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Let’s remember a priest killed in the line of duty

Archbishop Thomas Rodi of Mobile will celebrate the annual Father James E. Coyle Memorial Mass on Friday, Aug. 11, at 10 a.m. Reception and reflections on Father Coyle will follow Mass in the cathedral’s life center.

On Aug.11, 1921, as he sat in the swing on his rectory front porch, Father Coyle was shot and fatally wounded by an enraged minister. Father Coyle had presided over the minister’s daughter’s marriage to a dark-skinned Puerto Rican less than two hours before he was shot. He died forty minutes later in the operating room at St. Vincent’s Hospital. His funeral was one of the largest ever held in the history of Birmingham. The shooter, who was also a Klansman, was found not guilty in a trial held two months later. The trial was a travesty of justice. Let us honor the life and legacy of Father James E. Coyle by uniting together at Mass in memoriam.

The cathedral is located at 2120 3rd Avenue, North in Birmingham. For more information, please call 205.447.8796 or visit