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Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church bell

Posted May 13, 2016 at 12:00 am

In the early part of the 20th century, church records show this great bell and others tucked away in the belfry of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Plattenville which would ring regularly for recitation of the Angelus. Today, the bells no longer toll. Instead, an electronic system is used, yet even though they no longer publically ring, these metal giants still reveal the spirit of a church community that dates to 1793. At that time, the Spanish were in control of the once French colony and the area was known as Valenzuela. Through the years, three church buildings were built to serve the parishioners with the present church in 1856. Church meeting records show that in 1854, church administrators decided to use wood to construct the belfry to protect it from weather

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    St. Jean Vianney Stations of the Cross

    The Stations of the Cross at St. Jean Vianney Church in Baton Rouge, which are among the many bronze sculptures by California artist Max DeMoss in the church, are found on the back of the eight columns of the church’s ambulatory. There are only 13 stations, because the crucifix in the west chapel is a powerful depiction of the 12th station, Jesus dies on the cross. According to Father Donald Blanchard, who was pastor at the time the church was constructed, the Stations

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    Print of Our Lady of Prompt Succor

    A rare print of Our Lady of Prompt Succor was recently returned to St. Agnes Church in Baton Rouge. The print is a lithograph, which was produced in Paris by the L. Turgis & Fils Company. It was originally loaned to the Dominican Sisters by an unknown benefactor. When the nuns left St. Agnes in the 1980s, the benefactor gave the painting to a parishioner who treasured it for more than 30 years. Upon her death the parishioner bequeathed the large, framed print of Our Lady of Prompt

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    Carville Chapel Statue of Madonna and Child

    To the left of the altar at Sacred Heart Chapel in Carville sits a beautiful statue of the Madonna and her child. Although the artist is not known, the statue was crafted in 1450 in Italy. It is the only surviving statue from an Italian church that was bombed during World War II. The statue was donated to Sacred Heart during the 1970s by the Lazarus Hospitaliers.

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    St. Pius X crucifix

    A massive and beautiful crucifix carved by Darrell Southern of Shawnee, Kansas is a prominent feature at St. Pius X Church in Baton Rouge, complementing each eucharistic celebration. The hand-crafted, life-sized sculpture was acquired by the church parish in 1993. To accommodate the 10-foot by 5-foot cross, a wall had to be erected behind the altar, necessitating the choir be moved to an area to the right of

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    Immaculate Conception Gate of Mercy

    The Gate of Mercy on the north part of the campus at Immaculate Conception Church in Denham Springs has an important part in the church parish’s history. When the church celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010, it opened the gate, which prior to 1964, was at the entrance of the campus when it was pasture and woods. Long-time usher Richard Young saved the gate when the property was developed and gave it to the church for its anniversary celebration. The church opened the gate

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    St. Michael Church Crucifix

    In 1873, Father Henry Giesen CSsR and Father Lefevre CSsR preached a mission at St. Michael Church in Convent that was quite popular, even luring people of all faiths who had been previously displaced from their religious practice back to God. At 4:45 p.m. on the day of the mission, the church bells announced the start of the procession and an estimated 2,000 people joined. Carrying in the mission crucifix, which was a gift of Mother Susannah Bourdreaux RSCJ, required 20 parishioners,

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    Our Lady of Fatima Shrine

    This shrine that depicts Our Lady of Fatima and the shepherd children adorns the meditation garden at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Baton Rouge. The shrine, which was a gift to the only church at that time that was dedicated to Our Lady in Baton Rouge, was formally blessed in 1955 by Father Louis E. Marionneaux, who was chaplain at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola before he was assigned to OLOM.

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    Mural of the Blessed Mother and Christ Child

    This exquisite mural of the Blessed Mother and Christ Child is in the religious education building at Immaculate Conception Church in Denham Springs. The mural was crafted by members of the church’s St. Martha’s Circle. The group formed to do crafts about three years ago. The group was inspired to make the mural from Mardi Gras beads after taking classes from artist Stephen Wagner, who developed his craft of making murals out of beads that were discarded on the ground after Mardi Gras parades. The mural is

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    Mother of Grace Chapel

    Tucked away on what used to be a farm near Tickfaw sits Mother of Grace Chapel, a shrine that was built in honor of the Blessed Mother. Many years ago, Mrs. Sam Spica had a dream where the Blessed Mother appeared as the Mother of Grace and asked that a chapel be built in her honor. Spica received permission from the Archdiocese of New Orleans, and her husband built the small wood framed chapel on the family farm. In 1970, the current brick

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    Statue of the Prodigal Son

    Most Catholics know that Dec. 8 is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and is also a holy day of obligation. But what might be confusing for some is the meaning of the feast day.

    A common misconception among Catholics and Christians is the Immaculate Conception celebrates the conception of Christ in the womb of the Virgin Mary. Since the Immaculate Conception occurs only 17 days before Christmas, the math would suggest otherwise.

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    Our Lady of Mercy Reliquary

    Our Lady of Mercy Church in Baton Rouge has what is likely one of the most comprehensive exhibits of relics in the diocese. Near the tabernacle, to the right of the altar, is a display of no less than 13 relics, with a relic of the true cross prominently displayed on the top row. Other relics include those from St. Benedict, St. Therese “Little Flower,” St. Faustina Kowalska, Padre Pio, St. Charles Borromeo and Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos. Chancellor Father Paul Yi said the idea of

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    Stained glass depiction of Madonna

    This beautiful stained glass depicting the Madonna with the Christ Child can be found upon entering the chapel at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Hospital. The images of Our Lady of the Rosary, who is also the patroness of the chapel, and the Christ Child, appear to welcome all visitors to this sacred place and provide a vivid reference to God’s healing compassion. In addition to the Blessed Mother and her child, Jesus, two saints are also shown on the “Madonna Window.” St. Dominic,

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    Ascension Catholic Church Side Altar

    This stunning side altar containing a statue of St. Joseph at Ascension of Our Lord Church in Donaldsonville was built by Lorenzo Milano, great-grandfather of Father Cleo Milano, pastor of Our Lady of Mercy Church in Baton Rouge. Lorenzo Milano, who came from Italy and was a master carpenter and craftsman and had a large wood-working shop in Donaldsonville, built two side altars to match the main altar. The other side altar contains a statue of the Blessed Mother and Child Jesus. Along with

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    Ressurection Chapel candle

    An enamel crucifix affixed to a wooden cross is displayed near the altar inside the Resurrection Chapel on the campus of the Catholic Life Center. The crucifix, along with two candleholders that adorn both sides of the altar, were created by Baton Rouge artist Adalie’ Brent. Brent, who died in 1993, created various works not only for the Catholic Life Center, but also for many other secular and non-secular institutions around the city. An as element, the enamel, which forms the crucifix, also hints of

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    Sacred Heart Church monstrance

    Sacred Heart Church in Baton Rouge has a stunning monstrance, which was designed by Brother Dom Suitbert Kraemer OSB. Brother Suitbert was born in 1878 in the Netherlands and died in 1947 in New Orleans. Black, Starr and Gorham, one of the oldest and prestigious jewelry companies in the country, executed the monstrance, which was donated to the church by the Altar Society in 1944. All of the work was completed by hand. The design of the monstrance represents the Rod of Jesse, taken from

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    UNDER FIRE

    During the bombardment of Baton Rouge on May 28, 1862, which was sparked when a local resident killed a federal officer on a small boat, St. Joseph Cathedral, then St. Joseph Church, came under fire. A cannonball (fragments are shown above) struck the church, which caused damage to the roof, vault and part of the wall of the sanctuary. The carnage included damage to the altar, candlesticks, vases and other assorted items. Originally, the damage was estimated from $1,500 to $2,000 although

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    The courtyard at the Bishop Robert E. Center

    Looking for a sliver of serenity away from the urban chaos? The courtyard at the Bishop Robert E. Tracy Center, with its benches, picturesque trees and Madonna, provides a sanctuary of peace, an ideal spot to pray, meditate or simply enjoy a brief respite of silence. The centerpiece of the courtyard is a statue of the Blessed Virgin holding Jesus in her arms. Although the origin of the statue is not known, it was originally a gift presented to Bishop Robert W. Muench. A large statue

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    Headstone of Marie Pourciau Olinde

    One of the many striking features of St. Mary of False River Church in New Roads is a headstone of Marie Pourciau Olinde, located to the left of the altar. Marie Pourciau, widow of Charles Robillard and of Barthelemi Olinde, and ancestor of many of the citizens in the New Roads area, donated the ground upon which the original church was built in 1823 and the present church to its west during 1904-1907. She died in 1833 and was interred beneath the Virgin

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    Virgin Island Duck Box

    Although a beautiful duck box that overlooks Virgin Island in Pierre Part has only been in place for about six months, already there have been two separate hatches of baby ducks. The first occurred, fittingly enough, during Holy Week, and the second two weeks ago. The duck box, which is remarkable in its detail, was a Christmas present given to St. Joseph Church pastor Father Al Davidson by his sister. The duck box, which was crafted by Tom Mayeux of Denham Springs, sits to the

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    Madonna and Child Portrait

    In the Resurrection Chapel, a small, intimate chapel located on the campus of the Catholic Life Center, this tender portrait of the Madonna and Child awaits visitors. The painting adorns a wall set away from the chapel’s main door, yet its placement still draws every eye. Here, Mary tenderly holds the infant Jesus as he appears to reach for her in a loving embrace. The beautiful image of the Madonna’s face is intricately drawn, helping to convey the quiet symbolism of a caring mother.

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    ST. LOUIS KING OF FRANCE CHRIST RISEN STATUE

    What visitors will notice most as they enter and exit St. Louis King of France Church in Baton Rouge is a stunning statute of the Risen Christ. The statue is a Frank Hayden original and was originally placed in the sanctuary when the church was completed in 1972. However, parishioners voiced their concerns and desire for the more traditional depiction of Christ on the cross to hang over the altar. So about 18 months later, the Risen Christ was replaced and spent many years

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    ST. PAUL CRUCIFIX

    A stunning crucifix by Dutch Benedictine priest Father Dom Gregory is the centerpiece at St. Paul Church in Baton Rouge. The crucifix was originally at Sacred Heart Church in Baton Rouge but was eventually removed after some parishioners expressed discomfort with the darkness of the Christ figure. The crucifix was in a storeroom when it was donated to St. Paul after Archbishop Joseph Rummel responded to the needs of the African-American community and founded the church parish in 1960. The crucifix, which is cherished

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    St. Joan of Arc stained glass window

    A stunning stained glass window featuring three angels is one of the many features at St. Joan of Arc Church in Bayou Pigeon. The window was originally part of the old church but was saved and moved to the new church, which was dedicated in 2001. Also salvaged from the old church were pews, which were originally purchased from an old church in Port Allen, lighting fixtures, Stations of the Cross and even the tabernacle. The beloved statue at the old Our Lady Queen of Peace chapel now

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    TREASURES FROM THE DIOCESE

    This inspiring nine-by-six-foot acrylic and oil painting, “Christ Risen from the Tomb,” was given at Easter to St. Gerard Majella Church in Baton Rouge by artist and life-long parishioner, Susan Jackson. The painting is based on the resurrection scene from Mathias Grünewald’s “Isenheim Altarpiece.” Jackson, who worked many sleepless nights to finish the painting, said she wanted to uplift people as they worship at Mass. The painting is located next to the church’s baptismal font near the altar.

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    "Christ with the Children" statue

    Visitors to the Catholic Life Center in Baton Rouge will immediately notice the stunning “Christ with the Children” statue overlooking Christ Court. The statue is by renowned Croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic and has become the iconic symbol of the Catholic Life Center. An image of the statue has been used as identification on stationery, announcements and programs for CLC activities. Photo by Richard Meek | The Catholic Commentator

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    St. Michael Church Grotto

    Some believe the stunning Lourdes grotto in St. Michael Church in Convent might be the first to be erected in the United States. The material used in the construction, according to church records, is neatly arranged and tightly cemented sugar cane clinkers and made from bagasse. In the cave where the altar is located is an inverted sugar kettle. The grotto, which is a popular

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    LAST SUPPER SCULPTING

    A beautiful depiction of the Last Supper is sculpted in the altar at St. Joseph Church in Paulina. The sculptor is unknown, and although the exact year in which the work was completed is undetermined, research indicates it was sculpted between 1950 and 1975. Photo by Richard Meek | The Catholic Commentator

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    St. Francis Xavier Courtyard

    Tucked away in Baton Rouge’s mid-city is surprisingly perhaps one of the most serene urban settings in the area. Cradled between St. Francis Xavier church and school is a beautiful courtyard complete with a stunning outdoor Way of the Cross and a large fountain that filters the frenetic cacophony of vehicles passing on the elevated portion of I-110. But the real gem is a small Marian grotto, which offers an inviting

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    Chapel of the Madonna

    The Chapel of the Madonna, unofficially labeled “the smallest church in the world,” is located on River Road three miles north of White Castle. A Mass is celebrated annually on the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Mother, but with a seating capacity of two, the congregation assembles on the front lawn. File photo | The Catholic Commentator

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