2016 Sunset Report

OLG & DCRT Strategic Plan
2020-21 through 2024-25


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Antonio Sedella and Religious Diversity in Louisiana

Colonial Catholicism Events Surrounding the Purchase A Wall of Separation The Battle of New Orleans
W.C.C. Claiborne and The State Seal The Arrival of Religious Diversity Religion, Race, and Slavery Antonio Sedella & Religious Diversity

Variety and diversity characterized religion in Louisiana by the 1830s. In addition to Protestant Churches, faith-based charitable institutions and Masonic lodges were all established in New Orleans in the antebellum period.

Louisiana had come a remarkably long way in a short period of time. The road to religious diversity and freedom to worship was not always smooth, especially for enslaved people. Yet those who remained open to people of other belief systems seem to have garnered the public’s admiration and, in some cases, even their devotion.

There is no better example of this than Father Antonio Sedella, the revered but controversial pastor of St. Louis Cathedral. When Sedella passed away in 1829, the city virtually shut down and its people, regardless of their personal religious convictions, came together to celebrate the life, ministry, and example of this man. According to one newspaper, “His exemplary piety and his liberal ideas on religion and government made him the illustrious ornament of the religion he professed.”

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Père Antoine at Age Seventy-Four (1748-1829)
Edmund Brewster

Loaned by the Archdiocese of New Orleans

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The New Orleans Bee
January 20, 1829