This Nov. 7, 2011 photo shows the Rev. Bakhos Chidiac, pastor of St. Rafka Maronite Church of Lakewood, Colo., saying mass in Arabic at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Byzantine Catholic Church in Albuquerque, N.M. Archdiocese of Santa Fe officials believe the Catholic Mass in Arabic was the first in New Mexico's history. As war, the economy and persecution by Muslim extremists push Arab Christians and religious minorities out of the Middle East, the refugees and immigrants are quietly introducing their ancient ceremonies in small pockets across the U.S. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Roman Catholics begin a yearlong celebration Saturday marking the 175th anniversary of the Diocese of Nashville.
Bishop David Choby will lead a Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Mary of the Seven Sorrows. St. Mary was the cathedral for the diocese from 1847 to 1914.
The celebration will continue with a monthly mass in some of the oldest churches across the diocese and conclude with a larger celebration in September 2013.
The diocese, when created in 1837, included all of Tennessee. In 1971, the territory west of the Tennessee River became the Diocese of Memphis. In 1988, the eastern part of the state became the Diocese of Knoxville.
According to a news release from the Diocese of Nashville, it was among the first 20 dioceses created in the United States.
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