Roman Catholic Diocese of Natchitoches

Roman Catholic Diocese Of Natchitoches

Roman Catholic Diocese of Natchitoches

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The Roman Catholic Diocese of Natchitoches (Natchitochensis) is a titular see of the Roman Catholic Church. The former bishopric is no longer an active diocese.


Originally, the bishorpic of Natchitoches was the Catholic Diocese for the central portions of Louisiana—all the northern part of Louisiana above 31° N. lat., with an area of 22,212 square miles—when it was established on July 29, 1853. The diocese was headquartered in Natchitoches, Louisiana. The see city was later relocated to Alexandria, Louisiana and the diocese was renamed the Diocese of Alexandria. Since that time the Diocese of Natchitoches has been maintained as a titular see.

Antonio Margil was the first priest to minister within the territory now forming the diocese. From the Ays Indians, west of the Sabine river, Father Margil heard of the Adayes Indians, and in March, 1717, he located them near Spanish Lake, in what became Sabine Parish, Louisiana, founded the mission of San Miguel de Linares and built there probably the first church in Louisiana, for according to the historian Martin, when Pere Charlevoix reached New Orleans in 1721, he found there "about 100 cabins, two or three dwelling houses and a miserable storehouse which had been at first occupied as a chapel, a shed being now used for that purpose". Leaving Father Gusman in charge, Father Margil journeyed on foot to Natchitoches to...
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