By Richard Meek

The Catholic Commentator  

Historic Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Plattenville is shining a bit brighter, courtesy of a recently concluded makeover. 

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Renovations at Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Plattenville including replacing the worn carpet in the sanctuary and replacing hardwood floors throughout the church.  Photos by Richard Meek | The Catholic Commentator  

 

Bishop Michael G. Duca celebrated Mass on Dec. 15 to commemorate the renovation, blessing the sanctuary and the walls.  

Work included tearing up the gritty old sanctuary carpet and replacing it with a marble floor. Additionally, a platform was constructed to raise the high altar, making it visible for the entire congregation. Previously, the view of the high altar was obstructed by the altar facing the congregation.  

Hardwood floors were replaced throughout the church, giving it a fresh, welcoming decor. A fresh coat of paint has also given the sanctuary a much more radiant look.  

“The sanctuary is definitely much, much brighter,” said parishioner Cathy Landry of the remodeling.  

“The church and the work they did is beautiful,” said parochial administrator Father Eddie Martin, who was appointed to the parish in early December.  

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A platform was constructed to raise the high altar during renovations at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Plattenville. The high altar is now visible to the entire congregation.

 

Landry said the work was spearheaded by  parishioners who said they saw the renovations as a great need and wanted to contribute their time and money to the project. Early in 2019 a committee was formed and through benefactors the work was completed shortly after Advent began.  

“It was an ugly carpet,” Landry said with a grin. “The parish really rallied around the project.”  

Originally founded in 1793, Assumption is the oldest parish on Bayou Lafourche and the 11th oldest parish in Louisiana. The original church, which historic records describe as “little more than a shack,” was located at the current site of the church.  

The first baptism was recorded April 24, 1793, four days after the parish registers were opened. Three years later a bishop visited the church for the first time.  

In 1817 the wardens of the church voted to build a larger church and on Dec. 20, 1819 the building was formally dedicated. But floodwaters from Bayou Lafourche would destroy that structure, paving the way for the current church to be built.  

The bricks used for the church were made in Plattenville. Hurricane Betsy heavily damaged the structure in 1965 but workers were able to save the building.  

The original seminary for the Archdiocese of New Orleans was built on the parish grounds in 1835 and staffed by the Vincentian Fathers. Twenty years later the seminary was destroyed by fire, although the Vincentians remained until 1858.  

Two previous major renovations were undertaken at the church, including one during the 1960s under the administration of Father Henry Vavasseur, which brought the place of worship in accordance with the dictates of the Second Vatican Council.  

Assumption also made history in November 1984, when the parish was clustered with St. Anne Church in Napoleonville, marking the inaugural clustering of parishes in the Diocese of Baton Rouge. St. Philomena Church in Labadieville is now also part of the cluster.