St. Augustine Church, Philadelphia: Immigration & Filipino Transformation

Producer of the Work / Filmmaker: 

Filipino American National Historical Society with Scribe Video Center

Year released: 
10 min 48 seconds

This video is available for purchase as part of a Precious Places Community History Project Vol.1 compilation DVD.

St. Augustine Church has been continually transformed by immigrants throughout its two century history. It has nourished many generations, beginning with Irish and German immigrants, who have made their home in the river wards of old Philadelphia. Anti-Irish, anti-catholic nativists burned the church to the ground in 1844, but the church was rebuilt and subsequently became a major institution of the neighborhood.

In recent times, the Filipino-American community, long a vital part of Philadelphia’s history, has played a crucial role in the rebirth of the church at 4th and Vine. Declining in the late 1980s, St. Augustine was revitalized by an influx of Filipino immigrants in the early 1990s. St. Augustine Church, Philadelphia: Immigration and Filipino Transformation features the voices of Filipino-Americans involved in the church as they recount their experiences with the institution. Both a history of a community church and a reflection on the trajectory of the Philadelphia Filipino community, this documentary shows the lasting impact of immigrants on the city’s changing neighborhoods.

Filmmaker's Bio: 

Filipino American National Historical Society – PA chapter is a local group that works to promote Filipino American history. FANHS PA’s project begins to document just one segment of the larger history of Filipino Americans in Philadelphia: the Filipino American community of St. Augustine’s Church at 4th and Vine.

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