St. Austin’s parish in Austin was established back in 1908 when the Paulist Fathers first came to Texas. In my opinion, the founding pastor showed real imagination in naming the church St. Austin’s. The city itself takes its name from Stephen F. Austin, one of the leading figures in the establishment of Texas. However, that name goes back to the 6th century because it is also the popular name of St. Augustine of Canterbury. So the parishioners of St. Austin’s parish can claim both Stephen F. Austin, the founder of Texas, and Saint Augustine (Austin), the apostle to the English.
Augustine was sent from Rome to England to bring Christianity to the Anglo Saxons. At first he had very little success in the foundations for the Church, but the foundations he built for the Church were strong and in the next generation most of England would be baptized into the Catholic faith.
Sadly, we are a country that has only a limited interest in history but I think anyone in Austin should be proud of the heroic work of Stephen F. Austin when he and his father first decided to bring immigrants into Texas. We should also be proud of Saint Augustine who left the comforts of central Italy to establish the Church in the difficult environment of England.
Let’s hear it for Austin!