The Basilica Shrine of St. Mary, Wilmington

4.7
#6 of 9 in Historic Sites in Wilmington
The Basilica Shrine of St. Mary is a Minor Basilica in the Catholic Church located in Wilmington, North Carolina, in the Diocese of Raleigh. It was included as a contributing property in the Wilmington Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
Its historic main church is of the Spanish Baroque style. It was designed by Spanish architect Rafael Guastavino, who is known for his work on the Biltmore Estate, Basilica of St. Lawrence, and Duke Chapel. The church was constructed without wooden or steel beams and without nails, instead using brick tile.
Wilmington’s Roman Catholic origins are with the 1820 organization of the Charleston Diocese in South Carolina under Bishop John England. He visited Wilmington regularly from 1821 to 1843. On January 1, 1845, the Rev. Thomas Murphy (1806–1863) was appointed Pastor of the Congregation of Wilmington, North Carolina. Under his supervision, the Church of St. Thomas the Apostle was built and completed in 1847. The Church was named a pro-cathedral when Cardinal James Gibbons took up residence as Vicar Apostolic of North Carolina in 1868. St. Thomas Church closed in 1966 and the parish merged with St. Mary Parish. The former church building is now known as Saint Thomas Preservation Hall.
Plan your visit to The Basilica Shrine of St. Mary and a wealth of other attractions, well-known and undiscovered, using our Wilmington trip planner .
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The Basilica Shrine of St. Mary Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
33 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • The building is brick but very attractive. Nice stained glass windows. I went twice so far. Both priests have accents, and I found that my mind wandered a little bit during mass and the sermons. The p...  more »
  • Was interested in the construction of the structure. All brick, no iron/wood, etc. Completely self contained with brick. Incredible! Great history, granted Basilica status. Beautiful inside. It was op...  more »
Google
  • Beautiful church located in the historic downtown area. I attend service there and enjoy the fellowship.
  • Lovely church and mass. Love to go here when we're visiting.

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