[seal of the state of Illinois] The 21st state to be admitted to the United States, 3 December 1818. The first mission, for the Illinois Indians, that of the Immaculate Conception, was established 1675, two months before his death, by Father Jacques Marquette, S.J., at the original village of Kaskaskia near the present Utica. Here he had preached to the Indians two years before, on returning from his voyage of discovery down the Mississippi. He is also known to have wintered, 1674, near the present site of Chicago. After his death the mission was taken in charge for a time by Father Claude Allouez, S.J., and, 1678, by three Recollects who accompanied La Salle, Father Louis Hennepin, Father Zenobius Membré, and Father Gabriel de la Ribourde. They built a chapel near the present Starved Rock, La Salle having established Fort Saint Louis there. They also officiated at Fort Crevecreur, near Peoria. Father Ribourde was killed soon after by wandering Indians and the mission was abandoned until Father Allouez returned, 1684. He was succeeded, 1687, by Father Jacques Gravier,S.J., who assisted in removing the mission, 1700, to the present Kaskaskia near the junction of the Kaskaskia River with the Mississippi, one of the first white settlements in the Mississippi valley. The records of the church of the Immaculate Conception in Kaskaskia are still preserved, and date from 17 June 1719. About 1696, Father Pierre Pinet, S.J., established the Mission of the Angel Guardian on the site of Chicago. Priests of the Quebec Seminary, among them Father Jean Bergier, had also labored among the Illinois Indians from about 1698, especially at Cahokia opposite Saint Louis, and when the French post of Fort Chartres was established near Kaskaslia, 1718, they served the little church of Saint Ann there, and also that of Saint Joseph at Prairie du Rocher, 5 miles away.

Catholic influence on the place-names of the state is shown in the following: Archdioceses, past and present, include Dioceses, past and present, include: See also:
New Catholic Dictionary

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