St. Francis Xavier Cathedral (Alexandria, Louisiana)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
St. Francis Xavier Cathedral
St. Francis Xavier Cathedral - Alexandria, Louisiana 01.JPG
St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in 2014
St. Francis Xavier Cathedral (Alexandria, Louisiana) is located in Louisiana
St. Francis Xavier Cathedral (Alexandria, Louisiana)
31°18′44.3″N 92°26′52.1″W / 31.312306°N 92.447806°W / 31.312306; -92.447806Coordinates: 31°18′44.3″N 92°26′52.1″W / 31.312306°N 92.447806°W / 31.312306; -92.447806
Location626 Fourth St.
Alexandria, Louisiana
CountryUnited States
DenominationRoman Catholic Church
Consecrated30 November 1899
Architect(s)Nicholas J. Clayton
StyleLate Gothic revival
Beaux Arts
Groundbreaking1895 (1895)
MaterialsBrick, pine[1]
DioceseAlexandria in Louisiana
Bishop(s)Sede Vacante
RectorRev. James A. Ferguson
Vicar(s)Rev. Bob Garrione
Deacon(s)Richard Mitchell
St. Francis Xavier Cathedral Complex
Area2 acres (0.81 ha)
NRHP reference #84001353
Added to NRHP29 March 1984[2]

St. Francis Xavier Cathedral is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Alexandria, located in Alexandria, Louisiana.

The cathedral was added to the National Register of Historic Places on 29 March 1984. The complex includes the cathedral building, St. Francis Academy (erected in 1897), and the rectory (erected in 1896 and renovated in 1930).[1]


Cathedral interior

The old parish church of Saint Francis was constructed in 1817.[3] It was the only building in Alexandria spared during the American Civil War. As the Union army pulled out of the town during the disastrous Red River Campaign, Father J. P. Bellier disguised his voice to impersonate that of General Nathaniel Banks, the Union commanding officer, and ordered the troops to spare the church.[3] His plan succeeded and the building was saved.

The old building burned down in 1895. Efforts to rebuild a church started immediately. The foundation stone was laid down on 3 December 1895. Designed in Gothic revival style by Nicholas J. Clayton[citation needed], the new church was dedicated on 30 November 1899, the first brick church in the city. In 1907, a belfry was added, and the clock was installed in 1908.[1]

Because of the newly constructed church and Alexandria's central location, Bishop Cornelius Van de Ven petitioned the Roman Curia to transfer the seat of the diocese from Natchitoches to Alexandria. Pope Pius X created the suffragan Diocese of Alexandria on 6 August 1910. St. Francis Xavier Church was elevated to the rank of cathedral of the newly created diocese.[1][3]

The current bishop of Alexandria is Sede Vacante, and the rector of the cathedral is Father James A. Ferguson.


The cathedral's rose windows are the largest in the state.[citation needed] The cathedral boasts a 3-manual, 48-rank Reuterpipe organ inaugurated in 2004.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "About the Cathedral". St. Francis Xavier Cathedral. Retrieved June 2, 2010.
  2. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  3. ^ a b c "Welcome to St. Francis Xavier Cathedral". Diocese of Alexandria. Retrieved June 2, 2010.


External links[edit]