OUR MISSION The mission of the Eucharistic Community of St. Peter Catholic Church is the proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ by sustaining our historic Dominican traditions and serving the needs of our parishioners and the greater Memphis community.
WELCOME TO ST. PETER CATHOLIC CHURCH A Ministry of the Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Martin de Porres
Please note: Our website is regularly updated with additional information and photos.
St. Peter Catholic Church, located on the corner of Third Street and Adams in downtown Memphis, Tennessee, traces its origins to the fall of 1840 when Bishop Richard Miles, O.P., the first Bishop of Nashville, appointed Father Michael McAleer as the first pastor of St. Peter. Just one year after the first Catholic mass was celebrated in the parlor of the adjacent Magevny House, the parish opened its doors. The oldest Roman Catholic parish in the region; the present structure is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Memphis.
On October 29, 1841, John S. Claybrook, trustee of Judge John Overton's estate, conveyed block 409 of the original plan of Memphis to Bishop Miles. As a partial donation, the price was made a nominal $500.00, which was generously subscribed by a number of Protestant Memphians as a gift to the Catholic community. In the summer of 1842 a brick church, 30 by 70 feet, was begun. It was completed the following year, reportedly at a cost of $5000.00. Rev. Joseph Sadoc Alemany, O.P. was named the new pastor in 1846 and later became the first Provincial of United States Dominicans, then the first Bishop of Monterey, California, and, finally, was appointed as the first archbishop of San Francisco. The Dominican Order has served continuously at St. Peter since 1846.
Construction of the present church began in 1852 around the intact older original sanctuary and was completed in 1855. Once built, parts of the original church were dismantled and carried out the doors, piece by piece. The new church was dedicated by Bishop Miles in 1858.
With its vaulted ceilings, Gothic characteristics and upward thrusting arches, St. Peter Church is a historical masterpiece and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Designed by Patrick Charles Keely, an eminent architect, the church's beautiful, stained glass windows narrate the events in the life of Christ and several saints. The beauty of the church is magnified by the Casavant Organ located in the choir loft.
The church has had multiple expansions throughout its many years beginning with the construction of the present rectory in 1873, followed by the addition of the Crystal Room and former chapel in 1891. In 2001, a new 3-story building added six classrooms, parish hall with kitchen, choir room and other meeting facilities, all handicapped accessible.
A new chapel houses the national Shrine of St. Martin de Porres, a sixteenth-century Dominican and the patron saint of social justice. The Shrine is open daily for prayer and also sponsors various events throughout the year.
TODAY: St. Peter Church is a living monument to the Catholic faith, and stands in tribute to the brave Dominicans who, through their compassion and unwavering faith, willingly sacrificed their lives to nurse the victims of epidemics that besieged Memphis in the mid and late 1800's. St. Peter Church has a proud history thanks to the Dominicans and families who have helped to make our parish one of the outstanding historical milestones in Memphis.
St. Peter has grown from a handful of Catholics in its beginning years into a thriving, vibrant congregation of over 650 families. It is our hope that while celebrating the rich history of our parish, that we promote the promise of the future through an increased sense of family, fellowship, and faith.
ADULT FAITH THIS SUNDAY May 19th - 9:45 in the Choir Room Grab a cup of coffee in the Parish Hall and join us as we welcome HOSPITALITY HUB representatives Kelcey Johnson, Associate Director; and Will Haley, volunteer intake counselor. Come and learn about the HUB, a resource center for homeless persons in downtown Memphis, TN whose mission is to connect individuals with the resources they need to begin their journey out of homelessness. Hear about ways to get involved in this ministry. All are Welcome
CELEBRATE THE FEAST of Sts. Peter and Paul on June 28th and 29th!Make plans for you and your family to join us for Vespers & Dinner on the 28th and a Redbirds Game on the 29th! More details to come…stay tuned.
REVIVE 175 ...SEE NEW PAGES! Review the dreams and vision of our parish as we look to 2015 - our 175th year!
MINISTRY SIGN-UP "How can I repay the Lord for His goodness to me?"(Psalm 116:12) Our ministries offer a wide variety of ways to become involved in our parish, from offering opportunities for fellowship to ways of serving the needs of St. Peter and the greater community. Click here for a list of ministries - please indicate which ministries you want to serve.