Introduction to Tour

Catholic missionary priests accompanied the first Spanish and French exploratory and trade expeditions of the Louisiana territory.  Members of these expeditions were paid in the form of land grants, and so they became settlers. The missionary priests from Europe stayed to minister to the spiritual and religious needs of the settlers. Trading outposts became encampments, which became settlements, which became towns and cities. Ascension Church parish was established in 1772.  The original small wooden missionary church, located on the site of the third and present church building, was expanded and used for over 60 years to serve the needs of the growing settlement. When it burned to the ground, a second church building was begun.  It was located at the approximate site of the canopy entrance (PHOTO) from the parking lot to the ramp into the present church.  While it was under construction, a storefront on Railroad Ave was used as a temporary church building. The second church building was completed and occupied in 1840. The original church cemetery was located immediately adjacent to the original wooden church.  It extended from the present location of St. Vincent Street and extended to underneath the present church site (PHOTO) To make way for the new church, remains from the cemetery were re-located to the present cemetery site.  Construction on the present church building was begun in 1875 and was finally completed and formally dedicated in 1896.  So portions of the present church are 127 years old and some elements are 106 years old.  Start Your Walking Tour Here.


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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