During this week, when we celebrate all things Irish on St. Patrick's Day, it seems fitting to pay tribute to a local landmark named for Ireland's patron saint: St. Patrick's Church. Located in the 700 block of Camp Street, the church dates to 1840, but the church parish (the city's second-oldest) was established in 1833. At that time, the area was known as Faubourg St. Marie and was home to a large number of Irish immigrants and new American citizens. Bishop Antoine Blanc supported the construction of a new church for these English-speaking Catholics who until then only could attend Mass (celebrated in French) at St. Louis Cathedral.
The church's first pastor, Father James Mullon, worked closely with architects Charles and James Dakin in designing the Gothic-style church, complete with an 185-foot tower. The church features beautiful stained glass windows as well as several large murals (including one of St. Patrick) behind the main altar. It suffered severe damage in Hurricane Betsy in 1965 but was restored and declared a National Historic Landmark in 1975.