|Birth: ||Oct. 11, 1792|
|Death: ||Jun. 20, 1860|
The Fifth Bishop and First Archbishop of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Monsignor Antoine Blanc's tenure was during a time of growth in the city, which he matched with the most rapid church expansion in the history of New Orleans. More new parishes were established in New Orleans during his episcopacy than at any other time.
A native of Sury-le-Comtol, near Lyons, France, he attended the Seminary at Lyons and was ordained to the priesthood on July 22, 1816, at 23 years of age. Arriving in North America at Annapolis, Maryland in 1817, he went to the Louisiana Territory to begin his work in order to establish missions there.
After years working as a missionary, principally in the territories of Mississippi and Louisiana, and as parish priest at Pointe Coupée and then in Baton Rouge, Father Blanc was appointed co-administrator of the Diocese of New Orleans.
In 1831 he was promoted to vicar general by Bishop de Neckère. In June 1835, Blanc was appointed the latter's Successor following his death from yellow fever at the early age of 33. He received his episcopal consecration on November 22, 1835 from Bishop Joseph Rosati CM., assisted by Bishop Michael Portier and Archbishop John Baptist Purcell.
Blanc's jurisdiction included the states of Louisiana and Mississippi, to which Texas was added in 1838. Later the territory was reduced when the Diocese of Mississippi was established. In 1853 the Diocese of Natchitoches was founded in the northern part of Louisiana. Growth in New Orleans and the region took all of Blanc's attention.
In 1850, the Diocese of New Orleans was raised to an Archbishopric and Blanc was promoted to archbishop. St. Louis church was established as a cathedral.
Inviting the Jesuits and Lazarites to Louisiana to establish Seminaries for the training of priests, he also invited the Redemptorists and the Christian Brothers. He also wanted to establish convents and schools for girls and invited the Sisters of Charity, the Sisters of Notre Dame, the Good Shepherd Sisters, and the Congregations of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and of the Holy Cross. These new communities of Catholic workers helped the communities and took care of their populations during epidemics and other trials. Blanc also devoted resources and attention to the lives of enslaved people. The new religious also supported the new congregations of English-speaking American migrants and Irish immigrants who had become established in New Orleans and the states since the Louisiana Purchase. By 1832, New Orleans had grown to be the fourth-largest city in the nation after New York, Philadelphia and Boston.
Blanc died in 1860 in New Orleans while still in office, aged 67, and was buried in the sanctuary of the cathedral on June 22, 1860, the second bishop to be buried there. The Archbishop Antoine Blanc Memorial at 1100 Chartres Street was named in his honor and holds the archives of the archdiocese.
Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Louis King of France
Plot: Sanctuary Vaults.
Created by: Eman Bonnici
Record added: Dec 08, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 62689073