15th St NW & S St NW

In 1858, emancipated Black Catholics founded a Catholic school and chapel on 15th Street, with the school becoming operational four years before mandatory free public education of Black children became law in the Nation’s Capital. The Oblate Sisters of Providence, the oldest religious order of Black women in the nation, staffed the school. A new church was built and dedicated to Saint Augustine in 1876. Though this property was sold in 1979, Saint Augustine continues, in its new site on 15th St NW and V St NW, to serve as the home of Black Catholics in the city. Explore images of the parish courtesy of the Library of Congress and Howard University's Moorland–Spingarn Research Center, and listen to Rev. Dr. Sandra Butler-Truesdale discussing the role of faith in combatting gentrification with Alandro Valdez.

Undated letter by Mary Church Terrell
Undated letter by Mary Church Terrell

Undated letter by Mary Church Terrell on the Oblate Sisters and the history of St Augustine- p1

press to zoom
Undated letter by Mary Church Terrell
Undated letter by Mary Church Terrell

Undated letter by Mary Church Terrell on the Oblate Sisters and the history of St Augustine- p2

press to zoom
Congregation at St. Augustine in 1990s
Congregation at St. Augustine in 1990s

Congregation at St. Augustine in 1990s. Courtesy of Howard University's Moorland-Springarn Research Center

press to zoom
Undated letter by Mary Church Terrell
Undated letter by Mary Church Terrell

Undated letter by Mary Church Terrell on the Oblate Sisters and the history of St Augustine- p1

press to zoom
1/4
Rev. Dr. Sandra Butler-Truesdale on growing up by St. Augustine's
Rev. Dr. Sandra Butler-Truesdale on Faith and Gentrification