St. John Cathedral circa 1870 photo by UL Lafayette Archives Collection
St. John’s Cathedral located at 515 Cathedral Street in Downtown Lafayette, was originally called lEglise St. Jean du Vermilion or St. John of Vermilion.
Situated on land donated by Jean Mouton, the donation provided that it be named St. John, and that it face the courthouse. The current majestic structure is actually the third church situated on the site.
St. John’s Cathedral is the mother church of the Catholic Diocese of Lafayette, which diocese was founded in 1918 when several SW Louisiana parishes were carved out of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.
Father William Teurlings began planning for the new church when he was named pastor of St. John in 1906.
Construction started in 1913 and on June 27, 1916, Auxiliary Bishop Jean Marius Laval blessed the completed church and not long after, the Church of St. John was elevated to the rank of a Cathedral.
Construction on the third St. Jean of Vermilion started in 1913. On June 27, 1916, Auxiliary Bishop Jean Marius Laval blessed the completed church and not long after, the Church of St. John was elevated to the rank of a Cathedral.
As an aside, Father Teurlings was a beloved priest who rode his horse around to provide comfort and solace to the dying. He later served as pastor of St. Genevieve Church in Lafayette.