Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
Saints Peter and Paul Parish, founded in 1870, is the oldest parish for the French-speaking Catholics in the Diocese of Portland. For the French Canadians who began arriving in Lewiston in the mid-19th century, the Catholic church was, next to the family, the focal point of life. Under the guidance of the Church, virtually every spiritual, social, recreational, and educational need was taken care of.
These French Canadians who immigrated south looking for work in the Lewiston mills were proud, strong, and hard working people. Below is the timeline of how Saints Peter and Paul evolved.
The history of Saints Peter and Paul parish isn't just the chronicle of an old church, but of the amazing faith of the French immigrants whose struggles, patience, and great generosity built it. It reflects an aspect of the immigrant experience played out over and over again across the United States. In this way, the history of Saints Peter and Paul is an invaluable chapter on the history of this nation.