For over a century, St. Charles Parish was predominantly Catholic. Capuchin missionary priests from France serving the Church of St. Charles were relentless in their pursuit of converting settlers in the colony. The first church to appear was a tiny chapel named St. Jean des Allemands, built in 1723 near present-day Killona and attended by Capuchin priests. St. Jean predated the St. Louis Cathedral and was one of Louisiana’s earliest churches. Unfortunately that church is no longer in existence. Tradition holds that in 1740 the church parish was relocated to the east bank and renamed St. Charles. A log church served parishioners for many years until it burned in 1806. A new wood-framed church painted red replaced it in 1806 and became known as “The Little Red Church.” Historians believe that in 1770 General Alexander O’Reilly expropriated a large plot of river frontage for the Germans to be used for a church and cemetery. A new Catholic church was established in 1868 as L’Eglise Notre Dame du Rosaire Chapel in Taft (Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church). An arsonist set the St. Charles Church rectory on fire in 1877 and most of the church records dating back to colonial times were destroyed. Holy Rosary established many mission chapels: St. Anthony of Padua, a mission in 1877, became a chapel in 1902, and a church parish in 1961; St. Mark, in 1898 in Ama, became a church parish in 1974; St. Gertrude the Great, in Des Allemands in 1900, became a church parish in 1955; St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Paradis was established in 1970. Holy Family Catholic Church, first established as a mission chapel of St. Anthony of Padua in 1978, became a church parish in 1980. St. Charles Borromeo Church Parish also established mission chapels. St. Isidore the Farmer was established as a mission chapel in 1924 in Montz. Sacred Heart of Jesus was established as a mission chapel of Borromeo in 1942 and became a church parish in July 1959. Holy Rosary was relocated from Taft to Hahnville in 1965. Hurricane Betsy destroyed St. Isidore Chapel in 1965. The first Protestant church was established in 1859, altering 136 years of Catholic Church domination in St. Charles Parish.
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