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Window St Mary's Church New Orleans
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© Christine Till
The Old Ursuline Convent was built in the mid 18th century for the Ursuline nuns, who arrived from France to provide medical and educational assistance to the early inhabitants of the fledgling French colony.
The adjoining St. Mary's Chapel, officially known as Our Lady of Victory, was built in 1846, well after the nuns had left the convent. The interior of the chapel is decorated with mural paintings, stained glass windows and a Baroque altar. In 1976, the name was changed to Our Lady of Victory to commemorate the Ursulines and their role in the winning of the Battle of New Orleans. Overall, the church has served the French, Spanish, Creole, Irish, German, Slovenian and Italian people as well as native Indians and the Sisters of the Holy Family who are predominantly an African-American order.
The original Pilcher organ, built in 1890 for the Ursulines by the Pilcher Bros. of New Orleans, now stands restored and functional in the church choir loft. The church has now been named St. Mary's Church and it is part of the Antoine Blanc Memorial and Archdiocesan Archives housed at the Vieux Carre location.
January 21st, 2014
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