Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul (Lewiston, Maine)

Basilica Of Saints Peter And Paul (Lewiston, Maine)

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Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul (Lewiston, Maine)

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The Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, also known as Ss. Peter and Paul Church, is a church located in Lewiston, Maine, and is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.


In the mid-19th century, Lewiston had an influx of Roman Catholic French Canadians that came to work in the Textile Factories. Their arrival created the need for a French-speaking priest. Initially, French masses were held in the basement of Saint Joseph's Church, until the number of parishioners attending the masses reached 1,000. Because of the large number of French-speaking parishioners, the masses were moved to the nave of Saint John's on July 2, 1870. By 1871, the number of parishioners had grown too large even for Saint John's. The following year, the cornerstone of Saint Peter's was laid, and the dedication mass was said in 1873. In 1881, the Dominican Fathers of Lille, France, and the Province of Qu├ębec took over the administration of the church. In 1899, the first reference to Saint Peter and Saint Paul was made, when the Dominicans published their Album Historique, calling the parishes S. Pierre S. Paul de Lewiston, Maine. In 1902, the parish was split to create the Saint Louis church, across the river, in Auburn.

By 1905, even after the split, the church had gained almost 10,000 parishioners. The old church had to be torn down, and the basement of the new church was finished in 1906. In 1907 and 1923, the Diocese of Portland...
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