Churches in New Orleans (Self Guided), New Orleans

New Orleans has some of the oldest and the most beautiful churches in Louisiana. Some of them, like St Louis Cathedral, have become iconic symbols of the city, others are considered to be "fresh air" to the busy business quarters. The churches here combine different architectural styles. The tour below includes some exquisite examples of places of worship in New Orleans.
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Churches in New Orleans Map

Guide Name: Churches in New Orleans
Guide Location: USA » New Orleans (See other walking tours in New Orleans)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.4 Km or 4.6 Miles
Author: ann
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • St Augustine Catholic Church
  • St. Louis Cathedral
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe Church
  • St Patrick's Church
  • St Theresa of Avila Church
  • Christ Church Cathedral
  • Our Lady of Good Council Church
St Augustine Catholic Church

1) St Augustine Catholic Church

St. Augustine Catholic Church is the oldest African-American Catholic parish in the nation. It is located on Saint Claude Avenue near the French Quarter on the site of the old Claude Tremé plantation. The church is the location of the annual Jazz Mass that is held in conjunction with the Satchmo Festival, which pays homage to Louis Armstrong.

The place of worship was founded in 1841 and dedicated in 1842. Architect J.N.B. de Pauilly designed the church. The property was donated by Ursuline Sisters on the condition that the church be named after Saint Augustine of Hippo.

What makes the church special is that it was built by Free Persons of Color. Famous parishioners include Homer Plessy, Sidney Bechet, A.P. Tureaud, and Allison ‘Tootie’ Montana. One interesting note is that a war of the pews began when white people heard about the free people of color buying pews for slaves. The free people of color eventually won by buying three pews to every one pew a white person bought.

St. Augustine’s almost faced closure after Hurricane Katrina due to extensive property losses in the city. This was a shock to the parishioners since the church escaped major damage. In addition, the parish was also providing support to those affected by the hurricane. The locals rallied and barricaded themselves in the building. This response caused the archdiocese to reverse its decision.

In 2008, the church received a $75,000 grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express to do much needed renovations. Mass is at 10 am on Sunday.
St. Louis Cathedral

2) St. Louis Cathedral (must see)

The Saint Louis Cathedral is one of the oldest cathedrals that is in continuous use in the United States. It was dedicated to King Louis IX of France in 1718. The place of worship is located in the French Quarter and features Spanish Colonial and Renaissance architecture. It is also a building that is most associated with the city of New Orleans.

Originally constructed in 1718, the church has over 6,000 members. The current cathedral was built in 1789. A renovation in 1850 completely changed the look of the house of worship to the design we see today.

The church was visited by Pope John Paul in 1987 and the plaza was renamed in the pope’s honor to celebrate his visit. The cathedral is a popular building and has been frequently photographed and featured in many movies, television shows, and other presentations. Mass is celebrated on Saturdays at 5 pm, on Sundays from 9 am to 11 am, and weekdays at noon.

Visitors will admire the Rococo-style, gilded altar and stained glass windows. Two gifts shops sell religious items and gifts with the proceeds going towards the upkeep and maintenance of the church.

Why You Should Visit:
The church is awesome to see, but all the happenings that take place in front of the church is also a treat. This area is treated like the town square because it basically is.
The stained glass windows are most representative of the best found in Catholic churches, but you don't have to be Catholic to come here to take photos and look around.

Tours are offered during the week, so be sure to check the schedule.
Getting breakfast across the street at Café du Monde before or after church would be a good idea, too, of course.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 8am-4:30pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Our Lady of Guadalupe Church

3) Our Lady of Guadalupe Church

Located on the corner of North Rampart Street, the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church is the oldest house of worship in New Orleans. Originally named the Mortuary Chapel of St. Anthony of Padua, the place of worship was built in 1826 to serve as a burial church for the victims of yellow fever. The current name of the church was received in 1918. Architects Gurlie and Guillot built the church. It is staffed by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

The church was a place of worship for the Italian community in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Although it fell into disuse in the 1860s, 1870s, and 1915, the church rebounded each time and returned to service. The church serves as the International Shrine for St. Jude, one of the 12 apostles. In addition, there is a statue of St. Expedite near the entrance who the locals claim can cure procrastination.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Church has a community center that provides a range of services, such as counseling, to the community. In addition, the women’s shelter helps those who are down on their luck find jobs and housing. The church’s food bank program helps to feed the needy.

Mass is at 7:30 am, 9:30 am, 11:30 am, 1:30 pm (Spanish) and 6 pm on Sundays, at 7 am, 12 pm during the week, and at 7 am on Saturday. The Saturday Vigil is at 4 pm.
St Patrick's Church

4) St Patrick's Church

St. Patrick’s Church is located in the Central Business District on Camp Street. It was founded in 1833 and completed in 1840. The church was built to address the worshiping needs of the Irish community who could not understand the services conducted in French in the Creole churches. It is the second oldest parish in New Orleans and a church that is most respected.

The building was designed by Irish architects James and Charles Dakin and features Gothic style architecture, a 185 foot tower, a 40 foot vestibule, and an 85 foot nave. The interior design of the church was designed by James Gallier Sr. The church altar features beautiful murals designed by the artist Leon Pomarede. One mural depicts the Transfiguration, the other Christ walking on water, and the last shows St. Patrick baptizing King Laoghaire of Ireland’s daughters.

Although it received a major renovation from 1978 to 1990, it is one of the few buildings whose design hasn’t changed significantly since its inception. The church is also one of the few buildings that did not suffer any major damage from Hurricane Katrina. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975.

Weekday masses are from 11:30 am to 12 pm Monday through Friday. Sunday mass is at 8 am, 9:30 am, 11 am, and 5:30 pm. The Eucharistic Adoration is from 11 am to 1 pm Monday through Friday. The Benediction is from 11 am to 1 pm Monday through Friday.
St Theresa of Avila Church

5) St Theresa of Avila Church

St Theresa of Avila Church is a Roman Catholic church that was built in 1848-1849. The building was designed by T.E.Giraud in the Gothic Revival Style. The church stands on Erato Street. The interior is very simple but has, at the same time, some exclusive features like the mosaic windows, for instance.
Christ Church Cathedral

6) Christ Church Cathedral

The Christ Church Cathedral Episcopal is the first non-Roman Catholic Church in Louisiana. It was founded in 1803 as Christ’s Church. It is also a very popular tourist attraction and was designated as a cathedral in 1891.

The church was built for Protestant members of the community. The church we know today is actually the fourth version of the Christ Church Cathedral Episcopal. The first church was erected in 1816 on the corner of Canal and Bourbon street. It was designed by Henry Boneval Latrobe.

The second place of worship was erected in 1833. It was built by James Gallier Sr. and featured a Greek temple design. The third church was built by James Gallier Jr. and featured Gothic architecture. It was located on the corner of Canal and Dauphine streets.

The current church was built by Lawrence B. Valk in 1886. It was built to address the growing congregation and moved to an area closer to where its parishioners lived. It is located on St. Charles Avenue and Sixth Street and features Gothic design.

The cathedral has a feeding ministry in conjunction with the Restoration Embassy and the Advent House, which acts a spiritual retreat and education center. Sunday services are at 7:30 am, 10 am, and 6 pm. Weekday services are at 12:15 pm. Saturday services are at 9:30 am.
Our Lady of Good Council Church

7) Our Lady of Good Council Church

Located in the Garden District on Louisiana Avenue, the Our Lady of Good Council Church was named after the Our Lady of Good Counsel painting, which is purported to have miracle abilities, in Genazzano Italy. The church was established in 1894. It is said that the Marian altar was blessed by Pope Pius XI.

The church was closed in 2008 by the Archbishop of New Orleans due to a priest shortage after Hurricane Katrina and population changes. The church was then merged with St. Stephen Church on Napoleon Street and was renamed the Good Shepherd Parish. After many protests from the people, the church reopened for special events.

In 2011, the Center of Jesus the Lord, a charismatic Catholic organization moved into the former Our Lady Good Council Church building. They will use the space to celebrate Mass and to perform charitable works. In addition, the space is used for weddings and funerals.

Mass is at 4 pm on Saturday, 8 am and 10:30 am on Sunday, 6:30 am Monday through Friday, and 6 pm on Tuesday. The Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament happens at 5 pm and 6 pm on Tuesday and at 7 am and 8 am on Thursday morning.

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