The 23rd state to be admitted to the United States, 15 March 1820.
The first Mass offered within the limits of Maine, and of New England, was said on Sainte Croix Island (now De Monts), 1604, by Reverend Nicholas Aubry, a priest who had accompanied the Sieur de Monts in an expedition to claim land for France.
The settlement was soon abandoned and nothing remains but a map of Samuel de Champlain to indicate the site of the first chapel.
In 1611 Mass was offered on a small island in the mouth of the Kennebec by Father Pierre Biard, S.J.
A permanent settlement was attempted, 1613, by the Sieur de La Saussaye, accompanied by Father Ennemond Masse, S.J., Father Biard, Father Quentin, and Brother Gilbert du Thet, at Saint Sauveur near the present Bar Harbor; but the colony was attacked after a few months by Samuel Argall of Virginia on a claim that the territory was English, and the missionaries were cruelly dispersed.
More lasting missions were established by the Capuchins, 1633, at Pentagoet on the Penobscot (the present Castine), and by the Jesuits, 1646, under Father Gabriel Druillettes at Norridgewock on the Kennebec.
In 1863 a copper-plate was found at Castine with an inscription showing it to be from the corner-stone of a chapel built, 1648.
In 1684 Father Louis Thury of the Quebec Seminary built the church of Saint Ann on the site of Oldtown, a parish which still exists, the oldest in New England.
The mission stations on the Penobscot and the Kennebec were destroyed by expeditions of English soldiers sent for that purpose from Massachusetts colony through political enmity in 1704, 1722, and 1724.
During the last Father Sebastien Rile, S.J., was brutally killed when he insisted on remaining with his charges at Norridgewock.
The first churches for white settlers were built at Damariscotta (Saint Patrick's), 1808, by the future Bishop Cheverus, and at Whitefield, 1822, by Reverend Denis Ryan.
Catholic influence on the place-names of the state is shown in the following:
Ecclesiastically, the state is govered by the diocese of Portland.
- Saint Agatha
- Saint Albans
- Saint David
- Saint Francis
- Saint George
- Saint John
New Catholic Dictionary