The name of our citywide parish refers to a unifying thread in the Catholic history of Atlantic City. St. Monica was the mother of St. Augustine and it was the Augustinians who built the first Catholic church on the island, St. Nicholas of Tolentine. Monica is both pictured and quoted inside the church. The island’s second church was dedicated to St. Monica. When it was destroyed by a fire in 1896, the church was rebuilt a year later with a different name, Our Lady Star of the Sea. The last church to be built in the city, in 1949, was also named St. Monica’s. Relegated in September 2016, it served black Catholics on Pennsylvania Avenue for 67 years.
The parish logo draws upon the unity of the city’s Catholic churches. The waves below “Parish of Saint Monica” refer to the Atlantic Ocean after which our common city is named. The image of St. Monica on the left is taken from the stain glass window in St. Nicholas Church above the door between the sanctuary and the sacristy. That window, depicting St. Augustine with his mother Monica, is itself based on the famous work of French painter Ary Scheffer (1795-1858). It depicts Monica’s last days, when she enjoyed holy conversation with her son in Ostia, Italy.
The icons along the bottom of the logo depict the five original parishes of Atlantic City in the order of their creation. The halo above the purifying fire of Purgatory represents St. Nicholas of Tolentine, the patron saint of the holy souls. The star above the waves refers to Mary’s ancient title as the Star of the Sea (in Latin, Stella Maris). The sword flanked by wings represents Michael the Archangel, who defeated Satan (cf. Revelation 12). The dove represents Holy Spirit Church, which once stood where Ocean Casino Resort is today. The hands folded in prayer refer to the most well-known part of St. Monica’s life, her fervent – and successful – prayers for the conversion of her wayward son, Augustine.