Photography by John and Kathleen DeMajo

(Founded - 1848, Closed - 2001
A SPECIAL NOTE: Because of a tragic fire at St. Vincent de Paul (Blessed Francis Seelos) parish church, two of New Orleans Historic churches, which had been previously closed by the Archdiocese, were temporarily reopened during the repair of the burned building. This tragic occurrence has had a benefit of enabling NewOrleansChurches.Com to photograph these beautiful churches which would otherwise possibly never have been captured on digital images.




Early 1800’s:  Bernard de Marigny subdivides the old Marigny Plantation family property, located below the city’s ramparts, into squares and lots. This began the development of the Fabourg Marigny neighborhood.


1840’s: Heavy Irish immigration brought many new settlers to the Marigny area. Many of the Irish found employment in the shipping related businesses of the area.


1844: Bishop Antoine Blanc provided a priest for the area and the Widow’s Asylum Chapel on Morales (now Marais) and Mandeville became Annunciation parish. Father Morisot was named pastor and, as a Frenchman, he delivered all church sermons and instructions in French.  


1847: Saint Vincent de Paul church, further down in the Fabourg Des Allemands, was also a French language parish. The Germans began to rally for their own church in the area. At the bishop’s direction, Father Masquelet purchased property at St. Ferdinand and Dauphine and began construction of a church for the German Catholics. There was no church to service the Irish Catholics of the area. The Irish began a movement to get a parish established.


1848: Bishop Blanc appointed an Irish priest, Rev. Cornelius Moynihan to be stationed at Annunciation for the purpose of ministering to the Irish.


April 1949: Prior to leaving for Baltimore, Bishop Blanc authorized Father Moynihan to purchase property on Mandeville Street from Widow Mailloux Londrien,

and others, for construction of a new church.


November 1949: Work got underway on the church of Saint Peter Prince of the Apostles.


January 1855: The church became too small to handle the developing parish. Father Moynihan contracted with the Bauver family to acquire land  bounded by then Marigny, Mandeville, Craps and Amour streets for a new church.


1860-61: Work now underway on new St. Peter’s Church. Bishop Blanc dies and Bishop Odin is installed early in 1861. Father Moynihan also provided funds, from his own pocket, to build a rectory. Upon his death later, he gave the building to the Parish.


June 1863: Father Moynihan adds the name of St. Paul to the church as he begins signing documents as pastor of St. Peter and Paul.


1866: Parish council includes Edward Douglas White who was to later become a Supreme Court justice.


1869: The Marianite Sisters of the Holy Cross locate in the parish and assume direction of the parish school.


1873: Construction is started on a permanent school building.


1879 Father Moynihan succumbs to pneumonia.

These photos were taken on July 6, 2003 after the church was closed for a period of several years.
The OUSCDB database indicates that an 1850s Henry Erben organ was installed in this church at the time it was constructed. The instrument was a 3 manual, 4 division organ. The photo below is the only known photo of the Erben organ.


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