New Orleans, LA

Explore the Sacred Historic Grounds at Louisiana's River Parishes

Curtis Macken

NEW ORLEANS, LA-- Louisiana River Parishes is known as the center of historical religious buildings around the Greater New Orleans metro area. The region presents uniquely designed churches dating back to the 1700s, along with adjacent cemeteries that showcase beautiful ancient tombs and grave-sites.

To start the journey, you can begin in PJ’s Coffee in Destrehan. Having croissant breakfast sandwich or an Easy Cream Cheese Danish along with a cup of coffee there will be a good way to start.

The first destination to go is Charles Borromeo Church and Cemetery, which began as a small log chapel in the 18th century. Then you can explore the Kulgar and Kenner cemeteries, which was a burial place for Afro-American Civil War veterans.

Still revolving around the Afro-Americans during the Jim Crow era, you'll be able then to visit Historic Riverlands Our Lady of Grace Church in Reserve, a historically black church, before visiting the Antioch Baptist Church, which is located in the grounds of Whitney Plantation.

In the second day, you can visit another Black Church, which is Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Vacherie. This church allows the Black Catholics to attend worship services after the Separate but Equal laws are implemented.

Visit the 190-year old St. Michael Church in Convent. Inside the church is the Lourdes Grotto, built from shells collected from the Mississippi River and Bagasse rocks, which are formed from making sugar. The Henry Erben Pipe Organ is located in the church. The cemetery around the church is dedicated to the memory of Acadian ancestors who settled in the area in the 1700s from Annapolis Royal in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Bruslie Plantation Cemetery is the next destination. The gravesite is a part of sugar plantations that was abundant in the Deep South.

Then the last place is the Our Lady of the Blind River Chapel. The chapel is made with a cypress wood and has a signature Virgin Mary statue.

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