Ascension Catholic School to restore its convent
Ascension Catholic Diocesan Regional School is the oldest Catholic school in the Diocese of Baton Rouge. Its heritage began in 1845 with the establishment of St. Vincent’s Institute in Donaldsonville by six Daughters of Charity. In 1885 Sisters of the Holy Family established a school for African-American children called St. Augustine School (later renamed St. Catherine). A year later the Brothers of the Sacred Heart opened a Catholic school for boys called St. Joseph Commercial Institute renamed Catholic High School in 1930). In 1969 the three pioneer schools consolidated to become Ascension Catholic Inter-parochial Schools. After many years of being led by the priest in residence at Ascension of Our Lord Church, who was the school’s superintendent, the school became a Diocesan Regional School in 2004. It’s name today is Ascension Catholic Diocesan Regional School.
Today Ascension Catholic serves approximately 500 students from Pre-K through grade 12. Over the years the school facilities on two separate campuses have been expanded and improved, but now its most historic building (1850 original convent building) is in need of major preservation work. Today the antebellum convent building houses classrooms, administrative offices, a teacher’s lounge and workroom and the elementary school library. Plans to restore the building include a new roof, porch railing, paint and the window repair. Following the restoration of the convent building, a new carpool driveway and brick memorial walk will be installed so that the main entrance to the elementary school campus will be through the convent building.
The school’s fundraising efforts include a Dinner and Auction Fundraiser on May 22, and a “Pave the Way – Buy a Brick” campaign. Ascension Catholic is asking its school family, the surrounding community and numerous alumni to support its fundraising efforts to ensure that the tradition continues. Interested persons may call the high school office at (225) 473-9227 to purchase tickets to the Dinner and Auction, buy a brick or donate an auction item.