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Henry Pratte

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Name  Henry Pratte

The Reverend Henry Platte (1788-1 September 1822) was the first native Catholic priest of what is now the State of Missouri in the United States.

Pratte was born in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, founded as a settlement of French Louisiana, the son of John-Baptiste Sylvester Pratte by his second wife Teresa. He was sent to the Collège Saint-Raphaël in Montreal to complete his education, where he later entered the Grand Séminaire de Montréal to prepare for Holy Orders. He was ordained there, most likely by the Bishop of Quebec, Joseph-Octave Plessis.

Pratte returned to his hometown, where the pastor, the Rev. Joseph Maxwell, had died while he was away. He was appointed pastor of the town in 1817 by the Rev. Louis Dubourg, S.S., Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Louisiana and the Two Floridas, which covered all the former Spanish and French territory by then within the United States. That same year, Pratt welcomed Bishop Benedict Joseph Flaget, and two Italian Vincentian priests, Felix de Andreis and Joseph Rosati, whom Dubourg had recruited to work in his vast diocese. He then accompanied them to St. Louis, where they were traveling to welcome Dubourg, who was returning from Europe after having been consecrated a bishop.

Pratt returned to his post in Ste. Genevieve, where, in addition to his pastoral duties, he worked to revive the school he had himself attended, Ste. Genevieve Academy, which his predecessor had founded. To this end, he petitioned Dubourg for the assignment of one of the Brothers of the Christian Schools who had come with the bishop from France. One, Brother Antonin, was assigned to teach at the Academy, becoming the first member of his religious institute to teach in the United States.

Pratte died in Ste. Genevieve from yellow fever on 1 September 1822.

References

Henry Pratte Wikipedia


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