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Founded in 1850, St. Joseph’s Co-Cathedral is the first French-Canadian national parish in the country, established to serve the spiritual needs of French-speaking Canadian Catholic immigrants. Growth of the congregation and emigration into what is now known as Burlington’s Old North End neighborhood fueled plans to build a new church. Designed in 1883 by Rev. Josep Michaud, a self-taught architect from Montreal, the new church was designed in a grand Baroque style that bears a resemblance to a chapel built under the reign of King Louis XIV located at the Palace of Versailles. The new structure took four years to complete, relying greatly upon the construction labor and financial sacrifices of its parishioners, many of whom were of modest means. Dedicated on Easter Sunday in 1887, St. Joseph’s remains the largest church in Vermont with the capacity to seat more than 1,200 worshipers.