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The first Catholic Parish on the Gulf coast was established at Mobile in 1703, one year after the founding of Mobile. In 1704, Father Henri Roulleaux De la Vente was canonically installed as the first pastor of the Church of Fort Louis de la Louisiane (Mobile). When the City of Mobile was relocated to its present site in 1711, the Parish Church was rebuilt on the West side of Royal street just North of Conti Street, under the patronage of Our Lady of Mobile. It was in 1781, in Mobile's Spanish period, that the parish received its present title “Church of the Immaculate Conception.”

When bishop Michael Portier became the First Bishop of Mobile in 1829, he set out to build a Cathedral befitting the name.

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Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception

March 18, 2020

To the Members and Friends of Cathedral Parish:

     As of today, all Masses and worship services of any kind have been discontinued throughout the Archdiocese of Mobile through April 5, along with all parish meetings, activities and other ministries.  Not being able to come to Mass and receive Holy Communion will especially be a hardship for many of us, but a necessary step to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.  We are being asked to forego receiving the Eucharist out of love for neighbor, particularly the neighbors most vulnerable among us.

     We will continue to offer sacramental confession during the usual times Monday through Saturday but ask everyone to make their confession behind the screen instead of face-to-face.  The church will be unlocked during the day during the times it usually is to allow for private prayer.  The Cathedral Parish office will continue to be open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Please contact us about those who are sick, homebound or in the hospital or for anything else you might need.

     While we cannot receive the Eucharist sacramentally for the next few weeks, we can make what is traditionally called a “spiritual Communion.”  Here is the traditional prayer one prays in making a spiritual Communion:
     “My Jesus, I believe that You are in the Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I long for You in my soul. Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As though You have already come, I embrace You and unite myself entirely to You; never permit me to be separated from You. “

     While certainly not an obligation, watching Mass on television or on the internet is a way of staying close to the Eucharist as is reading the Sunday and/or daily Mass readings which are available in our bulletin on-line and from a variety of sources.

     Many individuals, businesses and institutions will be affected economically by this necessary isolation caused by the COVID-19 virus.  Cathedral Parish will be among them.  Most of our income comes from the collections at daily and Sunday Mass. Most of our bills will still need to be paid (utilities, salaries, insurance and the like).  I understand that some will have less income themselves and will be less able to give to the church.  But if that is not your situation, please continue to be sacrificially generous by mailing your contributions to Cathedral Parish or by using on-line giving available on our website:  www.cathedralmobile.org.  I thank you in advance for your generosity.

     Finally, please pray for those who are or who will be most affected by this pandemic, particularly for all who are and will be infected, and those who care for them.  Please know that you will be in my prayers.

Sincerely Yours in Christ Jesus,

Father Bill
Rev. Msgr. William J. Skoneki, V.G.

I found this to be a particularly thoughtful and challenging reflection on our current situation:

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