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St. Gabriel Roman Catholic Church is perhaps one of the oldest churches in the Louisiana Purchase Territory and one of the oldest wooden churches along the Mississippi River. Tradition sets the date of the formation of the parish in 1761. According to the 1972 National Register nomination form, the Capuchin Vicar General, Father Dagobert, directed that a church be established in 1769, and tradition has it that the church building was completed in that same year.
The first baptism record available for the St. Gabriel Church is dated April 22, 1773, and the first marriage record is from January 1, 1773. They were recorded by Father Angelus de Revillagodas, a Spanish Capuchin who was at the church at Donaldsonville, a few miles down the Mississippi River. It was not until August 1779, that the French Capuchin, Father Valentin, became the first resident pastor. Two later prominent pastors were Father Cyril de la Croix, pastor from 1859 to 1865, who founded the first Conference of the Society of St.Vincent de Paul in the South, and Bishop Jean Marius Laval, who was at St. Gabriel from 1884 to 1890.
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May 28th, 2013
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