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New Orleans Religious Pioneers Celebrated in Book

Loyola press release - January 12, 2004

(New Orleans)—Loyola University New Orleans’ Center for the Study of Catholics in the South (CSCS) will host a book signing to celebrate the publication of Religious Pioneers: Building the Faith in the Archdiocese of New Orleans on Sunday, January 25 from 3 – 5 p.m. in the 3rd floor of Monroe Library. Signing books will the Honorable Corinne “Lindy” Boggs, former Ambassador of the United States of America to the Holy See, who wrote the foreword, as well as many of the authors of the book, an anthology of priests, brothers and sisters of Louisiana.

Religious Pioneers chronicles the beginnings of the Catholic Church in Louisiana with the opening chapter about Mother Marie St. Augustin Tranchepain (d. 1733), an Ursuline nun who was one of the first missionaries in colonial Louisiana, through Daughter of Charity Sister Henrietta Guyot, a leader in nursing education (d. 1995), and Sr. Aloysius Almerico, Missionary of the Sacred Heart, who founded Cabrini High School in New Orleans. (d. 1997) Also featured in the book are well-known religious men and women of New Orleans including Father Francis Xavier Seelos, Brother Martin Hernandez, Mother Henriette Delille, and Jesuit Father Theobald Butler as well as lesser known religious leaders whose legacies still live on through the work of the hospitals, schools and social service organizations they established.

The co-editors of the book are Saint Mary’s Dominican archivist Sister Dorothy Dawes, O.P. and Dr. Charles Nolan, archdiocesan archivist. They were inspired to document the work of those religious leaders who helped to shape and establish the Catholic community in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Sr. Dorothy, the driving force behind Religious Pioneers said, “This book was announced seven years ago to religious men and women of the archdiocese. We were able to collect 31 lives, and we were all deeply moved by the dedication and the passion of our pioneers. It has turned into a real labor of love. The stories can be spellbinding, and are salted with wisdom and humor."

The Center for the Study of Catholics in the South is the only Catholic studies center in the nation focusing on religious life in the South. Its mission is to make Loyola’s valuable resources on Southern Catholicism publicly available and to preserve this collection of knowledge for future generations.

The publication of Religious Pioneers is supported by a grant from the Louisiana Endowment for Humanities; a gift from the Greater New Orleans Archivists; and is a project of the Religious Community Archivists of Greater New Orleans.

For more information about the book or book signing or to order a copy of the book, visit the web site at www.religiouspioneers.org, call 504-861-8155, or email dmdawes@accesscom.net.