Blessed Francis X. Seelos Catholic Church in the Bywater marks its 150th anniversary in 2016, and parishioners and friends gathered on Nov. 14 for an inaugural banquet to kick off the year-long celebration. The party, which coincided with the release of a new book on the historic church, was held at NOCCA’s Solomon Family Hall. The Invocation was by The Very Rev. Jose Lavastida, pastor of Blessed Francis X. Seelos, and keynote speakers included Dr. Emilie Leumas, Rev. Pedro F. Nunez, Arthine Powers, and Fr. Isaias Galvez. The church, originally built as St. Vincent de Paul Church, is a federally registered historical building and ranks among the city’s oldest Catholic churches.