In the beginning
Catholic is the oldest Catholic school in the Diocese of Baton
Rouge, and traces its origins to the arrival in Donaldsonville of
six Daughters of Charity in 1845.
At the time, all of the United States was part of the
Archdiocese of Baltimore, Maryland.
1850--the same year that New Orleans became the second archdiocese
in the United States--a large three-story brick convent building
was constructed in Donaldsonville to serve as a hospital, school
(originally known as St. Vincent Institute), and residence
for the Daughters of Charity. In 1854 this convent building also
became an orphanage for children whose parents were killed
by yellow fever. That
1853 epidemic killed more than 10,000 in the greater New Orleans
area. In 1885, the
Sisters of the Holy Family came to Donaldsonville and started St.
Augustine School for African American children. In 1886, the Brothers of the Sacred Heart came to
Donaldsonville to start a school for boys named St. Joseph
Commercial Institute. With
the establishment of St. Catherine Parish in 1924, St. Augustine
School was renamed St. Catherine School.
St. Joseph Commercial Institute became known as Catholic
High School in 1930. In
1954 new high school facilities costing $238,000 were built for
the high school divisions of St. Vincent Institute and Catholic
1961 a new convent building costing $132,000 was built for the
residence of the Daughters of Charity, and the 1850 convent was
entirely used to house the elementary division of St. Vincent
Institute. The high
school division of St. Catherine School merged with St. Vincent
Institute and Catholic High School in 1965, and in 1969, all three
original schools merged to become Ascension Catholic
Interparochial Schools. The 1850 convent building housed the
elementary division and the St. Catherine School campus housed the
middle school division.
Between 1969 and 1975, $439,000 would be spent to build a new
classroom wing at the middle school campus, a new classroom wing
at the elementary school campus, and a new Administration building
and library building at the high school campus.
Leading the Way
155 years of providing quality
Catholic education to our youth in the greater Donaldsonville and
surrounding communities, Ascension Catholic, with its reputation
for providing personal, intellectual, and religious formation in a
nurturing, family-like environment, is still producing
well-rounded graduates fully prepared to take their places in
American society as responsible, Christian citizens. Today,
Ascension Catholic serves nearly 700 students from pre-K through
12th grade from 19 church parishes.
Colleges and universities around the country—including
Ivy League institutions--see 98% of our graduates, half of whom
enjoy academic scholarships which last year totaled $232,000.
Our High School’s ACT average recently surpassed
local and state averages and reached the national average of 21.
In our senior honors section, the ACT average is 25.6.
A notable part of
our tradition includes a strong athletics program, which has
claimed numerous state championships over the years, and a dance
team, which has consistently been ranked nationally.
Catholic boasts of more than 2,500 distinguished living alumni
worldwide. Many life
long friendships, including marriages, began at Ascension
Catholic. Our alumni
are, at the same time, our greatest tribute and resource, and keep
the Ascension Catholic tradition strong.
To find out more about
ACIS please visit
Tradition Continues, Capital Campaign
In a tradition begun by the Daughters of Charity,
Brothers of the Sacred Heart, and Sisters of the Holy Family,
our dedicated, professional, and caring faculty remain committed
to nurturing the gifts and abilities of every student so that he
or she develops and realizes his or her potential. The improvement projects, which will be funded by The
Tradition Continues Capital Campaign, will help us realize our
potential as a school in this 21st century, and your
help is needed. Please
consider prayerfully and gratefully the support you can lend to
our efforts. Thank you for visiting our website, and for your
valuable role in making sure that The
Tradition Continues for many future generations
of our young people.
To find out more about
The Tradition Continues Capital Campaign visit