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The parish of St. Francis Xavier is the oldest congregation in Indiana. About 1732 a French officer, the Sieur de Vincennes, established a fort on the banks of the Wabash River. Around the fort grew up a settlement of French Canadian fur traders and Piankeshaw Indians. As early as 1734 the settlement was visited by Jesuit missionary priests. The first resident pastor, Fr. Sebastian Meurin, S.J., came in May, 1748. The first church was small, of upright posts fixed in the ground, with mud daubing and a bark roof. Parish records begin April 21, 1749
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