Mississippi

[seal of the state of Mississippi] The 20th state to be admitted to the United States, 10 December 1817. When Father Marquette passed down the Mississippi to the mouth of the Arkansas in 1673, with Louis Joliet, he founded no missions on either side of the river, nor did the Recollects, Father Zenobius Membre and Father Anastase Douay, who accompanied La Salle in 1682, though they preached to the Taensa and Natchez Indians of Mississippi. The first missions within the present limits of Mississippi were founded, 1698, by priests of the Quebec Seminary; Father Frangois de Montigny devoting himself to the Taensas above Natchez and Father Antoine Davion to the Tonicas near the present Fort Adams. The next year their associate, Father Jean Frangois de Saint Cosme, settled at Natchez. The French settlers of Old Biloxi, near Ocean Springs, established by Iberville in 1699, and abandoned for Mobile in 1702, were served first by Father Bordenave and then by the Jesuits, Father Paul du Ru, and Father Pierre Donge. After the death of Father Nicholas Foucault, 1702, and Father Saint Cosme, 1706, at the hands of treacherous Indians in Mississippi, the missions were for a time almost abandoned. Father Juif, a chaplain of the French army, was laboring among the Yazoos in 1721, when Father Charlevoix, S.J., reported the unfortunate state of the missions to the Louisiana Company. A few years later Father Mathurin Ie Petit, S.J., took up the work in southern Mississippi, and in 1728 a Capuchin, Father Philibert, was stationed at Natchez. The establishment of Fort Rosalie on the site of Natchez by Bienville in 1716 had angered the Indians and led to strife that culminated in 1729 when the Jesuit. Father Paul du Poisson, was tomahawked and beheaded in a massacre near the fort, and another Jesuit, Father Jean Souel, was shot by the Yazoos. In a later war with the Chickasaws, Father Antoine Senat, S.J., was taken prisoner and burned at the stake. The troubled history of the Church in Mississippi continued until the appointment of a bishop in 1837. Catholic influence on place-names of the state is shown in the following: Ecclesiastical divisions in the state include two dioceses: See also,
New Catholic Dictionary

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