Archdiocese: “No plans to demolish” rectory at St. Henry

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The rectory at St. Henry's Catholic Church (image via Preservation Resource Center)

The Archdiocese of New Orleans denied any current plans to demolish the rectory at St. Henry Catholic Church, though it acknowledged inquiring about the possibility of doing so in order to host an exhibit on John Paul II.

The statement released by the Archdiocese late Wednesday afternoon follows in its entirety:

We have received several inquiries about a possible John Paul II exhibit at St. Henry. The Archdiocese of New Orleans is interested in hosting this exhibit, and we are in the process of looking for resources to make this possible.

As for the rumors regarding the demolition of the St. Henry rectory, we have no plans to demolish the building at this time. As we initiated planning for the possible exhibit, the pastor at Good Shepherd Parish made an informal inquiry into whether or not demolishing the building would be possible.

When we have more information to announce regarding the exhibit, we will do so.

Last week, city officials sent an email to neighborhood leaders describing a call from “an architect working on St. Henry’s,” who said the church planned “to request the demolition of a building across the street from the church that they no longer need.” Concerns that the building would become a parking lot for the exhibit prompted neighbors to begin organizing a petition opposing its demolition.

“That’s good news,” said Faye Lieder, one of the residents leading the effort to save the rectory. “If they don’t have plans to do that, that’s good news. It’s attracted interest, and I think people are going to keep a watchful eye on it.”

This story was developed with our reporting partners at WWL-TV.

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