|The Most Reverend
|Roman Catholic Archbishop of New Orleans|
|Church||Roman Catholic Church|
|Archdiocese||Archdiocese of New Orleans|
|See||Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans|
|Installed||19 June 1835|
|Term ended||20 June 1860|
|Predecessor||Leo-Raymond de Neckere CM|
|Successor||Jean-Marie Odin CM|
|Ordination||22 July 1816
by Cardinal Joseph Fesch
|Consecration||22 November 1835
by Joseph Rosati CM
11 October 1792|
Sury-le-Comtal, Rhône-et-Loire, France
|Died||20 June 1860
New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
|Buried||St. Louis Cathedral,
New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Antoine Blanc (11 October 1792 – 20 June 1860) was the fifth Bishop and first Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans. His tenure, during which the diocese was elevated to an archdiocese, was at a time of growth in the city, which he matched with the most rapid church expansion in the history of New Orleans. More new parishes were established in New Orleans under his episcopacy than at any other time.
Early life and education
Antoine Blanc was born in Sury, near Sury-le-Comtal, then in the Department of Rhône-et-Loire, France. He attended the seminary at Sury-le-Comtal and was ordained in 1816, arriving in North America at Annapolis, Maryland in 1817. He went to the Louisiana Territory to begin working to establish missions there.
After years working as a missioner, principally in the territories of Mississippi and Louisiana, and as parish priest of St. Francis Church in Pointe Coupée (and its mission chapels in the Felicianas and the Plains on the east side of the Mississippi River) and then at St. Joseph Church in Baton Rouge, Father Blanc was appointed by Bishop de Neckère to assist in the administration of the diocese of New Orleans.
In 1827, Antoine Blanc, Armand Duplantier, Fulwar Skipwith, Thomas B. Robertson and Sebastien Hiriart received permission from the state legislature to organize a corporation called the Agricultural Society of Baton Rouge.
In 1831, he was promoted to vicar-general by Bishop de Neckère. In November 1835, Blanc was appointed bishop to succeed de Neckère after his death. Blanc's jurisdiction included the states of Louisiana and Mississippi, to which Texas was added in 1838. Later the territory was reduced when the diocese of Mississippi was established. In 1853 the diocese of Natchitoches was founded in the northern part of Louisiana. Growth in New Orleans and the region took all of Blanc's attention.
In 1850 the diocese of New Orleans was raised to an archdiocese, and Blanc became its first archbishop. St. Louis Cathedral remained its cathedral.
Monsignor Blanc invited the Jesuits and Lazarites to Louisiana to establish seminaries for the training of priests. He also invited the Redemptorists and the Christian Brothers. He also wanted to establish convents and schools for girls and invited the Sisters of Charity, the Sisters of Notre Dame, the Good Shepherd Sisters, and the congregations of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and of the Holy Cross. These new communities of Catholic workers helped the communities and took care of their populations during epidemics and other trials. Blanc also devoted resources and attention to the lives of enslaved people. The new religious also supported the new congregations of English-speaking American migrants and Irish immigrants who had become established in New Orleans and the states since the Louisiana Purchase. By 1832 New Orleans had grown to be the fourth-largest city in the nation after New York, Philadelphia, and Boston.
The crisis of a yellow fever epidemic resulted in fatalities of 5% of the population of New Orleans.
Blanc died in 1860 in New Orleans while still in office.
Legacy and honors
Blanc's institution building during the rapid growth of New Orleans and the states resulted in the number of churches increasing from 26 to 73, and of priests from 27 to 92. Under his leadership many schools, academies, colleges, convents, and asylums were established.
- The Archbishop Antoine Blanc Memorial at 1100 Chartres Street was named in his honor, and holds the archives of the archdiocese.
- The Archbishop Antoine Blanc Assembly # 2047 of the Knights of Columbus, located in New Roads, LA is named in his honor.
- "Anthony Blanc". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
- A general digest of the acts of the legislature of Louisiana, Vol II accessed 1 July 2012
- "New Orleans, Louisiana", Catholic Encyclopedia, accessed 14 Jul 2008
- Nolan, Charles E. A History of the Archdiocese of New Orleans