The 12th state to be admitted to the United States, 21 November 1789.
Mass was first celebrated in North Carolina at Newbern, 1784, by a priest who had come on business from Madeira, Reverend Patrick Cleary of Funchal.
He officiated in the home of Mrs Alexander Gaston, whose distinguished son, William Gaston, was to bring about the repeal, in 1835, of the article in the North Carolina Constitution of 1776 which kept from office "those who denied the truth of the Protestant religion."
For nearly 50 years the few Catholics of North Carolina were served only by visiting priests.
These included Father Le Mercier at Raleigh in 1805, Reverend Joseph de Cloriviere of Charleston at Fayetteville in 1812, Reverend Nicholas Kerney of Norfolk at Newbern and Wilmington in 1819.
Finally in 1823 Reverend Francis O'Donoghue was sent by Bishop England of Charleston to Washington, DC, and the church of Saint John the Evangelist was built.
Saint Patrick's was erected in Fayetteville the next year, when Newbern was also organized as a parish, though it was only in 1840 that the first church there, Saint Paul's, was built.
Catholic influence on the place-names of the State is shown in the following:
Ecclesiastically, the state is ruled by the dioceses of
- Saint Paul's
- Valle Crucis
New Catholic Dictionary