Soul & Spirituality

On Sacred Ground

Churches and cemeteries dating back to the 1700’s depict the spiritual richness of New Orleans Plantation Country. Catholicism is the primary religion, and among many beautiful ancient churches are striking grave-sites.

Day 1

St. Joseph Church

Start your spiritual exploration in Destrehan, Louisiana at St. Charles Barromero Church and Cemetery. The church, once known as the Little Red Church, began as a small log chapel in 1740 on the bank of the Mississippi River. The cemetery, originally known as the Little Red Church Cemetery has tombs dating back to the 1700s.

Explore the grounds of the Kulgar and Kenner cemeteries in the Bonnet Carre Spillway in Norco, Louisiana. The graveyards were originally established for slaves in the 1800s and later, was the burial grounds for Black Civil War Union Army veterans. In 1929, the cemeteries were plowed over to make way for the construction of the Spillway.

Travel to LaPlace, Louisiana for lunch, and enjoy the lunch special at Wayne Jacob’s Smokehouse. Add to your meal some Boudin Balls, Andouille Chips, Hoghead Cheese, and Tasso Pork Jerky. For desert, try some Donut Hole Bread Pudding or a piece of Humming Bird Cake.

After lunch, take a walkthrough of the Construction House at Wayne Jacob’s Smokehouse to see how Hog Cracklin, Andouille Sausage, and other kinds of sausages are made. Stroll out back to get a view of at the smokehouses and the woodpile, and after, place your order to have a Meat Lovers box shipped to your home.

Learn how religion played a role in the lives of African Americans during segregation at Our Lady of Grace Church in Reserve, Louisiana. Built in 1936, the sanctuary presents an exhibit of what life was like for Black people living under Jim Crow laws and emphasizes the different music genres created by African American musicians throughout segregation.

Day 2

St. Michael Catholic Church

Your spiritual exploration continues at the Antioch Baptist Church in Wallace, Louisiana. Located on the grounds of Whitney Plantation, the church was built after the Civil War and was the only church where former slaves attended service. The historic structure serves as the introduction to Whitney Plantation and statues of young slaves are exhibited throughout the sanctuary.

Learn the unique history of Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Vacherie, Louisiana. Built by African Americans in the 1890s, the priests were persistent with allowing Black Catholics to attend worship services at the church. Walk the grounds of the church, where the church bathroom stood as a monument to the segregated past.

Visit the 190-year old St. Michael Church in Convent, Louisiana. The church is the home to the Lourdes Grotto that has an altar made from shells collected from the Mississippi River and Bagasse rocks, which are produced from a sugar-making process. The church houses the Henry Erben Pipe Organ, the oldest working organ of its kind in Louisiana and a Lamb of God over the altar that appears to be looking at you, no matter where you are in the church.

Dine at Hymel’s Seafood Restaurant in Convent, Louisiana, one of Louisiana’s famous “service station restaurants.” Begin your meal with some tasty fried mushrooms or crab fingers, and next, try the Super Boat Special, which has fish, shrimp, oysters, and stuffed crab, frog legs, and softshell crab. End your meal with Pecan Cobbler or Chocolate Suicide cake.

View the Bruslie Plantation Cemetery in Convent, Louisiana, an unmarked burial ground designated for deceased African American slaves in the 1830s. The gravesite was a part of the Monroe and Bruslie plantations, two of the numerous sugar plantations that once were among the cluster of the Mississippi River Road plantations.

Sail on the Blind River to see its hidden gem, Our Lady of the Blind River Chapel in Gramercy, Louisiana. Built from Cypress trees by hand as a prayer sanctuary in 1982, the altar has a brightly painted Virgin Mary statue, a lacquered Cypress stump, and a collage of religious photos at the entrance of the chapel.

Day 3

St. John Church

End of your spiritual journey in Des Allemands, Louisiana on a swamp cruise to cruise to an ancient Indian Mound Burial Ground in Bayou Des Allemands. The tour is offered by 2 Da Swamp Bayou Tours and includes a walk through the quaint, moss-draped wetlands that provides directions to the burial site. While viewing the graves, you will notice each has a cross made of debris from the bayou.

Enjoy your lunch in Paradis, Louisiana at Grumpy’s Restaurant. Crawfish Kickers are a great way to start your meal, followed by N’awlins White Beans and Rice and crawfish cornbread dressing. Finish the meal with a snowball or custom shake.

Cemetery

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PLANTATIONS

Explore the 10 historic estates in the River Parishes of Louisiana and discover the stories rooted in their past.

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SWAMP TOURS

Create memories learning the folklore of our swamps and viewing gators in their natural habitat.

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ANDOUILLE

Andouille was created here, so get out and try the local smokehouses that each have their own version of the "best".

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OUTDOOR RECREATION

The region out here is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts to explore and find adventure.

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Lac Des Allmands

Famous for catfish, Lac Des Allemands is a haven for outdoor sportsmen.

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PERIQUE

Enjoyed around the world, Perique can only be grown and processed out here.

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CAJUN & CREOLE CUISINE

Cajun and Creole cuisine are as necessary to our culture as the people who make it.

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TRANSPORTATION

Tour buses, shuttles and local airports are all transportation options for the River Parishes.

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STAY OUT HERE

New Orleans Plantation Country offers a wide range of lodging options from rustic and quaint to upscale and luxurious.

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