Ascension Catholic Interparochial Schools

In the beginning

Ascension 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.  In 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 High School.

In 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

After 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.  

Our Alumni 

Ascension 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 www.ascensioncatholicschools.com.

About The 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 www.aciscc.com


A Eucharistic Community Since 1772




716 Mississippi Street PO Box 508 Donaldsonville, Louisiana 70346

225.473.3176 Fax 225.473.3256


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