Canons Regular of St. John Cantius


Fr. Anthony Rice, SJC, visited his home parish of St. John the Baptist in Tuscaloosa, Alabama to offer a Mass of Thanksgiving on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

Surrounded by family and friends, Fr. Rice bestowed his first priestly blessing upon all present.

The first time Mass was offered in Tuscaloosa was in 1819. But it was not until 1845 that St. John the Baptist Church would be built.

St. John the Baptist Church was constructed of handmade and sun-dried brick, and hand-hewn pine lumber.

The parish is the oldest Catholic Church in the state of Alabama outside the city of Mobile. The Catholic Church on the Alabama Gulf Coast dates from the coming of Iberville’s colony in 1699.

A small schola cantorum came from the School of Music at the University of Alabama to chant the propers and to sing William Byrd’s Mass for Three Voices, as well as other Latin motets.

The altar boys of St. John the Baptist were greatly honored to assist Fr. Anthony at the altar.

“I will go unto the altar of God who gives joy to my youth”
- Psalm 42