The 18th state to be admitted to the United States, 8 April 1812.
When La Salle sailed down the Mississippi to its mouth, 1682, and so completed the earlier discoveries of De Soto, 1541, and Father Marquette and Louis Joliet, 1673, he was accompanied by Father Zenobius Membre and Father Anastase Douay, the former offering the first Mass said in Louisiana.
In 1711 the Indian Mission of San Miguel de Linares was established by the saintly Franciscan, Father Anthony Margil, near Spanish Lake.
Father Augustine Patron de Guzman was put in charge, and it is probable that the first church in Louisiana was built there.
Father Margil also ministered to the settlers at the French trading-post of Natchitoches, which had a parish priest, the Capuchin Father Maximin, in 1728.
New Orleans was founded, 1718, by Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, and the first plans included a site for a church, but when Father Francois Charlevoix, S.J., visited the settlement in 1721 he could only report a chapel in course of construction.
This first building, in charge of the Capuchin Father Anthony, was destroyed by a hurricane in 1722, and replaced in 1724-1725 by a brick church on the site of the present cathedral, presided over by Father Raphael de Luxembourg.
The Capuchins had a school for boys in 1727, Father Cecilius being the first teacher.
In 1726 Father Nicolas Beaubois, S.J., was appointed vicar-general for the Indian missions of the lower Mississippi region, the Capuchins still having general control of the whole territory south of Saint Louis.
Father Beaubois visited France for aid, and on his appeal several Ursulines from Rouen came out the next year to Louisiana under Mother Mary Tranchepain.
After a journey of six months they reached New Orleans in August, 1727, and founded their convent, the oldest in the United States.
Their activities included a school, a hospital, and an orphan asylum.
The building which they occupied in 1734 still stands, having been subsequently for a time the archiepiscopal residence and later the chancery.
Included in the state are the Archdiocese of New Orleans, and the dioceses of Lafayette and Alexandria.
Catholic influence on place-names of the state is shown in the following:
Archdioceses, past and present, include
Dioceses, past and present, include:
- Saint Amant
- Saint Benedict
- Saint Bernard
- Saint Francisville
- Saint Gabriel
- Saint James
- Saint Joseph
- Saint Landry
- Saint Martinville
- Saint Maurice
- Saint Patrick's
- Saint Rose
New Catholic Dictionary