The Basilica of Saint Mary
July 22, 2017
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The Basilica of Saint Mary
We are located on Hennepin Avenue between 16th & 17th Streets in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Phone: 612.333.1381
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· Weekly Newsletter
  January 16, 2014
· Parish Bulletin
  December 27, 2013
· BASILICA Magazine
  December 6, 2013
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The Beginnings

Listed are a few events in the history of the Catholic community in Minnesota leading to the building of The Basilica.

1655 A log chapel was built on Prairie Island, just north of present-day Red Wing, Minnesota. Two explorers, Groseilliers and Radisson, performed the duties of lay missionaries.

1680 On July 4, 1680, Belgian explorer and missionary Father Louis Hennepin, traveling down the Mississippi River by canoe, came upon a waterfall that he named the Falls of St. Anthony. That area east of the Mississippi became known as the village of St. Anthony. In 1872 this village merged with the city that developed on the west bank, becoming what is now the city of Minneapolis.

1727 A second log church was built on the western shore of Lake Pepin within Fort Beauharnois. It is believed that the first Catholic Mass in what is now Minnesota was celebrated there.

1732 A third log church was erected in Fort St. Charles located on the southern shore of the narrow arm of Lake of the Woods.

1841 The Reverend Lucien Galtier, who had been appointed first resident pastor in Minnesota in 1840, built a log chapel dedicated to St. Paul on Bench Street in what is now downtown St. Paul. It served as the first cathedral of the Diocese of St. Paul.

1842 The fifth church built in Minnesota was named for St. Peter. It is still standing in what is now Mendota.

1851 The First Church of St. Anthony was completed in the "upper town" of the town of St. Anthony. Later, in 1872, this area was incorporated as part of the city of Minneapolis.

1861 St. Anthony's growing congregation required a new and larger church. By July 21, 1861, the Second Church of St. Anthony had been built of limestone at Ninth Avenue and Main Street in what is Northeast Minneapolis today.

1868 The first Catholic church west of the Mississippi River was built, considered to be the direct forerunner of The Basilica of Saint Mary. Called the "Shed Church" because of its simple design, it was located at Third Street and Third Avenue North. It was an extension built behind the school for Roman Catholic children living on the river's west bank. The parish was named Immaculate Conception and the Shed Church is considered the first church building of the Immaculate Conception parish.

1873 On New Year's Day, the second Church of the Immaculate Conception was dedicated. Built of limestone in the Gothic Revival style on the same lot, it was much more substantial than the Shed Church it replaced.

1908 The cornerstone was laid for the Cathedral of St. Paul at Selby and Dayton Avenues.

1908 The cornerstone was laid for the Pro-Cathedral at Sixteenth Street and Hennepin Avenue. 



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