|About St. James Catholic Church|
|1855 The Catholics in the area of Handsboro and Mississippi City were being served by Father Holton from Pass Christian.
1858 Bishop Elder, then Bishop of Natchez asked Fr. Holton to buy some property in the Handsboro area with a view to build a church there.
1868 Ten years after, the property was bought. St. Patrick’s Church was built on the site which is presently St. James Cemetery on Pass Road at Anniston Avenue.
1892 Bishop Heslin authorized the building of a church at Mississippi City, which was to become St. James Church
1897 The church was completed. Fr. Thomas McNamara served as interim pastor until Fr. Dutto was transferred from Clarksdale. That year the census showed 73 parishioners. Six year later there were 98.
1899 The Sister of Mercy from Mobile purchased property on the corner of Teagarden and the beach for a summer and retirement home for their sisters. They began the school which operated for three years. The had 62 students the first year.
1902 The school closed down due to the death of Fr. Dutto. The sisters left the area. Mississippi City had no resident pastor.
1909 On October 1, Fr. McConkey became pastor until 1912.
1910 The church and rectory were burned, caused by a fire at the back of the rectory.
1912 On June 21, a new church, costing $2,395.00 was dedicated on the same site. On December 8th of the same year the new church burned down. The fire was caused by lighted charcoal in the thurible.
1914 On November 22nd, a new church was dedicated by Bishop Gunn, Bishop of Natchez. The contractor for the new church was Matteo Martinolich, who also donated three altars.
1924 Father Holland became pastor.
1926 The rectory was built.
1936 The census showed the Catholic population as 229. That same year Wiggins became a mission of Mississippi City.
1954 The church, with a seating capacity of 120 was enlarged to twice its capacity at a cost of $22,000.00.
1956 Father Mullen acquired seven acres of land on Cowan Road.
1962 St. James Elementary School and Convent were built.
1963 St James Elementary School opened. In September of that same year, Father Patrick Noonan became associate pastor.
1967 On October 30, St. James Church on Tegarden Road was completely destroyed by a tornado. On May 15th, Father Walsh was succeeded by Msgr. John T. Martin as pastor.
1968 Father McDermott became associate pastor.
1969 The new church on Cowan Road was dedicated on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th. The cost was $214,601.00.
1975 Fr. McDermott became pastor.
1980 Msgr. Kevin Bambrick came from Nativity Parish to become pastor. June 7th, Fr. Michael Tracey became associate pastor.
1982 The Parish Rectory was dedicated and blessed. The cost was $160,000.00.
1986 The Parish Center/Gym was dedicated and blessed on February 7th. Cost was approximately $317,000.00.
1989 Fr. Clark Bearden served as Deacon and Became Associate Pastor after his ordination in June 1990.
1990 Msgr. Kevin Bambrick retired in May and Msgr. James McGough became pastor.
1992 The addition to the Parish Center was completed in May. Cost approximately $259,000.00.
1999 The First Phase of the new school addition was completed at a cost of $804,000.00.
2001 Parish Office was moved out of the present Rectory into the newly renovated Convent.
2002 Msgr. James McGough was transferred to St. Clare's Church in Waveland and in February, Father George R. Kitchin became pastor of St. James. The Second Phase School Addition was completed in April, giving the Elementary School two classes available for grades Pre-K – Sixth.
2006 Fr. Charles Nutter became associate pastor after his ordination to the Priesthood in June 2006.
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