Delaware

[seal of the state of Delaware] The first state admitted to the Union, 7 December 1787. Jesuits from Bohemia Manor in Maryland established the Apoquiniminck Mission in New Castle County some time before 1750, sending a priest monthly to attend the five or six Catholic families of the vicinity. In 1772 the first chapel, a log cabin, was built at Coffee Run, about six miles from Wilmington, and served by a resident priest, Father Matthew Sittensperger, S.J. During the French Revolution some French Catholics from Santo Domingo settled near Wilmington, attracted possibly by the tolerant religious legislation which characterized Delaware from the earliest times. Reverend Stephen Faure, who had accompanied them, was Father Sittensperger's successor, assisted by an Augustinian, Reverend John Rosseter, who had been an officer in Rochambeau's army. Saint Peter's, the first church and the present cathedral, was built in Wilmington in 1816 by Reverend Patrick Kenny. There are no Catholic place-names. The state comprises the diocese of Wilmington. See also, patron saints index.

New Catholic Dictionary

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