The annual Memorial Mass and reception for the late Father James E. Coyle will be held on Friday, August 9 at 12:10 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. Paul in Birmingham.
Relatives of Father Coyle will be present at this Mass and reception. Refreshments will be served following the Mass.
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.