From the Ground Up: Exploring Cathedral

Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist

Learn about the heart of Lafayette Parish!

The Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist has been in existence for one hundred and ninety-seven years, and during this time, Cathedral has seen its ups and downs. In the early 1800s, Jean Mouton Sr. brought his friend, Father Barrière, to say mass for his family in his home. Jean Mouton Sr. then decided to donate land for the first church of Vermilionville to be built on because of the popularity of these masses. Fr. Barrière was assigned to be the first pastor of the church (The Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, 4). The people of Vermilionville loved him and they were sad to see him go.

Father Foltier took over just before the Civil War. During the Civil War, he tried to protect the church as best as he could but there was no stopping the Union soldiers from setting up camp on the church grounds. The church was slowly being destroyed by the Union soldiers. Many priests had come and gone, but the next one to do an extraordinary amount of work for the parish was Father Forge. He beautified the old church, but his work was ruined by a hurricane. Fr. Teurlings made plans with a Dutch architect to build an extravagant church. These plans would take $200,000 to construct (The Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, 20). This was not feasible so Fr. Teurlings met with another architect to scale back the original plan. The church was finished in 1916.