|St. John the Baptist Church and School
Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard and Calliope Street
|The link to this page is:
The three color photos of the church are courtesy
of Infrogmation at Wikipedia Commons.
Photo of St. John the Baptist Church
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|In 1860, Dominican Nuns from Cabra, Ireland came to the city to open an academy for girls.
Shortly after their arrival, they began to accept boys who were too young to start their
education with the Christian Brothers. Later, when yellow fever forced the Christian Brothers
to leave the city, the Sisters, also, agreed to teach boys of "manageable age." This was the
beginning of St. John the Baptist School. It remained open for almost one hundred years.
Not long after the photos below were taken in 1956, the school buildings of St. John the Baptist
were demolished to make way for the elevated Pontchartrain Expressway. However, the
tradition of the school and the Dominican Sisters' work in the city lives on at St. Mary's
Dominican High School. In 2000, when ground was broken for a new building for the school,
soil was transported from the former site of St. John the Baptist School, from the St. Charles
Avenue campus of St. Mary's Dominican, and from Cabra, Ireland, home of the first Dominican
Nuns who came to New Orleans, to pay tribute to the school's history.
St. John the Baptist Church remains. This church building was dedicated in 1872, designed by
architect, Albert Diettel and built by Irish contractor, Thomas Mulligan.
I received a note from Fred Bullinger saying that, when fund-raising for the church's
construction was underway, his g-grandparents donated their jewelry to the building fund. He,
also, wrote that Fr. Screen had the steeple gold-plated with funds from the sale of the school.
|The distinctive gold steeple of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church has
been a well-known landmark to residents of New Orleans for many years.
|The three black & white photos below show the school;
the steeple of the church can be seen in the last of the three.
|This photo was taken some time between 1885 - 1910.
|With much appreciation to Ed Lacheney for sharing the photos above and below.
The picture above is of the 1954 graduating class (the next to last graduating class). Some of those
pictured are, first row, l to r: Mary __, Elaine Thompson, Elizabeth Stroder, Dolores __, Joyce
Second row: Ronald Kellie, __ __, Roy Palmer, __ __, __ __
Third row: Ed Lacheney, David Domino, Louie Degree, Sal Fontana, Msg. Arthur T. Screen
Below is a photograph of Sister Mary Matthews, OP, 1950, who taught Ed, his uncle and his sister.