Timeline 1948 – Present

Bishop Gerow moves the Diocese of Natchez to Jackson, Mississippi.
A new Catholic high school, Cathedral High School, is built on North Pine Street (now Martin Luther King Street).
The school on the corner of Main and Union Streets is sold to and demolished by a commercial developer.
December 18: The name of the Diocese of Natchez is changed to the Diocese of Natchez-Jackson.
Vatican II is summoned by Pope John XXIII.
December 2: Bishop Gerow dies and on the same day Bishop Joseph B. Brunini is appointed bishop of Natchez-Jackson by Pope Paul VI.
March 1: The name of the Diocese of Natchez-Jackson is changed to the Diocese of Jackson.
June 6: The name of St. Mary Cathedral was changed to St. Mary Church.
April 11: Bishop William Russell Houck is appointed bishop of Jackson by Pope John Paul II.
February 28: Straight line winds damaged many buildings in Natchez. Several pinnacles on St. Mary's were toppled, and others were weakened. Under the leadership of Father Alfred Camp, the parish decided on a complete renovation of the exterior and interior of the church.
Extensive work on the exterior of the church began.
September 25: St. Mary Church is designated a minor basilica by Pope Paul II.
A capital campaign, Bishop Chanche's Vision helped fund a complete restoration of the interior of the church by Conrad Schmitt Studios of Berlin, Wisconsin.
The interior of St. Mary's Basilica is restored by Conrad Schmitt Studios of Berlin, Wisconsin.
January 3: Monsignor Joseph Nunzio Latino is appointed bishop of Jackson by Pope John Paul II.
March 7: Monsignor Latino is ordained bishop.
The remains of Bishop Van de Velde, second bishop of Natchez, are exhumed from the cemetery at St. Stanislaus Novitiate, Florissant, Missouri, and reinterred in Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.
August: In accordance with his wishes to be buried in Natchez, the remains of Bishop John J. Chanche, S.S., and his sister, Mary Marcelline Chanche Edwards, are exhumed from the Cathedral Cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland, and transferred to Natchez for reinterment. The marble monument marking his gravesite in Baltimore is dismantled and sent to Natchez to stand over their new resting place on the grounds of St. Mary Basilica.
January 19: William Henry Cardinal Keeler, Archbishop Emeritus of Baltimore, Maryland, presides as main celebrant over the reinterment of Bishop John Joseph Chanche, S.S.

Sources: St. Mary’s of Natchez: The History of a Southern Catholic Congregation, 1716-1988, Vols. I & II, by Charles E. Nolan, Ph.D., 1992. Catholic Hierarchy Website.

Lithograph on stone - St. Mary Cathedral