Mass was first celebrated in this area in 1849 by the oblates of Mary Immaculate. This church building was completed ten years later. Father Peter Yves Keralum designed the structure, which features Gothic Revival styling. The rectory was the site of the first Texas oblate seminary and served as a haven for priests fleeing revolutions in Mexico. Immaculate Concepcion first became a Cathedral in 1874 when bishop Dominic Manucy lived here. The designation was not granted again until 1965, when Brownsville was named the seat of the newly formed diocese.