Skip to content

Shrine of the Holy Cross celebrates 75 years of Prayer, Faith, and Service on the Eastern Shore

DAPHNE, AL (October 15, 2023) – Shrine of the Holy Cross Catholic Church is celebrating its 75th anniversary. On October 16, 1948, Shrine of the Holy Cross was dedicated, with Father Vincent Warren, S.S.J., as the founding pastor as a mission to the African American community of Baldwin County. Among its more notable parishioners are Dr. Regina Benjamin, former surgeon general, and Fr. Joseph L. Howze, the second black Catholic bishop in the U.S.

In 1947, the Archdiocese of Mobile purchased 10 acres of land in Daphne, Alabama to establish a mission which would be run by the Society of Saint Joseph. more commonly known as the Josephites, a religious community of Catholic Priests and Brothers that are committed to providing sacramental, educational, and pastoral ministry, service to those in need, and working for social justice, specifically for the African American Community.

As Shrine of the Holy Cross celebrates this milestone, the legacy of the church and dedication of the parishioners, past and present, is reflected in its history. In 1949, a school for African American children was opened with the Franciscan Sisters from Baltimore, Maryland as teachers. In 1953, the church expanded into Bromley with the opening of St. John’s Mission. The church provided transportation by bus for children residing in Bromley to attend school at Shrine of the Holy Cross. The school grew to 230 students by 1955, and a brick schoolhouse was built for the children to attend. The Oblate Sisters of Providence staffed the school as teachers, until the school closed in 1966.

Shrine of the Holy Cross welcomes all to the ministries of word, worship, and service offered there to the glory of God’s name.

“We are deeply honored to be a part of such an impactful legacy that has served the Eastern Shore and Baldwin County community for 75 years. Our heritage is a testament to the tireless efforts of visionary leaders who made it their life's work to uphold the Josephite mission of service to the African American community,” said Father Lito J. Capeding, residing pastor for Shrine of the Holy Cross.

Scroll To Top