with Reception Following
Friday, August 11, 2017
Cathedral of St. Paul
Father James Edwin Coyle's Life and Legacy
James Edwin Coyle is shown in the left photo as a young Priest,
ordained in Rome in 1896 at age 23. He is pictured in the right
photo in May of 1921 at age 48 as he prepared to celebrate his
Silver Jubilee as a Priest while serving as Pastor of St. Paul's
Parish in Birmingham. Less than three months later, on August
11, 1921, Father Coyle was assassinated as he sat on the front
porch of the former parish rectory. Earlier that afternoon, he
had presided at the marriage of Ruth Stephenson to Pedro Gussman.
Miss Stephenson, the daughter of a minister, was baptized a
Catholic several weeks before the marriage. Her father, a
part-time minister and a member of the Ku Klux Klan, shot Father
Coyle shortly after he learned about the marriage. This tragedy
occurred during a regrettable period of anti-Catholic economic
and psychological persecution in Birmingham.
(Photo credits: the young
Father Coyle, from the Erik Overbey Collection at The University
of South Alabama Archives, Mobile. Father Coyle during his
Silver Jubilee, from the personal collection of the late Bill
Fex of Birmingham, who worked for Father Coyle for ten years at
invited to attend this Memorial Celebration of the Life of
Father Coyle and learn about his devout and heroic priesthood
during this tense time for Catholics in Birmingham.
REFRESHMENTS WILL BE
SERVED IN THE FAMILY LIFE CENTER AFTER MASS.
St. Paul's Cathedral
2120 3rd Avenue North
Birmingham, Alabama 35203