St. Monica, Atlantic City

The roots of Saint Monica's "Mission" were planted firmly in the Fall of 1916 by Mrs. Emma Lewis, a devoted Negro Catholic convert and lay apostle of the Oblates of Divine Providence of Baltimore, Maryland. She named her headquarters in honor of the mother of Saint Augustine when she began her work among this seaside resort's Negro population, where she became known affectionately as "Mother Lewis".

A native of Ohio and a recent arrival from Philadelphia, Mrs. Lewis had no idea that it was the second time that the name Saint Monica had been chosen for a church in Atlantic City. The original Saint Monica's Church was established in 1894 and had its name changed three years later to the present name, Our Lady Star of the Sea. On February 18, 1917, Saint Monica's became a mission of Saint Nicholas of Tolentine when the Augustinian Fathers took over the work of Mother Lewis. Approximately ten years later the mission came under the care of Monsignor William F. Dittrich, pastor of Holy Spirit Church. In December 1938, the mission of Saint Monica was established as a parish and Father Leo A. Judzik became the first Administrator and shortly thereafter the first Pastor of the parish on December 18, 1938. Currently, the parish of Saint Monica is multi-cultural serving the Afro-American, Haitian, Spanish and Filipino Communities.

Back to Parish Listings