The 11th state to be admitted to the United States, 26 July 1788.
Illustrious names glorify the early annals of the Church in New York. Blessed Isaac Jogues was martyred in 1646, at Ossernenon, near Auriesville, after having suffered excruciating tortures at the hands of the Mohawks on a previous journey through their lands in 1642.
His companion, Rene Goupil, a devoted lay volunteer, or donné, had then been put to death, but Father Jogues, taken prisoner, had finally escaped, and been befriended and returned to France by way of New York through the Dutch minister of Fort Orange, Johannes Mega polensis, and Gov. William Kieft of New York.
With him, when he returned in 1646, was a youthful companion, Jean de Lalande, who was also killed by the Indians.
Another missionary cruelly tortured by the Mohawks, 1644, was Father Joseph Bressani, who was also rescued by the Dutch.
The region thus early planted with the seed of the Church was not long after the birthplace of the "Lily of the Mohawks," Catherine Tekakwitha, destined to die in the odor of sanctity, in Canada in 1679.
The Onondagas having requested missionaries in 1654, Father Simon le Moyne, S.J., visited them from Quebec, being the first white person to investigate the salt springs of the vicinity.
The first permanent mission was established the next year, not far from Syracuse, by Father Joseph Chaumonot and Father Claude Dablon.
Their little bark chapel is thought to have been named in honor of Saint John the Baptist.
In 1656 a party of French colonists, under Father François Le Mercier and Father Rene Menard, set forth from Quebec and settled near Lake Ganentaa (Onondaga), about five leagues from the earlier settlement, where they erected the church of Saint Mary.
There were missions soon among the Cayugas, Senecas, and Oneidas, but for a time after 1658 Indian uprisings put an end to them all.
The protection of the Onondaga chief, Garaconthie, led to their restoration in 1667 under Father Jacques Fremin, Father Jean Pierron, Father Jacques Bruyas, Father Julien Garnier, Father Etienne de Carheil, and Father Pierre Milet.
Each of the Five Nations then had a mission; the pioneer mission of the Onondagas being restored, Saint Mary's of the Martyrs being established for the Mohawks at Tionnontoguen, near Ossemenon, Saint Francis Xavier's for the Oneidas, Saint Joseph's for the Cayugas, and Saint Michael's for the Senecas.
Garaconthie was baptized with great ceremony at Quebec in 1669, receiving the name of Daniel.
A mission was founded in 1679 by the Recollects, near Niagara, where La Salle had made them a grant of land.
His companion, Father Louis Hennepin, first described the mighty cataract, 1673.
Recollects also served at Crown Point from 1732 to 1759.
After the taking over of the colony of New Amsterdam (New York) by the English, 1664, the struggle between the French and English for Indian allies began, and it became the aim of the English authorities to supplant French missionaries, wherever they would tolerate priests at all, with those of their own nation.
By 1684 there were only two French Jesuits left among the Five Nations, Father Jacques and Father Jean de Lamberville.
The Onondaga mission was restored in 1702, but the enforcing of penal laws against Catholics, inaugurated in 1700 by Governor Bellomont of New York, led to the final abandonment of Jesuit-missions in 1709.
The last of the Indian missions in New York was that of the Presentation, founded near the present Ogdensburg in 1748 by the Sulpician, Father François Piquet, and abandoned in 1759 during the French and Indian War.
The first priests to reside in New York City were the English Jesuits, Father Thomas Harvey, Father Henry Harrison, and Father Charles Gage, the first of whom came over in 1683 with the Catholic governor, Thomas Dongan, appointed by the Duke of York.
Mass was first offered in a chapel made available by the Governor at Fort James, just south of the Bowling Green, the present site of the custom house.
Catholic influence on the place-names of the state is shown in the following:
Ecclesiastically, the state is governed by the archdiocese of
and the dioceses of
- Saint Albans
- Saint Bonaventure
- Saint Clara
- Saint Huberts
- Saint James
- Saint Johnsville
- Saint Josephs
- Saint Lawrence
- Saint Remy
- Saint Regis Falls
New Catholic Dictionary