[seal of the state of Indiana] The 19th state to be admitted to the United States (11 December 1816); 36,354 square miles. In 1686 land along the Saint Joseph River, near the present site of Notre Dame University at South Bend was given by the French government of Quebec to the Jesuits for an Indian mission, and there the zealous pioneer, Father Claude Allouez, ministered, dying in 1689. Father Claude Aveneau succeeded him, but gradually this and other missions in northern Indiana were abandoned as the Miamis fled before the Iroquois. Early in the 18th century French posts were established at For Miami near the Indian village of Kikionga, or Kiskakon, on the Saint Joseph Branch of the Maunee Reiver, now Fort Wayne; at Fort Ouiatenon on the Wabash, near the present Lafayette; and at the Poste au Ouabache, on the lower Wabash, subsequently named Vincennes. One of the earliest missionaries at Vincennes and at Four Ouiatenon was the Recollect, Father Pacóme Legrand, about 1742. In 1749 Father Sebastien Meurin, S.J., founded at Vincennes the church of Saint Francis Xavier, his name being signed to the first baptismal record. He returned there for a time from Kaskaskia and other missions in 1764, to reestablish the church after the loss of the French possessions to the English, and had special permission to continue his labors after the expulsion of the Jesuits. In 1769 Father Pierre Gibault of the Quebec Seminary was sent by Father Meurin, from Kaskaskia, to visit the neglected mission at Vincennes. He returned again in 1775 and 1777. It was through the influence of this "patriot priest of the West" that Kaskaskia, Cahokia, and Vincennes were won to the side of George Rogers Clark in the contest between the British and the Americans for the possession of the,Northwest Territory. Father Gibault lived in Vincennes for a time after 1785, building the new church of Saint Francis in that year. In 1792, when the church, which had been without a priest since 1789, was put in charge of the Sulpician, Reverend Benedict Flaget, the future Bishop of Bardstown, he was accompanied from Louisville to Vincennes by CoIonel Clark. The first school in Indiana was built, 1799, by his successor, Reverend John Francis Rivet. The 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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