GRAFTON— After years of wonderful service, the St. Augustine Parish says farewell to Father Binu Sebastian and hello to a new priest who will guide the church.
A church that has stood the test of time in Grafton will once again be welcoming a new leader into its ranks.
The St. Augustine Catholic Church has stood in the community for 170 years, and during that time, there have been numerous Catholic priests called to lead the congregation. The most recent to do so is Father Babu Joseph Elamturuthil, or Father Babu Joseph as he is more commonly known.
Father Babu Joseph comes to Grafton from his last post in Weirton.
To welcome him to the church, individuals are welcomed to attend an outdoor mass at the St. Augustine Pavilion, located next to the Knights of Columbus house, on Sunday, September 11. The mass will be followed by a parish picnic prepared by the loving hands of the Women’s Guild and the Knights of Columbus.
Father Babu Joseph was born in India March 21,1961, where he spent his youth learning and growing.
He graduated from high school in 1976, and entered the seminary in 1977, graduating in Philosophy and Theology.
With a desire to serve the Lord, Father Babu was ordained December 30,1987, and began working in India for 25 years, serving in seven different parishes.
During this time, he completed post graduate degrees in Malayalam Literature and Biblical Theology.
St. Augustine Church has been serving the Taylor County and Grafton communities since its inception after the railroad brought with it workers of Irish decent, who were loyal to their Catholic faith.
Among these men were well known names such as McGraw, Doonan and Campbell. These pioneer Irishmen were instrumental in establishing Grafton and the first Catholic Church in Grafton.
The first permanent St. Augustine Church, a wooden structure, was built in 1857, the same year that Grafton, Virginia was incorporated. It was for many years the only church of any denomination in Grafton.
The wooden structure was replaced with a brick church 1872, and in 1922, a new church was erected. That building is the same one that stands today.
St. Augustine Church has been a part of Grafton for many years and Father Babu Joseph is ready and anxious to continue the legacy of the Catholic faith in Taylor County.
St. Augustine Catholic Church, located at 17 W. Washington Street-Grafton, is pleased to announce and welcome Father Babu Joseph as their newest priest, and are excited to see what the future holds for the church under his watchful eye.