Because people continually ask this, and because I typed up a long response to an e-mail the other day, here, for some future Googler’s delight, is a brief synopsis of the three Catholic Churches close to the main hotels and action down in the CBD and the French Quarter.
There are three places down in that area, all of which are great for Mass.
Immaculate Conception Church
“Jesuit on Baronne”, as we say here (it’s actually Immaculate Conception Church), can be found on Baronne Street, and also has a home on the web.
They are (obviously) Jesuit, and across from the Roosevelt, which is a great place to grab coffee or brunch after Mass. The Mass is ordinary form. The preaching is more often than not, wonderful. I only add ‘more often than not’ as it might be an off day when you go and .. you know how it goes… You’ll be blaming me for the rest of your life! The current Pastor is a friend I grew up with, Fr. Stephen Sauer and is a great Priest. They have a vibrant outreach to the community in regard to the Church’s teachings on helping the poor.
Through a fluke in timing I’ve been able to help out here recently with their music needs, playing piano and organ. The Steinway is a work of art, and the organ is a lovely late model Pheonix. It’s been a sheer pleasure.
St. Patrick’s Church
Closer to the river is St. Patrick’s, which I love and go to from time to time when I am able (which is obviously not often.)
The Mass is more traditional as it is celebrated ad orientem. The extraordinary form is celebrated twice on weekends, with Eucharistic Adoration also on Sunday afternoons. The Pastor is one of my favorite seminary professors, and a wonderful Priest, Fr. Stan Klores. You’ll usually see him walking around in a cassock prior to Mass if he is not the Priest saying the Mass.
Some of my friends cherish the 9:30am Extraordinary Form High Mass ~~~ others cherish the 5:30pm vigil which has no music and which is pretty quick. Something for everyone.
Also impressive is the St. Patrick’s You Tube Channel, which offers a glimpse into liturgical life there…
And last but never least, they have a spectacular new organ, Opus 53 of Patrick Murphy.
Can you tell I was an organist prior to ordination?
Then of course, there’s The Cathedral Basillica of St. Louis, King of France. (We say that all the time.) I love going when I can because it’s down on Jackson Square, and is the iconic symbol of New Orleans. The Archbishop says Mass on Sundays at 11, the vigil is usually (lately) said by Fr. William Maestri, who gives a good Homily.
There is an internist position for the organist, whereby a spectacular organ student from Paris comes to play Masses and give recitals on the recently restored organ, which was newly installed a year before Katrina and then had a few years of recovery and tlc after wind driven rains poured over it and the plaster above it for hours.
There are some other notable Churches in the area, but are farther away walks. One is Our Lady of Guadalupe, which is home to the National Shrine of St. Jude. I’m not as familiar with it as I should be, though I have visited several times, it is just outside the French Quarter.
I hope this helps you enjoy your trip to New Orleans a bit more. If you have any question, or if you want to take me to Galatoire’s while you’re here, feel free to e-mail me!