University Press of America, 2003
Roman Catholicism has historically played a minor role in the life of the Old North State. North Carolina’s first known Catholic family dates only from 1775, the first parishes were not established until 1829, and on the eve of the Civil War the Catholic population totaled just six hundred. North Carolina was the last state in the nation to receive its own diocese, a development that occurred in 1924 with the establishment of the Diocese of Raleigh. As if to symbolize architecturally the status of Tar Heel Catholicism, Raleigh’s Sacred Heart Cathedral is to this day the smallest Catholic cathedral in America.