Saint Mary Magdalen Catholic Church has been serving the residents of Abbeville, Louisiana, for more than a century.
Father Antoine Desire Megret was the pastor of the Catholic church in neighboring Lafayette. He purchased a large piece of land in the southern part of the city from Joseph LeBlanc, in July 1843.
The following year, Megret laid the foundation of Abbeville on the newly purchased land. The town was then known as Abbville. LeBlanc's home was converted into a chapel and dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalen, a favorite saint of the Acadian descendants of southern Louisiana. The church was named Saint Mary Magdalen of Abbville.
The chapel became too cramped for the growing local community. Hence, a larger church was built and consecrated in May 1884. St. Mary Magdalen's parish was officially incorporated as The Congregation of St. Mary Magdalen Roman Catholic Church in May 1896.
St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church was hit twice by fire. The first incident destroyed the rectory and the church records in February 1854. Hence, the current parish records begin during that year.
The second fire, in March 1907, destroyed the church and the attached presbytery. A frame building was put up as a temporary replacement.
The new Saint Mary Magdalen Catholic Church was built and consecrated in 1911. That church stands today, serving in both religious and social ways.