Father Maurice Tew and Children, 1961
Source: Daily Reflector Negative Collection East Carolina Manuscript Collection #741.26.a.7
Staff Person: Maury York
Description: Father Maurice Tew came to Greenville from West Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1935 to assist the priest at St. Peter’s Catholic Church. Charged with the responsibility of ministering to African Americans in the city, Father Maurice spearheaded the construction of a mission church on West Fifth Street. Named in honor of St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother, the church was dedicated on March 1, 1936. In 1956 the church built a school for African American children. The nuns who taught the eight grades lived in a convent across the street. Of the 170 students who enrolled in the school initially, most were not members of the Catholic Church. A man with good sense of humor, Father Maurice endeared himself to many, as this photograph would indicate. He employed both radio and television broadcasts as a means of outreach to the broader community. (Source: Greenville Times, June 26-July 9, 1991).