It was the scene of the early missionary labours of Saint Isaac Jogues and his companions, who were martyred within its confines. Its first bishop, John McCloskey, used the old Saint Mary’s as a cathedral. A new cathedral, dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, was begun and dedicated by Archbishop Hughes on 21 November 1852. Bishop McCloskey erected other churches to accommodate the increase in immigration which had been brought about by the construction of the Erie Canal, and, to provide for Catholic education, installed the Religious of the Sacred Heart. His successor, Bishop John Joseph Conroy, erected Saint Joseph’s church, established a home for the aged in care of the Little Sisters of the Poor, and orphanages under the direction of the Sisters of Charity and the Christian Brothers. He also contributed greatly to the advancement of Catholic education. During the episcopacy of Bishop Francis McNeirny, the cathedral was enlarged and an apse, new sacristies, and a tower were added.
- “Diocese of Albany, New York“. . Saints.SQPN.com. 27 September 2013. Web. 17 April 2014. <>