at   St.   Peter’s,   Manucy   would   be   instrumental   in   bringing   many   converts   into   the Church.    Manucy    is    also    noted    for    his    aid    and    spiritual    guidance    to    the    parish    during    the Reconstruction   period   following   the   Civil   War.   In   1874,   Father   Manucy   was   appointed   Titular Bishop   of   Selma   and   Vicar Apostolic   of   Brownsville,   Texas.   On   December   8,   1874,   Father   Manucy and   former   pastor   of   St.   Peter’s   Anthony   Pellicer   were   consecrated   Bishops   at   the   Cathedral   in Mobile.   Father   Pellicer   was   appointed   the   First   Bishop   of   San   Antonio,   Texas.   Manucy   would   be appointed   Bishop   of   Mobile,   March   9,   1884,   but   resigned   within   the   year.   The   Bishop   died   in Mobile on December 4, 1885, before returning to Brownsville as the reappointed Vicarate. The   parallels   between   the   two   priests   were   unique.   Pellicer   and   Manucy   were   cousins,   native Floridians,   classmates   at   Spring   Hill   College   and   ordained   priests   on   the   same   date   (August   15, 1850).   Manucy   would   follow   Pellicer   as   pastor   of   St.   Peter’s,   and   as   stated   above,   both   priests would be consecrated Bishops to Vicarates in Texas on the same day. Early   in   the   parish's   history   it   gave   five   men   for   the   service   of   the   church.   These   were   Fathers William    Duncan    (1862);    Henry    Semple,    S.J.,    (1879);    Patrick    Costello    (1905);    Eugene    Sands (1913); and George Moeller (1919). After   the   departure   of   Fr.   Manucy,   Fr.   Dennis   Savage,   a   native   of   Cork   County,   Ireland,   was appointed   pastor   of   St.   Peter’s.   He   would   remain   pastor   of   the   parish   until   1919,   when   he   retired because   of   his   age   and   health. The   honorary   title   of   Monsignor   was   bestowed   upon   him   on   June   29, 1915.   He   celebrated   his   Golden   Jubilee   as   a   priest   on   October   15,   1919.   Father   Savage   was   noted for    many    accomplishments    at    St.    Peter’s.    Probably    the    greatest    contribution    to    the    Catholic community   in   Montgomery   was   his   dedication   to   Catholic   education.   Father   Savage   was   very   much involved   with   then   Bishop   Quinlan   in   bringing   the   Sisters   of   Loretto   to   Montgomery.   The   Sisters were noted for their excellent schools throughout the western part of the country. In August   of   1871,   a   parishioner   named William   Maloney   provided   in   his   will   that,   after   bequests   to St.   Peter’s   church,   the   remainder   of   his   monetary   resources   be   used   to   establish   a   Catholic   school   in Montgomery.   The   will   also   stated   that   such   a   school,   as   was   tradition   at   the   time,   be   administrated by   nuns.   The   Maloney   estate   provided   $500   directly   to   the   school   as   well   as   an   additional   $4,500 which   was   placed   under   the   supervision   of   Bishop   Quinlan   to   be   used   as   he   deemed   necessary   to accomplish   the   task   of   opening   a   school.   Thus,   by   1873,   the   Sisters   of   Loretto   agreed   to   establish   a school   in   Montgomery.   By   1875,   the   school   had   10   sisters,   an   enrollment   of   175   girls   and   40   boys (Lipscomb,   p.   112).   Catholic   education   continued   to   grow   in   Montgomery.   In   1897,   Father   Savage was   able   to   secure   the   Jourdan   mansion   on   the   corner   of Adams   and   McDonough   streets   to   be   used for   the   boys   education.   The   girls   attended   class   in   the   Gerald   mansion   at   the   corner   of   Adams   and Lawrence.    Thus    for    many    years,    Catholic    education    would    take    place    in    two    Greek    Revival antebellum mansions. By   1950,   plans   were   announced   to   erect   a   new   St.   Mary’s   of   Loretto   High   School   at   the   former   site of   the   boys   school   on   the   corner   of   Adams   and   McDonough.   The   new   complex   was   completed   in 1951.   By   the   late   1960's,   the   Catholic   High   School   had   once   again   moved,   this   time   to   Vaughn Road. In 1962 the grade school administered by the Sisters relocated to Queen of Mercy parish. Father   Savage   not   only   brought   the   Sisters   of   Loretto   to   establish   a   permanent   Catholic   education system    in    Montgomery,    he    also    was    instrumental    in    bringing    the    Daughters    of    Charity    to Montgomery   to   provide   the   first   hospital   for   the   city   of   Montgomery.   The   Daughters   of   Charity established    St.    Margaret’s    hospital,    which    existed    under    their    direction    until    1988,    when    the structure was sold to the Humana Corporation. On   November   29,   1922,   Monsignor   Savage   died   and   was   buried   in   St.   Margaret’s   Cemetery,   where on   the   traditional   Celtic   Cross   which   marks   his   burial   place   are   the   words”   “May   the   sweet   blessing of God be on his soul.” Father   Savage   was   succeeded   by   Fr.   Patrick   Turner,   D.D.,   who   was   also   a   native   Irishman.   Prior   to arriving   at   St.   Peter’s,   Fr.   Turner   served   as   Chaplain   to   U.S.   Servicemen   in   World   War   I.   Due   to   his connection   with   the   military,   he   was   noted   for   being   an   advisor   and   champion   in   may   matters   of interest   to   ex-servicemen.   His   devotion   for   veterans   is   exemplified   in   the   stained   glass   windows located   in   the   church   (see   physical   history).   His   concern   for   the   Catholic   faith   would   also   be   visible in   the   creation   of   a   missionary   church   located   in   the   Capitol   Heights   area.   St.   Bede’s,   founded   in 1925, would in later years become the largest Catholic church in Montgomery. In   1927,   Father   E.J.   Hackett,   D.D.,   V.F.,   became   pastor   of   St.   Peter’s.   In   1928   he   became   yet another   of   the   priests   assigned   to   St.   Peter’s   to   attain   the   title   of   Monsignor.   Hackett   was   one   of   the great   intellects   of   the   diocese,   thus   in   1929,   he   was   made   Vicar   General   of   the   Diocese.   Another Irish   connection   assumed   the   pastorate   of   St.   Peter’s   in   December,   1929.   Father   John   O’Kelly,   a native   of   Meath   Kerry,   Ireland.   He   remained   pastor   until   November,   1932.   Father   James   Rogers became   pastor   of   St.   Peter’s   in   November,   1932,   and   would   remain   at   St.   Peter’s   for   35   years. Rogers   would   be   the   pastor   of   St.   Peter’s   during   some   of   the   most   challenging   times   in   world   and church   history.   His   tenure   at   St.   Peter’s   began   during   the   middle   of   the   greatest   Depression.   St. Peter’s,   as   well   as   most   other   churches   in   Montgomery   would   provide   aid   the   populace   during   this bleak economic hardship. Next Page