Arriving: First Catholics

As we celebrate the history of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Jackson and the state of Mississippi, we can trace its clear links to definitive milestones in the nation’s history, as well. It also tells a story of cultural and ethnic diversity that characterizes Mississippi Catholics today.

The first Masses offered in that part of the New World that would later be the state of Mississippi were probably conducted as early as 1519 by Catholic priests traveling with Spanish explorers along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.