Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception -- Natchitioches LA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 31° 45.671 W 093° 05.257
15R E 491702 N 3513968
Quick Description: The Church of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Natchitoches LA was built beginning in 1857 and finished in 1892. It was proclaimed a Minor Basilica by Papal Decree in January 2010
Location: Louisiana, United States
Date Posted: 1/21/2015 11:40:35 AM
Waymark Code: WMN8YW
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Dorcadion Team
Views: 0

Long Description:
From the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception website: (visit link)

"Established 1728.
Consecrated as a Cathedral 1854.
Elevated to the Status of Minor Basilica 2010.

What is a Minor Basilica?

A Minor Basilica is a Church of historical and architectural value which has "particular importance for the liturgical and pastoral life" of some place. In essence, it is the Pope's Church in some place around the world. Minor Basilicas are specifically tasked with celebrating the feasts of the liturgical year with great care and attention. "The word of God is to be diligently proclaimed either in homilies or in special sermons. The active participation of the faithful is to be promoted both in the eucharistic celebration and in the celebration of the liturgy of the hours."

On numerous days of the year, "The faithful who devoutly visit the basilica and within it participate in any sacred rite or at least recite the Lord's Prayer and the profession of faith may obtain a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions."

In addition to excellence in the fostering of the Sacred Liturgy, Minor Basilicas are to be places of instruction in the Catholic Faith and evangelization.

All of these mammoth tasks are certainly beyond any priest. They are the universal work of the Church! For this reason, all the faithful of the parish are encouraged to be an active part of the mission of the Minor Basilica.

* Citations taken from the official text governing Minor Basilicas, Domus Ecclesiae.

So why a "Minor" Basilica?

Well, there are only four Major Basilicas: St. Peter's, St. John Latteran, St. Mary Major and St. Paul Outside the Walls. These four Churches are particularly connected to the Pope in history and in practice. All other Basilicas are thus "Minor" Basilicas."

From the Diocese of Alexandria website, more history: (visit link)


The Minor Basilica in beautiful, historic Natchitoches, Louisiana is one seven proto-parishes established by His Excellency Bishop S. Jacobs. The parish began as a small chapel to Fort St. Jean Baptiste under the patronage of St. Francis.

When the Diocese of Natchitoches was established on July 29, 1853, the Church was reestablished as a Cathedral by it's new bishop, August Marie Martin. When the Diocesan See was transferred to Alexandria in August of 1910, the Church's status reverted to a parish.

The history of the current Parish dates back to the early 1700s. The present Church at Church and Second Streets in Natchitoches was built in 1857 and completed in 1892. The front vestibule was added in 1955 and in 1992 a project to restore the church to its 1892 grandeur was begun and ended with a re-dedication in 1996. On January 10, 2010, the church was dedicated a Minor Basilica, the second to be named in Louisiana after St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans.

Many of the fixtures inside the church were imported from European Christendom. French and German arts are evident in the hand-painted Stations of the Cross and the magnificent stained glass, respectively. Bishop Augustus Aloysius Martin (+ Sept, 1875), late Bishop of Natchitoches, is buried in the church along with his first Vicar General.

The primary lay ministry of the Minor Basilica is St. Marys Catholic School.

The clergy of the parish provide for the spiritual lives of the faithful according to the traditions of the Catholic Church, both ancient and new. Devotions are prayed before daily Masses and Confessions are heard before all Weekend Masses. First Friday devotions and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament are offered in honor of our Lord's Sacred Heart. Spiritual programs ranging from scripture study to missions are ongoing.

The Basilica is open to the public from 6am to 6pm on weekdays. The Parish Gift Shop & Museum is open from 10a to 2p M-F and from 10a to 4p on Saturdays.

All in all, the historic Basilica of the Immaculate Conception remains a place of living and vibrant faith. All are most welcome!"
Date the Church was built, dedicated or cornerstone laid: 1/1/1857

Age of Church building determined by?: Church website

If denomination of Church is not part of the name, please provide it here: Roman Catholic

If Church is open to the public, please indicate hours: From: 8:00 AM To: 8:00 PM

If Church holds a weekly worship service and "all are welcome", please give the day of the week: Sunday

Indicate the time that the primary worship service is held. List only one: 10:00 AM

Street address of Church:
145 Church St
Natchitoches , LA

Primary website for Church or Historic Church Building: [Web Link]

Secondary Website for Church or Historic Church Building: [Web Link]

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Benchmark Blasterz visited Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception -- Natchitioches LA 1/22/2015 Benchmark Blasterz visited it