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Shrines and Holy Places
Mississipi

St. Mary's Basilica Our Lady of Sorrows

107 South Union Street
Natchez, MS 39120-3354
601-445-5617

The Spaniards conquered the Natchez area in 1779. A Spanish Catholic Church, San Salvador was erected in 1788.

In 1793 Natchez became part of the Diocese of Louisiana. Natchez Catholics maintained their own community without a resident priest from 1798 - 1839.
The Diocese of Natchez, with responsibility for the entire state of Mississippi, was established in 1837 with Bishop John J. Chanche as its' first bishop in 1841. One year later he started construction of St Mary's Cathedral. The church was dedicated on December 25, 1843 but took another 40 years to be completed. It was consecrated on September 19, 1886 and remained the Cathedral of the Diocese until 1977.

The three marble, communion rail, Episcopal chair, and screens are in Carrara marble. They were fashioned for St. Mary in Italy in Gothic style and were installed in 1930. A new altar of celebration and pulpit were installed in 1991.
Twelve of its beautiful stained glass windows, by Tyroler Glassmalerie, Innsbruch ( Germany ), were installed between 1884 - 1893, and four, by Emil Frei, St Louis, Missouri, were installed in 1961.

On September 8, 1998, St Mary was designated as a Minor Basilica and was formally dedicated as a Minor Basilica on September 25, 1999.

A complete exterior and interior renovation was completed June 2, 2002 .

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