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was it in 1792, when Father B. J. Flaget came to serve the church? He said: “The building was poor, open and neglected; the altar, a temporary structure, was of boards and badly put together. I found the congregation in a worse state even than the church. Out of nearly 700, but twelve could be induced to approach holy communion during Christmas festivities."* If a new church had been built in 1784, as alleged, it is not probable that it could have become so dilapidated as described by the reverend Father, in only a few years' time; and the size of the reputed new building, 90x42 feet, does not correspond with the one described by Law, 20x60 feet, and "one story high,” when he came to Vincennes in 1817. What Father Flaget said in 1792 about the building goes to show that it was the same as originally constructed, but possibly improved somewhat by St. Ange, who added a belfry and a bell, which was used in church service until the erection of the new cathedral, and, for some purpose, up to the present time.”+

There is a living witness to corroborate Judge Law's statement, Mrs. Elizabeth Andre, now in her ninety-third year. She told the writer, May 7, 1902, that she, in company with the late L. L. Watson and Mr. Vital Bouchie, now living, took their first communion in the first church built here, and describes it as built of posts or upright slabs, and further stated that this old church was used up to the time of the erection of the present cathedral. She describes the entrance to the church as facing the river; said that sometimes there were long intervals between the visits of the priests; that she remembers when two came, having walked and carried their packs on their backs a long distance; and remembers Father Flaget as the first bishop to come to Vincennes. She seems bright in intellect and memory as ever, and says that her recollection of incidents in her early years is as clear as it ever was much better than it is of incidents happening fifty years ago.

* Hist. Knox County, p. 236. | Law's Hist. Vincennes, p. 15.

The foregoing statements indicate definitely that the present cathedral has had but one preceding church.

There was no regular supply of the church here until Congress, at the petition of Bishop Carroll indorsed by President Washington, passed an act giving an annuity to the church of $200. Then the Bishop appointed Reverend John Francis Rivet, who arrived here in May, 1795. His first official act recorded was the baptism of Antoinette Rous, May 3, 1795, when he signed the record “Rivet prete missionary.” He continued here until 1804. Then there appears to have been no regularly stationed priest here for about a period of about two years. Those who officiated remained here but a short time and were attached to missions in Illinois, or to the diocese of Kentucky. M. Flaget, having been consecrated Bishop of Bardstown, Ky., revisited Vincennes in 1814, and again in 1819, 1823 and 1832

*. He was the first bishop who served at Vincennes. He died in Louisville in February, 1850. The See of Vincennes was erected in 1833 and Reverend Simon G. Brute was consecrated October 28, 1834, at St. Louis, and took up his residence at Vincennes.* As his field of labor was very extensive and his flocks scattered over a vast. extent of territory, there being only two priests under his jurisdiction, and they two hundred and twenty-five miles


* Hist. Knox County, p. 29).

apart, he addressed his first pastoral letter from St. Louis after his elevation, that being the only way he could reach his members. He died in 1839, leaving a distinguished iecord as a Christian gentleman and a popular bishop, and was buried in the crypt of the church. Bishop Brute was succeeded by Bishop Celestin Reno Laureant Gyner de le Hailandiere, in 1839, who resigned in 1847. He was succeeded by John Stephen Bazin in 1847, who died April 23, 1848, after a brief episcopate of six months. Bishop Isaac Maurice de Long d'Assac de St. Palais was appointed to this diocese in 1849. It then comprised the whole State, including about fifty churches and a Catholic population of about 30,000. Bishop St. Palais was an efficient and popular bishop. During his episcopate the diocese was divided, and one at Fort Wayne erected, embracing about one-half of the State. He died in 1877. Francis Silas Chatard, the fifth bishop, succeeded to this diocese and was consecrated bishop in Rome, May, 1878, by Cardinal Franchi. Up to this time the bishop's residence had been at Vincennes and his parishoners here were much, concerned to know whether the new bishop would continue it or not. As this had been the battleground for the success and advancement of the church for more than a century and a half, they felt a just pride in claiming priority of domicile for their bishop and had good reasons for supposing that this city would become his home. But such was not to be, and sacred ties, consecrated by sweet memories of the past, were to be rent asunder for public policy through the inexorable changes of time and prog

He was installed in office by Archbishop Purcell, of Cincinnati, in August, 1878. The brief changing the


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style of the diocese from Vincennes to Indianapolis was dated March 28, 1878, but was not promulgated until April 20, 1898. The news of the change was received with grief by his parishoners here, but was loyally accepted by them.

St. Xavier Cathedral has for its rector the Reverend Louis Gueguen, R. D., a most estimable gentleman and Christian, and the Reverend Frederick Berget, an eloquent young preacher, as his assistant.

St. John's German Catholic Church, a branch of St. Xavier, was constituted in 1851, and had for its pastor Reverend Nicholas Stauber, who erected a brick house for worship in the same year on a beautiful square between Eighth and Ninth streets, on Main, the same in recent years being remodeled and enlarged under the supervision of the second pastor, Reverend A. Mertz, who faithfully administered unto his parishoners for more than forty years and up to his death. Reverend Meinrad Fleischman, the present pastor, succeeded him.

The prosperity and status of the Catholic Church may be judged by the following statistics gleaned from the reports of its official records for the year 1900, of the Church in the State: Bishops, 2; priests, 353; churches, 302; Catholic population, 184,388.


The first missionary work done in this State by the Presbyterian Church occurred in the years 1804, 1805 and 1806, by the Reverends Samuel Runnels, Samuel D. Robinson, James McGrady and Thomas Clelland, members of the Transylvania Presbytery of Kentucky. In 1805 the

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