Texans love their history and their state – this is a fact. Yet we learned a little bit of early Texas history in Louisiana today.
Who knew – the first capital of Tejas (Spanish Texas) was in present day Louisiana. Yes, all my Texas friends, that is correct. How did Cajuns come to know Texas history? We went to Mass at The Church of St. Anne near Robeline, LA.
The origins of the church began in 1716 with the founding of San Miguel de Los Adaes Mission near present day Robeline. The mission was expanded in 1721 to Presidio Nuestra Senora del Pilar de Los Adaes. In 1729 this became the first capital of Spanish Texas and remained for almost fifty years. This area was important because of its proximity to French Louisiana. Once Spain gained ownership of Louisiana, border control was no longer important. Los Adaes was officially closed in 1773 and the Spanish residents were ordered to San Antonio.
Not all Spaniards left and the ones remaining stayed strong to their faith. They relocated the church to the Shamrock area where it stayed until 1886. Then it was moved six miles north and renamed St. Joseph. The church burned and was rebuilt in 1916 and named the Church of St. Anne.
Today’s church may be small both in structure and parishioners, yet it holds a place of honor in the community. The parish is as important today as it was in the 1700s as it is the Mother Church of Caddo Adai Indians. The structure is listed on the National Register of Historical Places.
When traveling, history is sometimes learned in unexpected places. Thank you Fr. John Pardue and the parishioners of St. Anne’s.