The Catholic Church is the earliest known Christian presence in Utah, with the 1776 expedition through Utah from Santa Fe of Fathers Dominguez and Escalante. However, it was not until 1850 that the Holy See in Rome placed any kind of ecclesiastical responsibility for the Territory. The first known mass in Utah took place in July 1859 at Camp Floyd.
With the beginning of mining in Utah in 1863 and the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869, Utah received an influx of members of various faiths, including Catholics. To serve these members, Catholic church buildings were constructed where the highest Catholic population bases were, railroad towns and mining settlements.