Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Looking Back: July 1963–Pope Paul VI begins pontificate

Published July 4, 2013

In the June 27, 1963, issue of The Georgia Bulletin, Pope Paul VI announced that he would continue the ecumenical Vatican Council begun by Pope John XXIII. In his first public address as pope, Paul VI also pledged that he would continue “with every effort” the work for Christian unity started by Pope John “for which he offered his life.” He listed other priorities that he set for his pontificate including to make every effort to preserve peace among nations, to work for the revision of the Code of Canon Law, and to focus on the urgent concerns outlined by the social encyclicals of the church. He called for “care for the underdeveloped countries, where the standard of living is often unworthy of the human being.” Pope Paul VI was to begin his pontificate on June 30.

In his informal column in The Georgia Bulletin, called “Archbishop’s Notebook,” Atlanta Archbishop Paul J. Hallinan talked about a two-day trip he took to the northwest corner of the diocese “where four Verona Fathers are laboring in 14 counties.”

“The church in Toccoa stands proudly by its shrine; we looked at some property for a possible building in Clarkesville, with Father Gino Dominey, FSCJ. Then to Washington where a shrine of the Sacred Heart was to be blessed on a site gratefully remembered in the cemetery markers of the 19th century Catholic pioneers who brought the faith to this area,” Archbishop Hallinan wrote.

He continued to Elberton where a “beautiful altar” was to be consecrated. “I made the mistake of referring to it as marble, which is almost like asking for tea in Brazil,” Archbishop Hallinan wrote. “It was granite, right from Elberton’s famed quarries.”

Father R. Donald Kiernan wrote in his July 4, 1963 column called “Georgia Pines” about the building of the first stadium at St. Pius X High School. A group of men, the St. Pius X Athletic Association, led by Eddie Gasperini, “had conceived the idea of the stadium, had secured the Archbishop’s approval, and now had set about raising the $50,000 that would be required to make the plan a reality,” he wrote. “When some thirty thousand dollars in contributions and pledges from parents and friends had been realized, the work was begun.”

“By the end of the summer St. Pius expects to have a well lighted stadium for football and track which will seat two thousand spectators,” Father Kiernan wrote. “It is another step on the path of progress taken by our youthful archdiocese.”