Michael Gannon


We are foregathered this evening in what I like to call the United States' City of Centuries- four and a half to be exact come 2015. Among this city's many claims is that it served as the American nation's cradle of Western religion. Here in 1565 was founded the first Christian parish, named after the fifth century North African bishop and theologian Augustine of Hippo. Here, too, in 1587, was established the first Christian mission, named Nombre de Dios, to the native peoples of North America north of Mexico. In turn, those religious institutions gave rise to our state's and our country's first hospital, first schools, including a free public school, first library and archives, and first organized defenses of human, civil and religious rights.