Help support New Advent and get the full contents of this website as an instant download. Includes the Catholic Encyclopedia, Church Fathers, Summa, Bible and more all for only $19.99...
ARCHDIOCESE OF NEW ORLEANS (NOVÆ AURELIÆ).
Erected 25 April, 1793, as the Diocese of Saint Louis of New Orleans; raised to its present rank and title 19 July, 1850. Its original territory comprised the ancient Louisiana purchase and East and West Florida, being bounded on the north by the Canadian line, on the west by the Rocky Mountains and the Rio Perdito, on the east by the Diocese of Baltimore, and on the south by the Diocese of Linares and the Archdiocese of Durango. The present boundaries include the State of Louisiana, between the twenty-ninth and thirty-first degree of north latitude, an area of 23,208 square miles. The entire territory of Louisiana has undergone a series of changes which divides its history into four distinct periods.
The discoverers and pioneers, De Soto, Iberville, La Salle, Bienville, were accompanied by missionaries in their expeditions through the Louisiana Purchase, and in the toilsome beginnings of the first feeble settlements, which were simply military posts, the Cross blazed the way. From the beginning of its history, Louisiana had been placed under the Bishop of Quebec; in 1696 the priests of the seminary of Quebec petitioned the second Bishop of Quebec for authority to establish missions in the west, investing the superior sent out by the seminary with the powers of vicar-general. The field for which they obtained this authority (1 May, 1698), was on both banks of the Mississippi and its tributaries. They proposed to plant their first mission among the Tamarois, but when this became known, the Jesuits claimed that tribe as one already under their care; they received the new missionaries with personal cordiality, but felt keenly the official action of Bishop St-Vallier, in what they regarded as an intrusion. Fathers Jolliet de Montigny, Antoine* Davion, and François Busion de Saint-Cosme were the missionaries sent to found the new missions in the Mississippi Valley. In 1699 Iberville, who had sailed from France, with his two brothers Bienville and Sauvolle, and Father Du Ru, S.J., coming up the estuary of the Mississippi, found Father Montigny among the Tensus Indians. Iberville left Sauvolle in command of the little fort at Biloxi, the first permanent settlement in Louisiana. Father Bordenave was its first chaplain, thus beginning a long line of zealous parish priests in Louisiana.
In 1703, Bishop St-Vallier proposed to erect Mobile into a parish, and to annex it in perpetuity to the seminary; the seminary agreed, and the Parish of Mobile was erected 20 July, 1703; and united to the Seminary of Foreign Missions of Paris and Quebec. Father Roulleaux de la Vente, of the Diocese of Bayeaux, was appointed parish priest and Father Huve his assistant. The Biloxi settlement being difficulty of access from the sea, Bienville thought it unsuitable for the headquarters of the province. In 1718, taking with him fifty men, he selected Tchoutchouma, the present site of New Orleans, about 110 miles from the mouth of the Mississippi, where there was a deserted Indian village. Bienville directed his men to clear the grounds and erect buildings. The city was laid out according to the plans of the Chevalier Le Blond de La Tour, chief engineer of the colony, the plans including a parish church, which Bienville decided to dedicate under the invocation of St. Louis. The old St. Louis cathedral stands today on the site of this first parish church, and the presbytery in Cathedral Alley is the site of the first modest clergy house. Bienville called the city New Orleans after the Duc d'Orléans, and the whole territory Louisiana, or New France.
In August, 1717, the Duc d'Orléans, as Regent of France, issued letters patent establishing a joint-stock company to be called "The Company of the West", to which Louisiana was transferred. The company was obliged to build churches at its own expense wherever it should establish settlements; also to maintain the necessary number of duly approved priests to preach, perform Divine service and administer the sacraments under the authority of the Bishop of Quebec. Bienville experienced much opposition from the Company of the West in his attempt to remove the colony from Biloxi. In 1721 Fr. Francis-Xavier de Charlevoix, S.J., one of the first historians of Louisiana, made a tour of New France from the Lakes to the Mississippi, visiting New Orleans, which he describes as "a little village of about one hundred cabins dotted here and there, a large wooden warehouse in which I said Mass, a chapel in course of construction and two storehouses". But under Bienville's direction the city soon took shape, and, with the consent of the company, the colony was moved to this site in 1723. Father Charlevoix reported on the great spiritual destitution of the province occasioned by the missions being scattered so far apart and the scarcity of priests, and this compelled the council of the company to make efforts to improve conditions. Accordingly, the company applied to the Bishop of Quebec, and on 16 May, 1722, Louisiana was divided into three ecclesiastical sections. The district north of the Ohio was entrusted to the Society of Jesus and the Priests of the Foreign Missions of Paris and Quebec; that between the Mississippi and the Rio Perdito, to the Discalced Carmelite Fathers with headquarters at Mobile. The Carmelites were recalled, not long after, and their district was given to to Capuchins.
A different arrangement was made for the Indian and new French settlements on the lower Mississippi. Because of the remoteness of this district from Quebec, Father Louis-François Duplessis de Mornay, a Capuchin of Meudon, was consecrated, at Bishop St-Vallier's request, coadjutor Bishop of Quebec, 22 April, 1714. Bishop St-Vallier appointed him vicar-general for Louisiana, but he never came to America, although he eventually succeeded to the See of Quebec. When the Company of the West applied to him for priests for the lower Mississippi Valley he offered the more populous field of colonists to the Capuchin Fathers of the province of Champaigne, who, however, did not take any immediate steps, and it was not until 1720 that any of the order came to Louisiana. Father Jean-Matthieu de Saint-Anne is the first whose name is recorded. He signs himself in 1720 in the register of the parish of New Orleans. The last entry of the secular clergy in Mobile is that of Rev. Alexander Huve, 13 January, 1721. The Capuchins came directly from France and consequently found application to the Bishop of Quebec long and tedious; Father Matthieu therefore applied to Rome for special power for fifteen missions under his charge, representing that the great distance from the Bishop of Quebec made it practically impossible for him to apply to the Bishop. A brief was really issued (Michael a Tugio, "Bullarium Ord. FF. Minor. S.P. Francisci Capucinorum", Fol. 1740-52; BLI., pp. 322, 323), and Father Matthieu seems to have assumed that it exempted him from episcopal jurisdiction, for, on 14 March, 1723, he signs the register "Père Matthieu, Vicaire Apostolique et Curé de la Mobile".
In 1722 Bishop Mornay entrusted the spiritual jurisdiction of the Indians to the Jesuits, who were to establish missions in all parts of Louisiana with residence at New Orleans, but were not to exercise any ecclesiastical function there without the consent of the Capuchins, though they were to minister to the French in the Illinois District, with the Priests of the Foreign Missions, where the superior of each body was a vicar-general, just as the Capuchin superior was at New Orleans. In the spring of 1723 Father Raphael du Luxembourg arrived to assume his duties as superior of the Capuchin Mission in Louisiana. It was a difficult task that the Capuchins had assumed. Their congregations were scattered over a large area; there was much poverty, suffering, and ignorance of religion. Father Raphael, in the cathedral archives, says that when he landed in New Orleans he could hardly secure a room for himself and his brethren to occupy pending the rebuilding of the presbytery, much less one to convert into a chapel; for the population seemed indifferent to all that savoured of religion. There were less than thirty persons at Mass on Sundays; yet, undismayed, the missionaries set to work and saw their zeal rewarded with a greater reverence for religion and more faithful attendance at church. In 1725 New Orleans had become an important settlement, the Capuchins having a flock of six hundred families. Mobile had declined to sixty families, the Apache Indians (Catholic) numbered sixty families. There were six at Balize, two hundred at St. Charles or Les Allemandes, one hundred at Point Coupée, six at Natchez, fifty at Natchitoches and the other missions which are not named in the "Bullarium Capucinorum" (Vol. VIII, p. 330).
The founder of the Jesuit Mission in New Orleans was Father Nicolas-Ignatius de Beaubois, who was appointed vicar-general for his district. He visited New Orleans and returned to France to obtain Fathers of the Society for his mission. Being also commissioned by Bienville to obtain sisters of some order to assume charge of a hospital and school, he applied to the Ursulines of Rouen, who accepted the call. The royal patent authorizing the Ursulines to found a convent in Louisiana was issued 18 September, 1726. Mother Mary Trancepain of St. Augustine, with seven professed nuns from Rouen, Le Havre, Vannes, Ploermel, Hennebon, and Elboeuf, a novice, Madeline Hauchard, and two seculars, met at the infirmary at Hennebon on 12 January, 1727, and, accompanied by Fathers Tartarin and Doutreleau, set sail for Louisiana. They reached New Orleans on 6 August to open the first convent for women within the present limits of the United States of America. As the convent was not ready for their reception, the governor gave up his own residence to them. The history of the Ursulines from their departure from Rouen through a period of thirty years in Louisiana, is told by Sister Madeline Hauchard in a diary still preserved in the Ursuline convent in New Orleans, and which forms, with Father Charlevoix's history, the principal record of those early days. On 7 August, 1727, the Ursulines began in Louisiana the work which has since continued without interruption. They opened a hospital for the care of the sick and a school for poor children, also an academy which is now the oldest educational institution for women in the United States. The convent in which the Ursulines then took up their abode still stands, the oldest conventual structure in the United States and the oldest building within the limits of the Louisiana Purchase. In 1824 the Ursulines removed to the lower portion of the city, and the old convent became first the episcopal residence and then the diocesan chancery.
Meanwhile Father Mathurin le Petit, S.J., established a mission among the Chocktaws; Father Du Poisson among the Arkansas; Father Doutreleau, on the Wabash; Fathers Tartarin and Le Boulenger, at Kaskaskia; Father Guymonneau among the Metchogameas; Father Souel, among the Yazoos; Father Baudouin, among the Chickasaws. The Natchez Indians, provoked by the tyranny and rapacity of Chopart, the French commandant, in 1729 nearly destroyed all these missions. Father Du Poisson and Father Souel were killed by the Indians. As an instance of the faith implanted in the Iroquois about this time there was received into the Ursuline order at New Orleans, Mary Turpin, daughter of a Canadian Father and an Illinois mother. She died a professed nun in 1761, at the age of fifty-two, with the distinction of being the first American-born nun in this country. From the beginning of the colony at Biloxi the immigration of women had been small. Bienville made constant appeals to the mother country to send honest wives and mothers. From time to time ships freighted with girls would arrive; they came over in charge of the Grey Nuns of Canada and a priest, and were sent by the king to be married to the colonists. The Bishop of Quebec was also charged with the duty of sending out young women who were known to be good and virtuous. As a proof of her respectability, each girl was furnished by the bishop with a curiously wrought casket; they are known in Louisiana history as "casket girls". Each band of girls, on arriving at New Orleans, was confided to the care of the Ursulines until they were married to colonists able to provide for their support. Many of the best families of the state are proud to trace their descent from "casket girls".
The city was growing and developing; a better class of immigrant was pouring in, and Father Charlevoix, on his visit in 1728, wrote to the Duchesse de Lesdiguières: "My hopes, I think, are well founded that this wild and desert place, which the reeds and trees still cover, will be one day, and that not far distant, a city of opulence, and the metropolis of a rich colony." His words were prophetic; New Orleans was fast developing, and early chronicles say that it suggested the splendours of Paris. There was a governor with a military staff, bringing to the city the manners and splendour of the Court of Versailles, and the manners and usages of the mother country stamped on Louisiana life characteristics in marked contrast to the life of any other colony. The Jesuit Fathers of New Orleans had no parochial residence, but directed the Ursulines, and had charge of their private chapel and a plantation where, in 1751, they introduced into Louisiana the culture of the sugar-cane, the orange, and the fig. The Capuchins established missions wherever they could. Bishop St-Vallier had been succeeded by Bishop de Mournay, who never went to Quebec, but resigned the see, after five years. His successor, Henri-Marie Du Breuil de Pontbriand, appointed Father de Beaubois, S.J., his vicar-general in Louisiana. The Capuchin Fathers refused to recognize Father de Beaubois's authority, claiming, under an agreement of the Company of the West with the coadjutor bishop, de Mornay, that the superior of the Capuchins was, in perpetuity, vicar-general of the province, and that the bishop could appoint no other. Succeeding bishops of Quebec declared, however, that they could not, as bishops, admit that the assent of a coadjutor and vicar-general to an agreement with a trading company had forever deprived every bishop of Quebec to act as freely in Louisiana as in any other part of his diocese. This incident gave rise to some friction between the two orders which has been spoken of derisively by Louisiana historians, notably by Gayarré, as "The War of the Capuchins and the Jesuits". The archives of the diocese, as also the records of the Capuchins in Louisiana, show that it was simply a question of jurisdiction, which gave rise to a discussion so petty as to be unworthy of notice. Historians exaggerate this beyond all importance, while failing to chronicle the shameful spoilation of the Jesuits by the French Government, which suddenly settled the question forever.
In 1761 the Parliaments of several provinces of France had condemned the Jesuits, and measures were taken against them in the kingdom. They were expelled from Paris, and the Superior Council of Louisiana, following the example, on 9 July, 1763, just ten years before the order was suppressed by Clement XIV, passed an act suppressing the Jesuits throughout the province, declaring them dangerous to royal authority, to the rights of the bishops, and to the public safety. The Jesuits were charged with neglecting their mission, with having developed their plantation, and with having usurped the office of vicar-general. To the first charge the record of their labours was sufficient refutation; to the second, it was assuredly to the credit of the Jesuits that they made their plantation so productive as to maintain their missionaries; to the third the actions of the bishops of Quebec in appointing the vicar-general and that of the Superior council itself in sustaining him was the answer. Nevertheless, the unjust decree was carried out, the Jesuits' property was confiscated, and they were forbidden to use the name of their Society or to wear their habit. Their property was sold for $180,000. All their chapels were levelled to the ground, leaving exposed even the vaults where the dead were interred. The Jesuits were ordered to give up their missions, to return to New Orleans and to leave on the first vessel sailing for France. The Capuchins forgetting their differences interfered on behalf of the Jesuits; and finally their petitions unavailing went to the river bank to receive the returning Jesuits, offered them a home alongside their own, and in every way showed their disapproval of the Council's action. The Jesuits deeply grateful left the Capuchins all the books they had been able to save from the spoilation.
Father Boudoin, S.J., the benefactor of the colony, who had introduced the culture of sugar-cane and oranges from San Domingo, and figs from Provence, a man to whom the people owed much and to whom Louisiana today owes so much of its prosperity, alone remained. He was now seventy-two years old and had spent thirty-five in the colony. He was broken in health and too ill to leave his room. They dragged him through the streets when prominent citizens intervened and one wealthy planter, âtienne de Boré, who had first succeeded in the granulation of sugar, defied the authorities and took Father Boudoin to his home and sheltered him until his death in 1766. The most monstrous part of the order of expulsion was that, not only were the chapels of the Jesuits in lower Louisiana many of which were the only places where Catholics, whites and Indians, and negroes, could worship God levelled to the ground, but the Council carried out the decree even in the Illinois district which had been ceded to the King of England and which was no longer subject to France or Louisiana. They ordered even the vestments and plate to be delivered to the king's attorney. Thus was a vast territory left destitute of priests and altars, and the growth of the Church retarded for many years. Of the ten Capuchins left to administer this immense territory, five were retained in New Orleans; the remainder were scattered over various missions. It is interesting to note that the only native Louisiana priest at this time, and the first to enter the holy priesthood, Rev. Bernard Viel, born in New Orleans 1 October, 1736, was among the Jesuits expelled from the colony. He died in France, 1821. The inhabitants of New Orleans then numbered four thousand.
In 1763 Louisiana was ceded to Spain, and Antonia Ulloa was sent over to take possession. The colonists were bitterly opposed to the cession, and finally rose in arms against the governor, giving him three days in which to leave the town. (See LOUISIANA.) The Spanish Government resolved to punish the parties which had so insulted its representative, Don Ulloa, and sent Alexander O'Reilly to assume the office of governor. Lafrénière, President of the Council, who chiefly instigated the passing of the decree against the Jesuits from the colony, and the rebellion against the Government, was tried by court martial and with six of his partners in his scheme, was shot in the Palace d'Armes. O'Reilly reorganized the province after the Spanish model. The oath taken by the officials shows that the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was then officially recognized in the Spanish dominions. "I __________ appointed __________ swear before God . . . to maintain . . . the mystery of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady, the Virgin Mary."
The change of government affected ecclesiastical jurisdiction. The Province of Louisiana passed under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Santiago de Cuba, the Right Rev. James José de Echeverría, and Spanish Capuchins began to fill the places of their French brethren. Contradictory reports reached the new bishop about conditions in Louisiana and he sent Father Cirilo de Barcelona with four Spanish Capuchins to New Orleans. These priests were Fathers Francisco, Angel de Revillagades, Louis de Quitanilla, and Aleman. They reached New Orleans, 19 July, 1773. The genial ways of the French brethren seemed scandalous to the stern Spanish disciplinarian, and he informed the Bishop of Cuba concerning what he considered "lax methods of conduct and administration". Governor Unzaga, however, interfered on behalf of the French Capuchins, and wrote to the bishop censuring the Spanish friars. This offended the bishop and both referred the matter to the Spanish Court. The Government expressed no opinion, but advised the prelate and governor to compromise, and so preserve harmony between the civil and ecclesiastical authorities. Some Louisiana historians, Charles Gayarré among others, speak of the depravity of the clergy of that period. These charges are not borne out by contemporary testimony; the archives of the cathedral witness that the clergy performed their work faithfully. These charges as a rule sprang from monastic prejudices or secular antipathies. One of the first acts of Father Cirilo as pastor of the St. Louis Cathedral was to have the catechism printed in both French and Spanish.
The Bishop of Santiago de Cuba resolved to remedy the deplorable conditions in Louisiana, where confirmation had never been administered. In view of his inability to visit this distant portion of his diocese, he asked for the appointment of an auxiliary bishop, who would take up his abode in New Orleans, and thence visit the missions on the Mississippi as well as those in Mobile, Pensacola, and St. Augustine. The Holy See appointed Father Cirilo de Barcelona titular bishop of Tricali and auxiliary of Santiago. He was consecrated in Cuba in 1781 and proceeded to New Orleans where for the first time the people enjoyed the presence of a bishop. A saintly man, he infused new life into the province. The whole of Louisiana and the Floridas were under his jurisdiction. According to official records of the Church in Louisiana in 1785, the church of St. Louis, New Orleans, has a parish priest, four assistants; and there was a resident priest at each of the following points: Terre aux Boeufs, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, St. James, Ascension, St. Gabriel's at Iberville, Point Coupee, Attakapas, Opelousas, Natchitoches, Natchez, St. Louis, St. Genevieve, and at Bernard or Manchac (now Galveston). On 25 November, 1785, Bishop Cirilo appointed as parish priest of New Orleans Rev. Antonio Ildefonso Morenory Arze de Sedella, one of the six Capuchins who had come to the colony in 1779. Father Antonio (popularly known as "Père Antoine*") was destined to exert a remarkable influence in the colony. Few priests have been more assailed by historians, but a careful comparison of the ancient records of the cathedral with the traditions that cluster about his memory show that he did not deserve on the one hand the indignities which Gayarré and Shea heap upon him, nor yet the excessive honours with which tradition had crowned him. From the cathedral archives it has been proven that he was simply an earnest priest striving to do what he thought his duty amid many difficulties.
In 1787 a number of unfortunate Acadians came at the expense of the King of France and settled near Plaquemines, Terre aux Boeufs, Bayou Lafourche, Attakapas, and Opelousas, adding to the already thrifty colony. They brought with them the precious register of St. Charles aux Mines in Acadia extending from 1689 to 1749 only six years before their cruel deportation. They were deposited for safe keeping with the priest of St. Gabriel at Iberville and are now in the diocesan archives. St. Augustine being returned to Spain by the treaty of peace of 1783, the King of Spain made efforts to provide for the future of Catholicism in that ancient province. As many English people had settled there and in West Florida, notably at Baton Rouge and Natchez, Charles III applied to the Irish College for priests to attend to the English-speaking population. Accordingly Rev. Michael O'Reilly and Reverend Thomas Hasset were sent to Florida. Catholic worship was restored, the city at once resuming its own old aspect. Rev. William Savage, a clergyman of great repute, Rev. Michael Lamport, Rev. Gregory White, Rev. Constantine Makenna, Father Joseph Denis, and a Franciscan with six fathers of his order, were sent to labour in Louisiana. They were distributed through the Natchez and Baton Rouge districts, and were the first Irish priests to come to Louisiana, the pioneers of a long and noble line to whom this archdiocese owes much. In 1787 the Holy See divided the Diocese of Santiago de Cuba, erected the bishopric of St. Christopher of Havana, Louisiana, and the Floridas, with the Right Rev. Joseph de Trespalacios of Porto Rico as bishop, and the Right Rev. Cirilo de Barcelona as auxiliary, with the special direction of Louisiana and the two Floridas. Louisiana thus formed a part of the Diocese of Havana.
Near Fort Natchez the site for a church was purchased on April 11, 1788. The earliest incumbent of whom any record was kept was Father Francis Lennan. Most of the people of Natchez were English Protestants or Americans, who had sided with England. They enjoyed absolute religious freedom, no attempt to proselytize was ever made. On Good Friday, 21 March, 1788, New Orleans was swept by a conflagration in which nine hundred buildings, including the parish church, with the adjoining convent of the Capuchins, the house of Bishop Cirilo and the Spanish School were reduced to ashes. From the ruins of the old irregularly built French City rose the stately Spanish City, old New Orleans, practically unchanged as it exists today. Foremost among the public-spirited men of that time was Don Andreas Almonaster y Roxas, of a noble Andalusian family and royal standard bearer for the colony. He had made a great fortune in New Orleans, and at a cost of $50,000 he built and gave to the city the St. Louis Cathedral. He rebuilt the house for the use of the clergy and the charity hospital at a cost of $114,000. He also rebuilt the town hall and the Cabildo, the buildings on either side of the cathedral, the hospital, the boys' school, a chapel for the Ursulines, and founded the Leper Hospital.
Meanwhile rapid assimilation had gone on in Louisiana. Americans began to make their homes in New Orleans and in 1791 the insurrection of San Domingo drove there many hundreds of wealthy noble refugees. The archives of the New Orleans Diocese show that the King of Spain petitioned Pius VI on 20 May, 1790, to erect Louisiana and the Floridas into a separate see, and on April 9, 1793, a decree for the dismemberment of the Diocese of Havana, Louisiana, and the Provinces of East and West Florida was issued. It provided for the erection of the See of St. Louis of New Orleans, which was to include all the Louisiana Province and the Provinces of East and West Florida. The Bishops of Mexico, Agalopi, Michoacan and Caracas were to contribute, pro rata, a fund for the support of the Bishop of New Orleans, until such time as the see would be self-sustaining. The decree left the choice of a bishop for a new see to the King of Spain, and he on 25 April, 1793, wrote to Bishop Cirilo relieving him of his office of auxiliary, and directing him to return immediately to Catalonia with a salary of one thousand dollars a year, which the Bishop of Havana was to contribute. Bishop Cirilo returned to Havana and seems to have resided with the Hospital Friars, while endeavouring to obtain his salary, so that he might return to Europe. It is not known where Bishop Cirilo died in poverty and humiliation.
The Right Rev. Luis Peñalver y Cárdenas was appointed first bishop of the new See of St. Louis of New Orleans. He was a native of Havana, born 3 April, 1719, and had been educated by the Jesuits of his native city, receiving his degree in the university in 1771. He was a priest of irreproachable character, and a skillful director of souls. He was consecrated in the Cathedral of Havana in 1793. The St. Louis parish church, now raised to the dignity of a cathedral, was dedicated 23 December, 1794. A letter from the king, 14 August, 1794, decreed that its donor, Don Almonaster, was authorized to occupy the most prominent seat in the church, second only to that of the viceregal patron, the intendant of the province, and to receive the kiss of peace during the Mass. Don Almonaster died in 1798 and was buried under the altar of the Sacred Heart.
Bishop Peñalver arrived in New Orleans, 17 July, 1795. In a report to the king and the Holy See he bewailed the indifference he found as to the practice of religious duties. He condemned the laxity of morals among the men, and the universal practice of concubinage among the slaves. The invasion of many persons not of the faith, and the toleration of the Government in admitting all classes of adventurers for purposes of trade, had brought about disrespect for religion. He deplored the establishment of trading posts and of a lodge of French Freemasons, which counted among its members city officials, officers of the garrison, merchants and foreigners. He believed the people clung to their French traditions. He said that the King of Spain possessed "their bodies but not their souls". He declared that "even the Ursuline nuns, from whom good results were obtained in the education of girls, were so decidedly French in their inclination that they refused to admit Spanish women who wished to become members of their order, and many were in tears because they were obliged to read spiritual exercises in Spanish books". It was a gloomy picture he presented, but he set faithfully to work, and on 21 December, 1795, called a synod, the first and only one held in the diocese of colonial New Orleans. He also issued a letter of instruction to the clergy deploring the fact that many of his flock were more than five hundred leagues away, and how impossible it was to repair at one and the same time to all. He enjoined the pastors to walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, and in all things to fulfill their duties. This letter of instruction bearing his signature is preserved in the archives of the diocese, and, with the call for the synod, forms the only documents signed by the first Bishop of New Orleans.
Bishop Peñalver everywhere showed himself active in the cause of educational progress and was a generous benefactor of the poor. He was promoted to the See of Guatemala, 20 July, 1801. Before his departure he appointed, as vicars-general, Rev. Thomas Canon Hasset and Rev. Patrick Walsh, who became officially recognized as "Governors of the Diocese".
Territorially from this ancient see have been erected the Archbishoprics of St. Louis, Cincinnati, St. Paul, Dubuque, and Chicago, and the bishoprics of Alexandria, Mobile, Natchez, Galveston, San Antonio, Little Rock, St. Augustine, Kansas City, St. Joseph, Davenport, Cheyenne, Dallas, Winona, Duluth , Concordia, Omaha, Sioux Falls, Oklahoma, St. Cloud, Bismark, and Cleveland.
Right Rev. Francis Porro y Peinade, a Franciscan of the Convent of the Holy Apostles, Rome, was appointed to succeed Bishop Peñalver. But he never took possession of the see. Some old chronicles in Louisiana say that he was never consecrated; others that he was, and died on the eve of leaving Rome. Bishop Portier (Spalding's "Life of Bishop Flaget"), says that he was translated to the See of Terrazona. The See of New Orleans remained vacant many years after the departure of bishop Peñalver.
In 1798 the Duc d'Orléans (afterwards King Luis-Philippe of France) with his two brothers, the Duc de Montpensier and the Count de Beaujolais, visited New Orleans. They were received with honour, and when Louis-Philippe became King of France he remembered many of those who had entertained him when in exile, and was generous to the Church in the old French province.
By the Treaty of San Ildefonse, the Spanish King on 1 October, 1800, engaged to retrocede Louisiana to the French Republic six months after certain conditions and stipulations had been executed on the part of France, and the Holy See deferred the appointment of a bishop.
On 30 April, 1803, without waiting for the actual transfer of the province, Napoleon Bonaparte by the Treaty of Paris sold Louisiana to the United States. De Laussat, the French Commissioner, had reached New Orleans on 26 March, 1803, to take possession of the province in the name of France. Spain was preparing to evacuate and general confusion prevailed. Very Rev. Thomas Hasset, the administrator of the diocese, was directed to address each priest and ascertain whether they preferred to return with the Spanish forces or to remain in Louisiana; also to obtain from each parish an inventory of the plate, vestments, and other articles in the church which had been given by the Spanish Government. Then came the news of the cession of the province to the United States. On 20 April, 1803, De Laussat formally surrendered the colony to the United States commissioners. The people felt it keenly, and the cathedral archives show the difficulties to be surmounted. Father Hasset, as administrator, issued a letter to the clergy on 10 June, 1803, announcing the new domination, and notifying all of the permission to return to Spain if they desired. Several priests signified their desire to follow the Spanish standard. The question of withdrawal was also discussed by the Ursuline nuns. Thirteen out of the twenty-one choir nuns were in favour of returning to Spain or going to Havana. De Laussat went to the convent and assured them that they could remain unmolested. Notwithstanding this Mother Saint Monica and eleven others, with nearly all the lay sisters applied to the Marquis de Casa Calvo to convey them to Havana. Six choir nuns and two lay sisters remained to begin again the work in Louisiana. They elected Mother St. Xavier Fargeon as superioress, and resumed all the exercises of community life, maintaining their academy, day school, orphan asylum, hospital and instructions for coloured people in catechism. Father Hasset wrote to Bishop Carroll, 23 December, 1803, that the retrocession of the province to the United States of America impelled him to present to his consideration the present ecclesiastical state of Louisiana, not doubting that it would soon fall under his jurisdiction. The ceded province consisted of twenty-one parishes some of which were vacant. "The churches were", to use his own words, "all descent temples and comfortably supplied with ornaments and everything necessary for divine services. . . . Of twenty-six ecclesiastics in the province only four had agreed to continue their respective stations under the French Government; and whether any more would remain under that of the United States only God knew." Father Hasset said that for his own part he felt could not with propriety, relinquish his post, and consequently awaited superior orders to take his departure. He said that the Rev. Patrick Walsh, vicar-general and auxiliary governor of the diocese, had declared that he would not abandon his post providing he could hold it with propriety. Father Hasset died in April 1804. Father Antonio Sedella had returned to New Orleans in 1791, and resumed his duties as parish priest of the St. Louis Cathedral to which he had been appointed by Bishop Cirilo. After the cession a dispute arose between him and Father Walsh, and the latter, 27 March, 1805, established the Ursuline convent as the only place in the parish for the administration of the sacraments and the celebration of the Divine Office. On 21 March, 1804, the Ursulines addressed a letter to Thomas Jefferson, President of the United States, in which they solicited the passage of an Act of Congress guaranteeing their property and rights. The president replied reassuring the Ursulines. "The principles of the Constitution of the United States" he wrote, "are a sure guaranty to you that it will be preserved to you sacred and inviolate, and that your institution will be permitted to govern itself according to its own voluntary rules without interference from the civil authority. Whatever diversity of shades may appear in the religious opinions of our fellow citizens, the charitable objects of your Institution cannot be of indifference to any; and its furtherance of the wholesome purpose by training up its young members in the way they should go cannot fail to insure the patronage of the government it is under. Be assured that it will meet with all the protection my office can give it. "
Father Walsh, administrator of the diocese, died on 22 August, 1806, and was buried in the Ursuline chapel. The Archiepiscopal See of Santo Domingo, the metropolitan of the province, to which the Diocese of Louisiana and the Floridas belonged, was vacant, and not one of the bishops of the Spanish province would interfere in the New Orleans Diocese, though the Bishop of Havana extended his authority once more over the Florida portion of the diocese. As the death of Father Walsh left the diocese without anyone to govern it, Bishop Carroll, who had meanwhile informed himself of the condition of affairs, resolved to act under the decree of 1 Sept., 1805, and assume administration. Father Antoine* had been accused of intriguing openly against the Government; but beyond accusations made to Bishop Carroll there is nothing to substantiate them. He was much loved in New Orleans and some of his friends desired to obtain the influence of the French Government to have him appointed to the Bishopric of Louisiana. However, there is in the archives of the New Orleans cathedral a letter from Father Antoine* to the Bishop of Baltimore declaring that having heard that some members of the clergy and laity had applied to Rome to have him appointed to the Bishopric of Louisiana, he hereby declared to the Bishop of Baltimore that he would not consider the position, that he was unworthy of the honour and too old to do any good. He would be grateful to the bishop if he would cut short any further efforts in that direction.
Bishop Carroll wrote to James Madison, Secretary of State (17 November, 1806) in regard to the Church in Louisiana and the recommending of two or three clergymen one of whom might be appointed Bishop of New Orleans. Mr. Madison replied that the matter being purely ecclesiastical the Government could not interfere. He seemed, however, to share the opinion of Bishop Carroll in regard to the character and rights of Father Antoine. In 1806 a decree of the Propaganda confided Louisiana to the care of Bishop Carroll of Baltimore, and created him administrator apostolic. He appointed Rev. John Olivier (who had been at Cohokia until 1803), Vicar-General of Louisiana and chaplain of the Ursuline Nuns at New Orleans. Father Olivier presented his documents to the Governor of Louisiana, and also wrote to Father Antoine* Sedella apprising him of the action of the Propaganda. Father Antoine* called upon Father Olivier, but he was not satisfied as to Bishop Carroll's authorization. The vicar-general published the decree and the bishop's letter at the convent chapel. The Rev. Thomas Flynn wrote from St. Louis, 8 Nov., 1806, that the trustees were about to install him. He describes the church as a good one with a tolerably good bell, a high altar, and commodious pews. The house for the priest was convenient but in need of repair. Except Rev. Fr. Maxwell there was scarcely a priest in Upper Louisiana in 1807.
As the original rescript issued by the Holy See to Bishop Carroll had not been so distinct and clear as to obviate objections, he applied to the Holy See asking that more ample and distinct authorizations be sent. The Holy See placed the Province of Louisiana under Bishop Carroll who was requested to send to the New Orleans Diocese either Rev. Charles Nerinckx, or some secular or religious priest, with the rank of administrator Apostolic and the rights of an ordinary to continue only at the good will of the Holy See according to instructions to be forwarded by the Propaganda. Bishop Carroll did not act immediately, but on 18 August, 1812, appointed Rev. Louis V. G. Dubourg Administrator Apostolic of the Diocese of Louisiana and the Two Floridas. Dr. Dubourg's authority was at once recognized by Fr. Antoine* and the rest of the clergy. The war between the United States and Great Britain was in progress, and as the year 1814 drew to a close, Dr. Dubourg issued a pastoral letter calling on the people to pray for the success of the American arms. During the battle of New Orleans (8 Jan., 1815) Gen. Andrew Jackson sent a messenger to the Ursuline convent to ask for prayers for his success. When victory came he sent a courier thanking the sisters for their prayers, and he decreed a public thanksgiving; a solemn high Mass was celebrated in the St. Louis Cathedral, 23 January, 1815. The condition of religion in the diocese was not encouraging, seven out of fourteen parishes were vacant. Funds were also needed and Dr. Dubourg went to Rome to ask for aid for his diocese. There the Propaganda appointed him bishop, 18 September, 1818, and on 24 September he was consecrated by Cardinal Joseph Pamfili (see DUBOURG).
Bishop Dubourg proposed the division of the diocese and the erection of a see in Upper Louisiana, but the news of troubles among the clergy in New Orleans and the attempt of the trustees to obtain a charter depriving the bishop of his cathedral so alarmed him that he petitioned the Propaganda to allow him to take up his residence in St. Louis and establish his seminary and other educational institutions there. He sailed from Bordeaux for New Orleans (28 June, 1817), accompanied by five priests, four subdeacons, eleven seminarians and three Christian Brothers. He took possession of the church at St. Genevieve, a ruined wooden structure, and was installed by Bishop Flaget. He then established the Lazarist seminary at Bois Brule ("The Barrens"), and brought from Bardstowm, where they were temporarily sojourning, Father Andreis, Father Rosati, and the seminarians who accompanied him from Europe. The Brothers of the Christian Doctrine opened a boys' school at St. Genevieve. At his request the Religious of the Sacred Heart, comprising Madames Philippe Duchesne, Berthold, André, and two lay sisters reaching New Orleans, 30 May, 1818, proceeded from St. Louis and opened their convent at Florissant. In 1821 they established a convent at Grand Coteau, Louisiana. The faith made great progress throughout the diocese. On 1 January, 1821, Bishop Dubourg held the first synod since the Purchase of Louisiana. Where he found ten superannuated priests there were now forty active, zealous men at work. Still appeals came from all part of the immense diocese for priests; among others he received a letter from the banks of the Columbia in Oregon begging him to send a priest to minister to 1500 Catholics there who had never had anyone to attend to them. The Ursuline Nuns, frequently annoyed by being summoned to court, appealed to the legislature claiming the privileges they had enjoyed under the French and Spanish dominations. Their ancient rights were recognized and a law was passed, 28 January, 1818, enacting that where the testimony of a nun was required it should be taken at the convent by commission. It had a far-reaching effect in later days upon legislation in the United States in similar cases.
Spain by treaty ceded Florida to the United States, 22 February, 1818, and Bishop Dubourg was then able to extend his episcopal care to that part of his diocese, the vast extent of which prompted him to form plans for the erection of a metropolitan see west of the Alleghenies. This did not meet with the approval of the bishops of the United States; he then proposed to divide the Diocese of Louisiana and the Floridas, establishing a see at New Orleans embracing Lower Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. Finally, 13 August, 1822, the vicariate Apostolic of Mississippi and Alabama was formed with the Reverend Joseph Rosati, elected Bishop of Tenagra, as vicar Apostolic. But Archbishop Ambrose Maréchal remonstrated because in establishing this vicariate the propaganda had inadvertently invaded the rights of the Archbishop of Baltimore as the whole of those states except a small portion south of the thirty-first degree between Perdido and Pearl Island belonged to the Diocese of Baltimore. Bishop Rosati also wrote representing the poverty and paucity of the Catholics in Mississippi and Alabama, and the necessity of remaining at the head of the seminary. Finally his arguments and the protests of the Archbishop of Baltimore prevailed, and the Holy See suppressed the vicariate, appointing Dr. Rosati coadjutor to Bishop Dubourg to reside at St. Louis. Bishop Rosati was consecrated by Bishop Dubourg at Donaldsonville, 25 March, 1824, and proceeded at once to St. Louis. In 1823 Bishop Dubourg took up the subject of the Indian missions and laid before the Government the necessity of a plan for the civilization and conversion of the Indians west of the Mississippi. His plan met with the approval of the Government and an allowance of $200 a year was assigned to four or five missionaries, to be increased if the project proved successful.
On 29 August, 1825, Alabama and the Floridas were erected into a vicariate Apostolic, with Rev. Michael Portier the first bishop. The Holy See divided the Diocese of Louisiana (18 July, 1826), and established the See of New Orleans with Louisiana as its diocese, and the Vicariate Apostolic of Mississippi to be administered by the Bishop of New Orleans. The country north of Louisiana was made the Diocese of St. Louis, Bishop Rosati being transferred to that see. Bishop Dubourg, though a man of vast projects and of great service to the church, was little versed in business methods; discouraged at the difficulties that rose to thwart him he resigned his see and was transferred to Mantauban. Bishop Rosati, appointed to the See of New Orleans, declined the appointment, urging that his knowledge of English qualified him to labour better in Missouri, Illinois, and Arkansas, while he was not sufficiently versed in French to address the people of New Orleans with success. On 20 March, 1827, the papal brief arrived allowing him to remain in St. Louis but charging him for a while with the administration of the See of New Orleans. He appointed Rev. Leo Raymond de Neckere, C. M., vicar-general, and strongly recommended his appointment for the vacant see. Father de Neckere, then in Belgium wither he had gone to recuperate his health, was summoned to Rome and appointed bishop. Bishop de Neckere was born, 6 June, 1800, at Wevelghem, Belgium, and while a seminarian at Ghent, was accepted for the Diocese of New Orleans by Bishop Dubourg. He joined the Lazarists and was ordained in St. Louis, Missouri, 13 October, 1822. On 23 February, 1832, he convoked a synod attended by twenty-one priests. Regulations were promulgated for better discipline and steps were taken to form an association for the dissemination of good literature.
Americans were now pouring into New Orleans. The ancient French limits had long since disappeared. Such was the enterprise on all sides that in 1832 New Orleans ranked in importance immediately after New York, Philadelphia, and Boston. It was the greatest cotton and sugar market in the world. Irish emigration also set in, and a church for the English-speaking people was an absolute necessity as the cathedral and the old Ursuline chapel were the only places of worship in New Orleans. A site was bought on Camp Street near Julia, a frame church, St. Patrick's, was erected and dedicated on 21 April, 1833. Rev. Adam Kindelon was the pastor of this, the first English-speaking congregation of New Orleans. The foundation of this parish was one of the last official acts of Bishop de Neckere. The year was one of sickness and death. Cholera and yellow fever raged. The priests were kept busy day and night, and the vicar-general, Father B. Richards and Fathers Marshall, Tichitoli, Kindelon fell victims to their zeal. Fr. de Neckere, who had retired to a convent at Convent, La., in hope of restoring his shattered health, returned at once to the city upon the outbreak of the epidemic, and began visiting and ministering to the plague-stricken. Soon he too was seized with fever and succumbed ten days later, 5 September, 1833. Just before the bishop's death there arrived in New Orleans a priest who was destined to exercise for many years an influence upon the life and progress of the Church and the Commonwealth, Father James Ignatius Mullen; he was immediately appointed to the vacant rectorship of St. Patrick's. Upon the death of Bishop De Neckere, Fathers Anthony Blanc and V. Lavadière, S.J., became the administrators of the diocese. In November, undismayed by the epidemic which still continued, a band of Sisters of Charity set out from Emmitsburg, to take charge of the Charity Hospital of New Orleans. The sisters had come into the diocese about 1832 to assume the direction of the Poydras Asylum, erected by Julian Poydras, a Huguenot. Seven of the new colony from Emmitsburg were sent to the asylum, and ten to the Charity Hospital. Bishop de Neckere had invited the Tertiary Sisters of Mount Carmel to make a foundation in New Orleans, which they did on 22 October, 1833, a convent school and an orphanage being opened.
Father Augustine Jeanjean was selected by Rome to fill the episcopal vacancy, but he declined, and Father Anthony Blanc was appointed and consecrated on 22 November, 1835 (see ANTHONY BLANC). Bishop Blanc knew the great want of the diocese, the need of priests, whose ranks had been decimated by age, pestilence, and overwork. To meet this want, Bishop Blanc asked the Jesuits to establish a college in Louisiana. They arrived on 22 January, 1837, and opened a college at Grand Coteau on 5 January, 1838. He then invited the Lazarists and on 20 December, 1838, they arrived and at once opened a seminary at Bayeaux Lafourche. In 1836, Julian Poydras having died, the asylum which he founded passed entirely under Presbyterian auspices, and the Sisters of Charity being compelled to relinquish the direction, St. Patrick's Orphan Asylum, now New Orleans Female Orphan Asylum was founded and placed under their care.
In 1841 the Sisters Marianites of the Holy Cross came to New Orleans to assume charge of St. Mary's Orphan Boys Asylum. They opened also an academy for young ladies and the orphanage of the Immaculate Conception for girls. The wants of coloured people also deeply concerned Bishop Blanc and he worked assiduously for the proper spiritual care of the slaves. After the insurrection of San Domingo in 1793 a large number of coloured people from that island who were slaveholders themselves took refuge in New Orleans. Thus was created a free coloured population among which successive epidemics played havoc leaving aged and orphans to be cared for. Accordingly in 1842 Bishop Blanc and Father Rousselon, V.G., founded the Sisters of the Holy Family, whose duty was the care of the coloured orphans and the aged coloured poor. It was the first coloured sisterhood founded in the United States and one of the only two that exist.
Bishop Blanc planned the erection of new parishes in the city of New Orleans, and St. Joseph's and the Annunciation were founded in 1844. The foundation of these parishes greatly diminished the congregation of the cathedral and the trustees seeing their influence waning entered upon a new war against religion. Upon the death of Father Aloysius Moni, Bishop Blanc appointed Father C. Maenhaut rector of the cathedral, but the wardens refused to recognize his appointment, claiming the right of patronage formerly enjoyed by the King of Spain. They brought an action against the bishop in the parish court, but the judge decided against the trustees, and the case was appealed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court decided that the right to nominate a parish priest, or the jus patronatus of Spanish law, was abrogated in the state, and the decision of the Holy See was sustained. But the wardens refused to recognize this decision and the bishop ordered the clergy to withdraw from the cathedral and parochial residence. One of the members of the board, who was a member of the city council, obtained the passage of a law, punishing by fine any priest who should perform the burial service over a dead body except in the old mortuary chapel erected in 1826 as part of the cathedral parish. Under this ordinance Rev. Bernard Permoli was prosecuted. The old chapel had long outlived its purpose, and on 18 December, 1842, Judge Preval decided the ordinance illegal, and the Supreme Court of the United States sustained his decision. The faithful of St. Patrick's parish having publicly protested against the outrageous proceedings, the tide of public opinion set in strongly against the men who thus defied all church authority. In January, 1843, the latter submitted and received the parish priest appointed by the bishop. Soon after the faithful Catholics of the city petitioned the legislature to amend the Act incorporating the cathedral, and bring it into harmony with ecclesiastical discipline. Even after the decision of the Legislature the bishop felt he could not treat with the wardens as they defied his authority by authorizing the erection of a monument to Freemasons in the Catholic cemetery of St. Louis. To free the faithful, he therefore continued to plan for the organization of parishes and the erection of new churches. Only one low Mass was said at the cathedral, and that on Sunday. Bishop Blanc convened the third synod of the diocese on 21 April, at which the clergy were warned against yielding to the illegal claims of the trustees, and the erection of any church without a deed being first made to the bishop was forbidden. For the churches in which the trustees system still existed special regulations were made, governing the method of keeping accounts. At the close of 1844, the trustees, defeated in the courts and held in contempt by public opinion throughout the diocese, yielded completely to Bishop Blanc.
The controversy terminated, a period of remarkable activity in the organization of parishes and the building of new churches set in. The cornerstone of St. Mary's, intended to replace the old Ursuline chapel attached to the bishop's house, was laid on 16 Feb., 1845; that of St. Joseph's on 16 April, 1846; that of the Annunciation on 10 May, 1846. The Redemptorists founded the parish of the Assumption, and were installed in its church on 22 October, 1847. The parish of Mater Dolorsa at Carrollton (then a suburb) was founded on 8 Sept.; that of Holy Name of Mary at Algiers on 18 Dec., 1848. In 1849 St. Stephen's parish in the then suburb of Bouligny under the Lazarist Fathers and Sts. Peter and Paul came into existence. The cornerstone of the Redemptorists church of St. Alphonsus was laid by the famous Apostle of Temperance, Father Theobald Mathew, on 11 April, 1850; two years later it was found necessary to enlarge this church, and a school was added. In 1851 the foundation-stone of the church of the Immaculate Conception was laid, on the site of a humbler edifice erected in 1848. This is said to have been the first church in the world dedicated to the Immaculate Conception. The parishes of St. John the Baptist in uppertown and of St. Anne in the French quarter were organized in 1852.
The French congregation of Notre-Dame de Bon Secours was organized on 16 Jan., 1858. In the midst of great progress yellow fever broke out and five priests and two Sisters of Charity swelled the roll of martyrs. The devoted services of the Sisters of Charity, especially during the ravages of the yellow fever, in attending the sick and caring for the orphans were so highly appreciated by the Legislation that in 1846 the State made them a grant of land near Donaldsonville for the opening of a novitiate, and a general subscription was made throughout the diocese for this purpose. The sisters established themselves in Donaldsonville the same year.
In 1843, anxious to provide for the wants of the increasing German and Irish immigration, Bishop Blanc had summoned the Congregation of the Redemptorists to the diocese and the German parish of St. Mary's Assumption was founded by Rev. Czackert of that congregation. In 1847 the work of the Society of Jesus in the diocese, which had been temporarily suspended, was resumed under Father Maisounabe as superior, and a college building was started on 10 June. In the following year Father Maisounabe and a brilliant young Irish associate, Father Blackney, fell victims to yellow fever. The population of New Orleans now numbered over fifty thousand, among whom were many German immigrants. Bishop Blanc turned over the old Ursuline chapel to the Germans of the lower portion of the city, and a church was erected which finally resulted in the foundation of the Holy Trinity parish on 26 October, 1847. In 1849 the College of St. Paul was opened at Baton Rouge. On 13 July, 1852, St. Charles College became a corporate institution with with Rev. A. J. Jourdan, S.J., as president. In 1849 Bishop Blanc attended the seventh council of Baltimore at which the bishops expressed their desire that the See of New Orleans be raised to metropolitan rank. On 19 July, 1850, Pius X established the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Bishop Blanc being raised to the Archiepiscopal dignity. The Province of New Orleans was to embrace New Orleans with Mobile, Natchez, Little Rock, and Galveston as suffragan sees. The spirit of Knownothingism invaded New Orleans as other parts of the United States, and Archbishop Blanc found himself in the thick of the battle. Public debates were held, conspicuous among those who did yeoman service in crushing the efforts of the party in Louisiana being Hon. Thos. J. Semmes, a distinguished advocate, Rev. Francis Xavier Leray and Rev. N. J. Perche, both afterwards Archbishop of New Orleans. Father Perche founded (1844) a French diocesan journal "Le Propagateur Catholique", which vigorously assailed the Knownothing doctrines. On June 6 a mob attacked the office of the paper, and also made a fierce attack on the Ursuline convent, breaking doors and windows and hurling insults at the nuns.
In 1853 New Orleans was decimated by the worst outbreak of yellow fever in its history, seven priests and five sisters being among its victims. On 6 March, 1854, the School Sisters of Notre Dame arrived in New Orleans to take charge of St. Joseph's Asylum, founded to furnish homes for those orphaned by the epidemic. St. Vincent's Orphan Asylum was also opened as a home for foundling and infant orphans, and entrusted to the Sisters of Charity. On 29 July, 1853, the Holy See divided the Diocese of New Orleans, which at that time embraced all of Louisiana, and established the See of Natchitoches. The new diocese contained about twenty-five thousand Catholics, chiefly a rural population, for whom there were only seven churches. The Convent of the Sacred Heart at Natchitoches was the only religious institution in the new diocese. In 1854 Archbishop Blanc went to Rome and was present at the solemn definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. In his report to Propaganda he describes his diocese as containing forty quasi-churches, each with a church and one or two priests and a residence for the clergy; the city had eighteen churches. The diocese had a seminary under the Priests of the Mission with an average of nine students; the religious orders at work were the Jesuits with three establishments, Priests of the Mission with three, and the Redemptorists with two. The Catholic population of 95,000 was made up of natives of French, Spanish, Irish, or American origin, French, Germans, Spaniards, and Italians. Distinctive Catholic schools were increasing. The Ursulines, Religious of the Sacred Heart, Sisters of Holy Charity, Marianites of the Holy Cross, Tertiary Carmelites, School Sisters of Notre Dame and the Coloured Sisters of the Holy Family were doing excellent work. Many abuses had crept in especially with regard to marriage, but after the erection of the new churches with smaller parochial school districts, religion had gained steadily and the frequentation of the sacraments was increasing.
In 1855 the Fathers of the Congregation of the Holy Cross came to New Orleans to establish a manual industrial school for the training of the orphan boys who had bee rendered homeless by the terrible epidemic of 1853. They established themselves in the lower portion of New Orleans and became inseparably identified with religious and educational progress. In 1879 they opened their college, which is now one of the leading institutions of Louisiana. On 20 January, 1856, the First Provincial Council of New Orleans was held, and in January, 1858, Archbishop Blanc held the fourth diocesan synod. In 1859 the Sisters of the Good Shepherd were called by Archbishop Blanc to New Orleans to open a reformatory for girls. Bishop Blanc opened another diocesan seminary in the same year, and placed it in charge of the Lazarist Fathers. He convoked the second provincial council on 22 January, 1860. Just before the second session opened he was taken so seriously ill that he could no longer attend the meetings. He rallied and seemed to regain his usual health, but he died 20 June following.
Right Rev. John Mary Odin, Bishop of Galveston, was appointed successor to Archbishop Blanc, and arrived in New Orleans on the Feat of Pentecost, 1861. The Civil War had already begun and excitement was intense. All the prudence and charity of the Archbishop were needed as the war progressed. An earnest maintainer of discipline, Bishop Odin found it necessary, on 1 January, 1863, to issue regulations regarding the recklessness and carelessness that had prevailed in the temporal management of the churches the indebtedness of which he had been compelled to assume to save them from bankruptcy. The regulations were not favourably received, and the archbishop visited Rome, returning in the spring of 1863, when he had obtained the permission of the Holy See for his course of action. It was not until some time later that through his charity and zeal he obtained the cordial support he desired. His appeals for priests while in Europe were not unheeded and early in 1863 forty seminarians and five Ursulines arrived with Bishop Dubuis of Galveston. Among the priests were Fathers Gustave A. Rouxel, later Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans under Archbishop Chapelle, Thomas Heslin, afterwards Bishop of Natchez, and J. R. Bogaerts, vice-general under Archbishop Janssens. In 1860 the Dominican Nuns from Cabra, Ireland came to New Orleans to take charge of St. John the Baptist School and open an academy. In 1864 the Sisters of Mercy came to the city to assume charge of St. Alphonsus' School and Asylum and open a convent and boarding school, and the Marists were offered the Church of St. Michael at Convent, La. On 12 July, 1864, they assumed charge of Jefferson College founded by the state in 1835 and donated to them by Valcour Aime, a wealthy planter. The diocese was incorporated on 15 August, 1866, the legal name being "The Roman Catholic Church of the Diocese of New Orleans". In 1867 during a terrible epidemic of yellow fever and cholera, Fathers Speesberger and Seelos of the Redemptorists died martyrs of charity. Father Seelos was regarded as a saint and the cause of his beatification was introduced in Rome (1905). In 1866, owing to financial trials throughout the South, the diocesan seminary was closed. In February, 1868, Archbishop Odin founded "The Morning Star" as the official organ of the diocese, which it has continued to be.
During the nine years of Bishop Odin's administration he nearly doubled the number of his clergy and churches. He attended the Council of the Vatican, but was obliged to leave Rome on the entry of the Garibaldian troops. His health was broken and he returned to his native home, Ambierle, France, where he died on 25 May, 1870. He was born on 25 February, 1801, and entered the Lazarists. He came as a novice to their seminary, The Barrens, in St. Louis, where he completed his theological studies and received ordination (see DIOCESE OF GALVESTON). He was an excellent administrator and left his diocese free from debt.
Archbishop Odin was succeeded by Rev. Napoleon Joseph Perche, born at Angers, France, January, 1805, and died on 27 December, 1883. The latter completed his studies at the seminary of Beaupré, was ordained on 19 September, 1829, and sent to Murr near Angers where he worked zealously. In 1837 he came to America with Bishop Flaget and was appointed pastor of Portland. He came to New Orleans with Bishop Blanc in 1841, and he soon became famous in Louisiana for his eloquence and learning. Archbishop Odin petitioned Rome for the appointment of Father Perche as his coadjutor with the right of succession. His request was granted and, on 1 May, 1870, Father Perche was consecrated in the cathedral of New Orleans titular bishop of Abdera. He was promoted to the see on 26 May, 1970. One of his first acts was the re-establishment of the diocesan seminary. The Benedictine Nuns were received into the diocese in 1870.
The Congregation of the Immaculate Conception, a diocesan sisterhood, was founded in the year 1873 by Father Cyprian Venissat, at Labadieville, to afford education and assistance to children of families impoverished by the war. In 1875 the Poor Clares made a foundation, and on 21 November, 1877, the Discalced Carmelites Nuns of St. Louis sent two members to make a foundation in New Orleans, their monastery being opened on 11 May, 1878. In 1878 the new parish of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was organized and placed in charge of the Holy Cross Fathers from Indiana. On 12 October, 1872, the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration opened their missions and schools in New Orleans. In 1879 the Holy Cross Fathers opened a college in the lower portion of the city. Owing to the financial difficulties it was necessary to close the diocesan seminary in 1881. Archbishop Perche was a great scholar, but he lacked administrative ability. In his desire to relieve Southern families ruined by the war, he gave to all largely and royally, and thus plunged the diocese into a debt of over $600,000. He was growing very feeble and an application was made to Rome for a coadjutor.
Bishop Francis Xavier Leray of Natchitoches was transferred to New Orleans as coadjutor and Apostolic administrator of affairs on 23 October, 1879, and at once set to work to liquidate the immense debt. It was during the administration of Archbishop Perche and the coadjutorship of Bishop Leray that the Board of Trustees of the cathedral that formerly had caused so much trouble passed out of existence in July 1881, and transferred all the cathedral property to Archbishop Perche and Bishop Leray jointly, for the benefit and use of the Catholic population. Archbishop Leray was born at Château Giron, Brittany, France, 20 April, 1825. He responded to the appeal for priests for the Diocese of Louisiana in 1843, and completed his theological studies in the Sulpician seminary in Baltimore. He accompanied Bishop Chanche to Natchez and was ordained by him on 19 March, 1852. He was a most active missionary in the Mississippi district and in 1860 when pastor of Vicksburg he brought the Sisters of Mercy from Baltimore to establish a school there. Several times during his years of activity as a priest he was stricken with yellow fever.
During the Civil War he served as a Confederate chaplain; and on several occasions he was taken prisoner by the Federal forces but was released as soon as the sacred character of his office was established. On the death of Bishop Martin he was appointed to the see of Natchitoches, and consecrated on 22 April, 1877, at Rennes, France; on 23 October 1879 he was appointed coadjutor to Archbishop Perche of New Orleans and Bishop of Janopolis. His most difficult task was the bringing of financial order out of chaos and reducing the enormous debt of the diocese. In this he met with great success. During his administration the debt was reduced by at least $300,000. His health, however, became impaired, and he went to France in the hope of recuperating, and died at Château Giron, on 23 September, 1887.
The see remained vacant for nearly a year, Very Rev. G. A. Rouxel administering the affairs of the diocese, until Right Rev. Francis Janssens, Bishop of Natchez, was promoted to fill the vacancy on 7 August, 1888, and took possession on 16 September, 1888. Archbishop Janssens was born at Tillbourg, Holland, on 17 October, 1843. At thirteen he began his studies in the seminary at Bois-le-Duc; he remained there ten years, and in 1866 entered the American College at Louvain, Belgium. He was ordained on 21 December, 1867, and arranged to come to America. He arrived at Richmond in September, 1868, and became pastor of the cathedral in 1870. He was administrator of the diocese pending the appointment of Right Rev. James (later Cardinal) Gibbons to the vacant see; Bishop Gibbons appointed him vicar-general, and five years later when he was appointed to the Archiepiscopal See of Baltimore, Father Janssens became again administrator of the diocese. On 7 April, 1881, the See of Natchez became vacant by the promotion of Right Rev. William Elder as Bishop of Cincinnati and Father Janssens succeeded. While Bishop of Natchez he completed the cathedral commenced forty years before by Bishop Chanche. Not the least of the difficulties that awaited him as Archbishop of New Orleans was the heavy indebtedness resting upon the see and the constant drain thus made which had exhausted the treasury. There was no seminary and the rapid growth of the population augmented the demand for priests. He at once called a meeting of the clergy and prominent citizens, and plans were formulated for the gradual liquidation of the debt of the diocese, which was found to be $324,759. Before his death he had reduced it to about $130,000. Notwithstanding this burden, the diocese, through the zeal of Archbishop Janssens, entered upon a period of unusual activity. One of his first acts, March, 1890, was a to fund a little seminary, which was opened at Pounchatoula, La., 3 September, 1891, and placed under the direction of the Benedictine Fathers. He went to Europe in 1889 to secure priests for the diocese and to arrange for the sale of bonds for the liquidation of the debt. In August, 1892, after the lynching of the Italians who assassinated the chief of police, the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, founded in Italy by Mother Cabrina for work among Italians immigrants, arrived in New Orleans and opened a large mission, a free school, and an asylum for Italian orphans, and began also mission work among the Italian gardeners on the outskirts of the city and in Kenner, La. The same year a terrific cyclone and storm swept the Louisiana Gulf Coast, and laid low the lands among the Caminada Cheniere where there was a settlement of Italian and Spanish and Malay fishermen. Out of a population of 1500 over 800 were swept away. Rev. Father Grimaud performed the burial service over 400 bodies as they were washed ashore. Father Bedel at Beras buried over three hundred and went out at night to succour the wandering and helpless. Archbishop Janssens in a small boat went among the lonely and desolate island settlements comforting the people and helping them to rebuild their broken homes.
In 1893, the centenary of the diocese was celebrated with splendor at the St. Louis Cathedral; Cardinal Gibbons and many of the hierarchy were present. Archbishop Janssens was instrumental, at this time, in establishing the Louisiana Leper's Home at Indian Camp, and it was through his officers that the Sisters of Charity at Emmitsburg took charge of the home. He was deeply interested in the work of the Coloured Sisters of the Holy Family, now domiciled in the ancient Quadroon Ball Room and Theatre of antebellum days, which had been turned into a convent and boarding-school. Through the generosity of a coloured philanthropist, Thomy Lafon, Archbishop Janssens was enabled to provide a large and more comfortable home for the aged coloured poor, a new asylum for the boys, and through the legacy of $20,000 left for this purpose by Mr. Lafon, who died in 1883, a special home, under the care of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, for the reform of coloured girls. The St. John Berchman's Chapel, a memorial to Thomy Lafon, was erected in the Convent of the Holy Family which he had so befriended. At this time Archbishop Janssens estimated the number of Catholics in the diocese at 341,613; the value of church property at $3,861,075; the number of baptisms a year 15,000 and the number of deaths, 5000.
In 1896 the Catholic Winter School of America was organized and was formally opened by Cardinal Satolli, then Apostolic delegate to the United States. After the death of Archbishop Janssens the lecture courses were abandoned. The active life led by the archbishop told heavily upon him. Anxious to liquidate entirely the debt of the diocese he made arrangements to visit Europe in 1897, but died aboard the steamer Creole, 19 June, on the voyage to New York.
Most Rev. Placide Louis Chapelle, D.D., Archbishop of Santa Fé, was appointed to the vacant See of New Orleans, 1 December, 1897. Shortly after coming to New Orleans he found it imperative to go to Europe to effect a settlement for the remainder of the diocesan debt of $130,000. While he was in Europe, war was declared between Spain and the United States, and, upon the declaration of peace, Archbishop Chapelle was appointed Apostolic delegate extraordinary to Cuba and Porto Rico and charge d'affaires to the Philippine Islands. Returning from Europe he arranged the assessment of five percent upon the salaries of the clergy for five years for the liquidation of the diocesan debt. In October 1900 he closed the little seminary at Ponchatoula, and opened a higher one in New Orleans, placing it in charge of the Lazarist Fathers. The Right Rev. G. A. Rouxel was appointed auxiliary bishop for the See of New Orleans, and was consecrated 10 April, 1899. Right Rev. J. M. Laval was made vicar-general and rector of the St. Louis Cathedral on 21 April, and Very Rev. James H. Blenk was appointed Bishop of Porto Rico and consecrated in the St. Louis Cathedral with Archbishop Barnada of Santiago de Cuba, 2 July, 1899. Archbishop Chapelle was absent from the diocese for the greater part of his administration, duties in the Antilles and the Philippines in connection with his position as Apostolic Delegate claiming his attention, nevertheless he accomplished much for New Orleans. The diocesan debt was extinguished, and the activity in church work which had begun under Archbishop Janssens continued; returning to New Orleans he introduced into the diocese the Dominican Fathers from the Philippines. In the summer of 1905, while the archbishop was administering confirmation in the country parishes, yellow fever broke out in New Orleans, and, deeming it his duty to be among his people, he returned immediately to the city. On the way from the train to his residence he was stricken, and died 9 August, 1905 (see PLACIDE LOUIS CHAPELLE). Auxiliary Bishop Rouxel became the administrator of the diocese pending the appointment of a successor. The Right Rev. James Herbert Blenk, S.M., D.D., Bishop of Porto Rico, was promoted to New Orleans, 20 April, 1906.
Archbishop Blenk was born at Neustadt, Bavaria, 28 July, 1856, of Protestant parentage. While a child, his family came to New Orleans, and it was here that the light of the True Faith dawned upon the boy; he was baptized in St. Alphonsus Church at the age of twelve. His primary education having been completed in New Orleans, he entered Jefferson College where he completed his classical and scientific studies under the Marist fathers. He spent three years at the Marist house of studies in Belley, France, completed his probational studies at the Marist novitiate at Lyons, and was sent to Dublin to follow a higher course of mathematics at the Catholic University. Thence he went to St. Mary's College, Dundalk, County Louth, where he occupied the chair of mathematics. Later he returned to the Marist house of studies in Dublin where he completed his theological studies. 16 August, 1885, he was ordained priest, and returned that year to Louisiana to labour among his own people. He was stationed as a professor at Jefferson College of which he became president in 1891 and held the position for six years. In 1896, at the invitation of the general of the Marists, he visited all the houses of the congregation in Europe, and returning to New Orleans in February, 1897, he became rector of the Church of the Holy Name of Mary, Algiers, which was in charge of the Marist Fathers. He erected the handsome presbytery and gave impetus to religion and education in the parish and city, being chairman of the Board of Studies of the newly organized Winter School. He was a member of the Board of Consultors during the administration of Archbishop Janssens and of Archbishop Chapelle; the latter selected him as the auditor and secretary of the Apostolic delegation to Cuba and Porto Rico. He was appointed the first bishop of the Island of Porto Rico under the American occupation 12 June, 1890. A hurricane overswept Porto Rico just before Bishop Blenk left to take possession of his see; through his personal efforts he raised $30,000 in the United States to take with him to alleviate the sufferings of his new people. The successful work of Bishop Blenk is part of the history of the reconstruction along American lines of the Antilles. He returned to New Orleans as archbishop, 1 July, 1906, and new life was infused into every department of religious and educational and charitable endeavour. Splendid new churches and schools were erected, especially in the country parishes. Among the new institutions were St. Joseph's Seminary and College at St. Benedict, La.; St. Charles College, Grand Coteau, built on the ruins of the old college destroyed by fire; Lake Charles Sanitarium; Marquette University; and the Seaman's Haven, where a chapel was opened for sailors. The new sisterhoods admitted to the diocese were the Religious of the Incarnate Word in charge of a sanatorium at Lake Charles; the Religious of Divine Providence, in charge of the school in Broussardville; and the French Benedictine Sisters driven from France, who erected a new Convent of St. Gertrude at St. Benedict, La., destined as an industrial school for girls. A large industrial school and farm for coloured boys under the direction of the Sisters of the Holy Family was opened in Gentilly Road, and two new parishes outlined for the exclusive care of the coloured race. In 1907, the seminary conducted by the Lazarist Fathers was closed and Archbishop Blenk opened a preparatory seminary and placed it in charge of the Benedictine Fathers. The diocese assumed full charge of the Chinchuba Deaf-Mute Institute, which was established under Archbishop Janssens and is the only Catholic institute for deaf-mutes in the South. It is in charge of the School Sisters of Notre Dame.
New Orleans' priesthood, like the population of Louisiana, is cosmopolitan. The training of the priesthood has been conducted at home and abroad, the diocese owing much to the priests who come from France, Spain, Ireland, Germany and Holland. Several efforts were made to establish a permanent seminary and recruit the ranks of the priesthood from the diocese itself. At various times also the diocese had students at St. Mary's and St. Charles Seminary, Baltimore, the American College, Louvain, and has (1910) twelve theological students in different seminaries of Europe and America. Each parish is incorporated and there are corporate institutions of the Jesuits and other religious communities. The houses of study for religious are the Jesuit scholasticate at Grand Coteau, and the Benedictine scholasticate of St. Benedict at St. Benedict, La. The Poor Clares, Discalced Carmelites, Benedictine Nuns, Congregation of Marianites of the Holy Cross, Ursuline Nuns, Religious of the Sacred Heart, Sisters of St. Joseph, Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, Sisters of the Holy Family (coloured), Sisters of Mount Carmel, have mother-houses with novitiates in New Orleans. In early days there were distinctive parishes in New Orleans for French-, English- and German-speaking Catholics, but with the growing diffusion of the English language these parish lines have disappeared. In all the churches where necessary, there are French, English, and German services and instructions; there are churches and chapels for Italian immigrants and Hungarians, a German settlement at St. Leo near Rayne, domestic missions for negroes under the charge of the Holy Family Sisters and Josephite Fathers and Lazarists at New Orleans and Bayou Petite, Prairie.
The educational system is well organized. The principal institutions are: the diocesan normal school; the Marquette University under the care of the Jesuits; 7 colleges and academies with high school courses for boys with 1803 students; 17 academies for young ladies, under the direction of religious communities, with 2201 students; 102 parishes and parochial schools having an attendance of 20,000 pupils; 117 orphan asylums with 1341 orphans; 1 infant asylum with 164 infants; 1 industrial school for whites with 90 inmates; 1 industrial school for coloured orphan boys; 1 deaf-mute asylum with 40 inmates; 3 hospitals, 2 homes for the aged white and 1 for the aged coloured poor; 1 house of the Good Shepherd for the reform of wayward girls; a Seaman's Haven. The state asylums for the blind, etc., hospitals, prisons, reformatories, almshouses, and secular homes for incurables, consumptives, convalescents, etc., are all visited by Catholic priests, Sisters of Mercy, conferences of St. Vincent de Paul, and St. Margaret's Daughters. There is absolute freedom of worship. The first St. Vincent de Paul conference was organized in 1852.
The diocese has one Benedictine abbey (St. Joseph's, of which Right Rev. Paul Schäuble is abbot); 156 secular priests, 123 priests in religious communities, making a total of 279 clergy; 133 churches with resident priests and 90 missions with churches, making a total of 223 churches; 35 stations and 42 chapels where Mass is said. The total Catholic population is 550,000; yearly baptisms include 15,155 white children, 253 white adults, 3111 coloured children, and 354 coloured adults (total number of baptisms 18,873); the communions average 750,180; confirmations 11,215; converts, 817; marriages, 3533 (including 323 mixed). The large centers of church activity are the cities of New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Plaquemine, Donaldsonville, Thibodeaux, Houma, Franklin, Jeannerette, New Iberia, Lafayette, Abeeville, Morgan City, St. Martin, Crowley, Lake Charles. The churches and schools are all insured; an association for assisting infirm priests, the Priest's Aid Society, has been established and mutual aid and benevolent associations in almost every parish for the assistance of the laity. Assimilation is constantly going on among the different nationalities that come to New Orleans through intermarriage between Germans, Italians, French, and Americans; and thus is created a healthy civil sentiment that conduces to earnest and harmonious progress along lines of religious, charitable, educational, and social endeavour. The Catholic laity of the diocese is naturally largely represented in the life and government of the community, the population being so overwhelmingly Catholic; Catholics hold prominent civil positions such as governor, mayor, and member of the Bar, State Legislature, and United States Congress. A Catholic from Louisiana, Edward D. White, has been recently (1910) appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Catholics are connected with state normal schools and colleges, are on the board of the state universities and public libraries, and are represented in the corps of professors, patrons, and pupils of the Louisiana State and Tulane universities. Three fourths of the teachers in the public schools of Louisiana are Catholics.
The laity take a very active interest in the religious life of the diocese. Every church and convent has its altar society for the care of the tabernacle, sodalities of the Blessed Virgin for young girls and women. The Holy Name Society for men, young and old, is established throughout the diocese, while conferences of St. Vincent de Paul are established in thirty churches. St. Margaret's Daughters, indulgenced like St. Vincent de Paul, has twenty-eight circles at work, and the Total Abstinence Society is established in many churches. Besides the Third Order of St. Francis, the diocese has confraternities of the Happy Death, the Holy Face, the Holy Rosary, and the Holy Agony; the Apostleship of Prayer is established in nearly all the churches, while many parishes have confraternities adapted to their special needs. The Catholic Knights of America and Knights of Columbus are firmly established, while the Holy Spirit Society, devoted to the defence of Catholic Faith, the diffusion of Catholic truth, and the establishment of churches and schools in wayside places, is doing noble work along church extension lines. Other societies are the Marquette League, the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, which traces its origin to Bishop DuBourg of Louisiana, the Society of the Holy Childhood, and the Priests' Eucharistic League. Religious life in the diocese is regular and characterized by strict discipline and earnest spirituality. Monthly conferences are held and ecclesiastical conferences three times a year.
The religious communities of the diocese are: (1) Male: Benedictines, Fathers and Brothers of the Holy Cross, Dominicans, Jesuits, Josephites, Lazarists, Marists, Redemptorists, and Brothers of the Sacred Heart; (2) Female: Sisters of St. Benedict, French Benedictine Sisters, Discalced Carmelites Nuns, Sisters of Mount Carmel, Poor Clares, Sisters of Charity, Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, Sisters of Christian Charity, Sisters of Divine Providence, Dominican Sisters, Sisters of the Good Shepherd, Sisters of the Holy Family, Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, Sisters of St. Joseph, Little Sisters of the Poor, Sisters Marianites of the Holy Cross, Sisters of Mercy, School Sisters of Notre Dame, Sisters of Our Lady of Lourdes, Religious of the Sacred Heart, Ursuline Sisters, Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, Sisters of Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Coloured Catholics: The works in behalf of the coloured race began in the earliest days of Louisiana, when the Jesuits devoted themselves especially to the care of the Indians and Negroes. After the expulsion of the Jesuits the King of Spain ordered that a chaplain for negroes be placed on every plantation. Although this was impossible owing to the scarcity of priests, the greatest interest was taken in the evangelization of negroes and winning them from superstitious practices. The work of zealous Catholic masters and mistresses bore fruit in many ways, and there remains today in New Orleans, despite the losses to the Faith occasioned by the Civil War and reconstruction period when hordes of Protestant missionaries from the north flocked into Louisiana with millions of dollars to proselytize the race, a strong and sturdy Catholic element among the coloured people from which much is hoped. The Sisters of the Holy Family, a diocesan coloured order of religious, have accomplished much good. In addition to their academy and orphanages for girls and boys and homes for the coloured aged poor of both sexes, located in New Orleans, they have a novitiate and conduct an academy in the cathedral parish and schools in the parishes of St. Maurice, St. Louis, Mater Dolorosa, St. Dominic and St. Catherine in New Orleans, and schools and asylums in Madisonville, Donaldsonville, Opelusas, Baton Rouge, Mandevilles, Lafayette, and Palmetto, Louisiana. Schools for coloured children are also conducted by the following white religious orders: Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, Sisters of Mercy, Mount Carmel Sisters, Religious of the Sacred Heart, Sisters of St. Joseph. Six coloured schools in charge of lay Catholic teachers in various parishes, St. Catherine's church in charge of the Lazarist Fathers, and St. Dominic's in charge of the Josephite Fathers in New Orleans are especially established for Catholic negroes.
Archives of the Diocese of New Orleans; Archives of the St. Louis Cathedral; SHEA, The Cath. Church in Colonial Days (New York, 1886); Idem, Life and Times of Archbishop Carrol (New York, 1888); Idem, Hist. of the Cath. Church in the U. S., 1808-85 (2 vols., New York, 1892); GAYARRâ, Hist. de la Louisiane (2 vols, New Orleans, 1846-7); CHARLEVIOX, Journal d'un Voyage dans l'Amerique Septentrional, VI (Paris, 1744); de la HARPE, Journal Hist. de l'Etablissement des Français à la Louisiane (New Orleans, 1831); KING, Sieur de Bienville (New York, 1893); DIMITRY, Hist. of Louisiana (New York, 1892); DUMONT, Mémoirs Histor. sur la Louisiane (Paris, 1753); LE PAGE du PRATZ, Hist. de la L. (3 vols., Paris, 1758); FORTIER, L. Studies (New Orleans, 1984); Idem, Hist. of L. (4 vols., New York, 1894); MARTIN, Hist. of L. from the earliest Period (1797); KING and FICKLEN, Hist. of L. (New Orleans, 1900); Archives of the Ursuline Convent, New Orleans, Diary of Sister Madeleine Hachard (New Orleans, 1727-65); Letters of Sister M. H. (1727); Archives of Churches, Diocese of New Orleans (1722-1909); Le Propagateur Catholique (New Orleans), files; The Morning Star (New Orleans, 1868-1909), files; Le Moniteur de La Louisiane (New Orleans, 1794-1803), files; French and Spanish manuscripts in archives of Louisiana Historical Society; CHAMBON, In and Around the Old St. Louis Cathedral (New Orleans, 1908); The Picayune (New Orleans, 1837-1909), files; CAMILLE de ROCHEMENTEIX, Les Jésuites et la Nouvelle France au XVIIIe Siècle (Paris, 1906); CASTELLANOS, New Orleans as it Was (New Orleans, 1905); MEMBER of the ORDER of MERCY, Essays Educational and Historic (New York, 1899); LOWENSTEIN, Hist. of the St. Louis Cathedral of New Orleans (1882); MEMBER of the ORDER of MERCY, Cath. Hist. of Alabama and the Floridas; Centenaire du Père Antoine (New Orleans, 1885); HARDER, Religious of the Scared Heart (New York, 1910).
APA citation. (1911). New Orleans. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11005b.htm
MLA citation. "New Orleans." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11005b.htm>.
Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by M. Donahue.
Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. February 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.
Contact information. The editor of New Advent is Kevin Knight. My email address is webmaster at newadvent.org. Regrettably, I can't reply to every letter, but I greatly appreciate your feedback — especially notifications about typographical errors and inappropriate ads.