It was a Friday night, but beautiful music filled the air at the Nativity B.V.M. Cathedral in Biloxi. It was all part of a new Festival of Faith at South Mississippi's oldest Catholic Church.
"The Parish was established in 1843, but the first church was destroyed by a Hurricane in 1869, and then the second church was destroyed by a fire in 1900. This church was built in 1902, so this is 105 years old," said Father Tony Arguelles.
Despite some cruel blows from Mother Nature, the Nativity B.V.M. Cathedral on Howard Avenue is still standing. The church had only minor damage from Katrina.
"Georges and Elaina actually did more damage. A tornado actually hit the church in 1985," Father Tony Arguelles.
Hundreds of people gathered for a Sacred Music Concert at the Cathedral. It was part of the church's first ever Festival of Faith through Arts and Music. This weekend celebration is open to people of all denominations.
"It's a way to celebrate our faith with the community and to really thank God for sparing our Cathedral from Hurricane Katrina, which had minor damage, compared to other churches. It's our way to celebrate, through arts and music," said Father Arguelles.
The idea stemmed from a grateful Nativity parishoner.
"One of our ladies came up with the idea of having something to celebrate our faith and to thank God again for sparing our Cathedral, so she brought it to our Spiritual Life Team. And then it was brought to the pastoral counsel, and it's kind of mushroomed. And everyone liked the idea," said Father Arguelles.
An art show followed the concert at the Sacred Heart Center across the street from the church. The art show and guided tours will be going on through out the weekend. There will also be free entertainment at the festival.
The celebration continues from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and from noon until 4 p.m. on Sunday.