Church on Dauphine Street

A story of a New Orleans Catholic church, Blessed Seelos Catholic Church, will air tomorrow night on PBS (that’s Channel 12, WYES, if you live in New Orleans) at 10:30 p.m. CST. I’m not sure if this is a universal time, so check your TV listings.

It is a story about the rebuilding of this church after Katrina and the trilingual community in tow – English-speaking, signing (i.e. deaf) and Spanish-speaking. There is a common theory here that a lot more Hispanics have come here since the hurricane, mostly because of the job opportunities in construction. Seelos Catholic Church holds three masses: the English-speaking one on Saturday nights, then the English and ASL one on Sunday morning and finally the one in Spanish at around noon on Sundays.

There’s a little more to this story than what was on a Web site that gave some details on this show: The Web site says the church is in the 9th Ward, I’m pretty sure that area is Bywater, not the 9th. It’s right next to the 9th though. You can tell because there’s a canal that separates the two.

This church wasn’t always called Blessed Seelos Catholic Church. Just before the hurricane, it caught on fire. Then the hurricane pulled the roof off. Because the altar was destroyed in the fire, they were able to rename it. But other than that, I think the stained glass windows were pretty much left intact by the two disasters. It opened for services December of last year.

I hope you get a chance to watch it!


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