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Catholic Diocese of Cape Palmas Media Relations
History[ edit ] Cathedral-Basilica of St. Augustine Having secured Spanish supremacy by defeating the French and planting a permanent colony at St. He had been accompanied by four priests. Nombre de Dios mission is at the spot of the first Thanksgiving Mass celebrated on the grounds. Augustine, the first established parish in the United States. The Jesuits were the first to arrive. Three were sent by St. Francis Borgia in and ten in The few who survived the martyrdom of their brethren were recalled in In , the Franciscans arrived. In , a young chief, smarting from a reprimand, instigated a general massacre of the missionaries. In , several Indian chiefs sought baptism at St. Evangelizing became easier afterwards. This lasted past the middle of the century. In , the Franciscan province of St. Helena, with mother-house at St. Augustine, contained 44 Indian missions, 35 missionaries, and 30, Roman Catholic Indians. By , evidences of decline begin to appear. Bishop Calderon found his episcopal jurisdiction questioned by the friars. Although he confirmed many Indians, he complained of their religious ignorance. Relations between the colonists and natives worsened. The colony was menaced by the growing English power to the north. In , the blow fell. Moore's raid burned, plundered, destroyed, and enslaved the natives at the Mission San Luis de Apalachee. Efforts at re-establishment partially succeeded. By , there were six towns of Roman Catholic Indians and several missions. Persistent conflict between the Spanish and English colonies reduced these to four missions with people by The cession to England in resulted, not merely in the final extinction of the missions, but in the complete obliteration of Florida's ancient Roman Catholicity. Augustine began its existence as a regularly constituted parish of the Diocese of Santiago de Cuba. Its church records, dating from , are preserved in the archives of the present cathedral. The first recorded episcopal visitation was made by Bishop Cabeza de Altamirano in In , Bishop Gabriel Diaz Vara Calderon visited the Floridian portion of his diocese; he conferred minor orders on seven candidates, and during an itinerary of eight months, extending to the Carolinian confines, confirmed 13, persons, founded many mission churches, and liberally supplied others. Augustine, demonstrates that, despite the waning condition of the colony and missions at this period, the Church in Florida continued episcopal oversight. Bishop Morell of Santiago, exiled from his see during the English occupation of Havana —63 , remained four months at St. Augustine, confirming persons. When Florida in passed under English rule, freedom of worship was guaranteed, but the illiberal interpretation of officials resulted in the general exodus of Roman Catholics, so that by , the bi-centenary year of the Church in Florida, a few defaced church buildings presented the only evidence of its former Catholicity. Five hundred survivors of the New Smyrna colony of 1, Roman Catholics, natives of Mediterranean lands, settled at St. Augustine in and preserved the Faith alive through a trying epoch. In , Florida became subject to the newly constituted See of St. Augustine progressing satisfactorily under the care of Fathers Hassett and O'Reilly, who had arrived on the retrocession of Florida to Spain in Michael Portier in to the new Vicariate of Alabama and Florida. Bishop Portier undertook single-handed the work of his vast vicariate, not having a single priest, until at his request, Bishop England of Charleston sent Father Edward Mayne to St. In , the See of Savannah was created and included that part of Florida which lies east of the Apalachicola River; this was constituted a separate vicariate in under the Right Rev. Augustin Verot as vicar apostolic and erected into the Diocese of St. Augustine in , with Bishop Verot, who had occupied the See of Savannah since , as first bishop. Bishop Verot's unwearied activity and zeal in promoting religion and education soon bore fruit; schools were opened by the Christian Brothers and the Sisters of Mercy in , but the outbreak of the Civil War frustrated all hopes of success. In , the Sisters of St. Joseph were introduced from France, and despite the most adverse conditions, they had several flourishing schools and academies in operation before many years. The era of progress inaugurated by Bishop Verot continued under the administration of Bishop John Moore — , whose successor, the Right Rev. The Catholic population of the State, including coloured Catholics, is about 30, The Diocese of St. Augustine, wholly included within the State, contains about 25, Catholics; there are 49 priests with 40 churches and several missions, and young people under the care of religious teaching institutes. That portion of the state situated west of the Apalachicola River forms part of the Diocese of Mobile since ; the Catholic population is about , there are five churches with resident priests and 6 Catholic schools with pupils; Pensacola, founded , is the Catholic centre. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain:
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