Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
Parish established in 1703 by John-Baptiste del la Croix, Bishop of Québec, while Mobile served as capital of Louisiana. Oldest religious congregation of any denomination in Alabama and the Mississippi River Valley. Rev. Henry Rolleaux, first pastor. Present church, constructed 1835-1850, is third parish church, built by Michael Portier, first Bishop of Mobile (1826-1859). Portico added 1870. Bell Towers 1890. Stained glass windows 1910. Cathedral designated a Minor Basilica by Pope John XXIII in 1962. Crypt Chapel for deceased bishops 1964.
Archdiocese of Mobile
At various times part of the Dioceses of Québec, Santiago (Cuba), and Louisiana and the Floridas. Michael Portier, born in France, first Bishop (1826-1859). Original diocesan territory included all of present day Alabama and Florida. From 1858-1968 included all of Alabama and Florida Panhandle. Diocese established first schools and orphanage in Mobile, and first institution of higher learning in Alabama (Spring Hill College). Named an archdiocese in 1980. Today includes all Catholic parishes in southern 28 counties of Alabama.