Ethnic schooling and the ecclesiastical square: Educational opportunity, social divide, and the redemptorists in New Orleans, Louisiana


In nineteenth-/early-twentieth-century New Orleans, ethnic divisions between Catholic German and Irish parishioners caused the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists) to devise a nationalistically segregated system of churches, parochial schools, and orphanages in order to enhance educational opportunities for immigrant children. Despite sharing a geographic space (the Irish Channel), immigrants self-segregated by linguistics and opposed the idea of a single church and school despite limited resources. As the Catholic Church of the nineteenth century was more concerned with “saving souls” than ethnic unification, Redemptorist education developed alongside cultural divisions and contributed to long-lasting ethnic separations between immigrant populations.

Publication Title

Catholic Historical Review