The Ecole Bilingue de la Nouvelle-Orléans received City Planning Commission approval last week to increase its footprint within the St. Henry’s Catholic Church complex with the use of a building for its middle school. The private French immersion school occupies multiple buildings and courtyards within the church grounds for its early childhood, kindergarten, elementary and middle schools. To give the middle school students room to grow in a building of their own, the school wants to lease the Blessed Pauline building at 4219 Constance St. Plans show the interior will be renovated into four classrooms, a science and technology lab, a music room and three offices.
Council members Helena Moreno, Jason Williams and Jay H. Banks are proud to announce mobile COVID-19 testing in Central City. The testing initiative is hosted by 12 Baptist churches throughout the city and held this week at New Hope on Rev. John Raphael Jr. Way. In partnership with the city of New Orleans, NOLA Ready and the New Orleans Health Department and Ochsner Health System, community drive-thru or walk-up testing will take place on Tuesday (May 5) and Wednesday (May 6) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the New Hope Baptist Church, 1807 Rev. John Raphael Jr. Way (formerly LaSalle Street). “Having testing easily accessible to those that are most likely to be impacted and who are less likely to be able to get to the other testing sites, just makes sense,” said District B’s Councilman Banks. “Throughout every crisis New Orleans has experienced, churches have been an anchor, and served as a beacon of hope.
In an initiative to honor this week’s religious holidays during a major health crisis, the Big Easy Wing of the Commemorative Air Force will launch its first “Spirit Flights” over New Orleans. Two local religious leaders will be flying over the city in a World War II plane. The first flight will take on Good Friday (April 10) at 10 a.m. Archbishop of New Orleans Gregory Aymond will fly over the city to bless the citizens of metropolitan area during this pandemic. Aymond himself only recently recovered from COVID-19. “We continue to ask for prayers for our health care workers, our leaders, those who are sick, and those who have died,” Ayond said.
Members of the Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day Club gathered Saturday (March 14) for their annual Mass at St. Mary’s Assumption Church that traditionally precedes their Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day parade. This year, the parade hosted by the group founded in 1947 was canceled by the city due to the spread of the coronavirus.
Lenten fish frys at Catholic churches and schools start today and continue throughout Lent. Here’s some local fried-fish dinners from a list compiled by the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Knight of Columbus 3411
Where: Blessed Pauline Center, 4219 Constance St. When: Fridays from Feb. 28 to April 3; after 6 p.m.
Menu: Fish and fries or crawfish pasta, coleslaw, vegetable, dessert, drink.
St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church will present its 26th annual Jazz Service, an Uptown Mardi Gras tradition led by Dr. Michael White and the Original Liberty Jazz Band, at 9 a.m. on Sunday (Feb. 23). Dr. White, renowned New Orleans clarinetist, and the Original Liberty Jazz Band have led the Jazz Service since it began in 1994. The Jazz Service always packs the church on the Sunday before Fat Tuesday as it presents a festival of hymns and spirituals in the New Orleans jazz style.
Plans for a wellness center in the former Norwegian Seamen’s Church on Prytania Street won the approval of the City Planning Commission last week, despite a recommendation from the staff planners to deny a required zoning change. The center is the brainchild of Diana Fisher, Deborah Peters and Kendall Wininger, three sisters who live in the Lower Garden District. “The idea was born out of one sister’s need during a serious illness,” Peters told the City Planning Commission. “Her treatment required her to drive around town seeking help from different practitioners.”
They came up with a plan to bring medical practitioners and wellness activities together in one place to better promote healing. When the church, renamed the Scandinavian Jazz Church and Cultural Center after it lost its funding from the Norwegian government, closed at the end of 2018 and the property went on the market, the sisters decided it was the perfect spot for their venture.
A 20th century complex of buildings in a district revered for its 19th century architecture was given official landmark status Wednesday by the Historic District Landmarks Commission. Designed and constructed in 1968, the Norwegian Seamen’s Church held its last service on Christmas Eve 2018. It then changed to secular hands, and its new owners are planning a wellness center. The church’s history in the Lower Garden District began in 1906, and it is its history and cultural significance — as well as the airy Scandinavian-style mid-century architecture — that the HDLC honored in granting the extra layer of protection from alteration or demolition. “The buildings that make up the campus more stylistically resemble Scandinavian architecture than that of the surrounding neighborhood,” HDLC staff stated in their report.
Broadmoor Community Church will host an event this Sunday, April 14, that will feature free food, music, games for kids, an easter egg hunt, and more. This “Party in the Park” takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Broadmoor Play Spot, 2021 S. Dupre. The free event is open to the public and will also include a gift card raffle and clothing giveaway. For more information, call (504) 822-7229.
One-hundred and twelve years as a religious hub for the Norwegian community makes a space on Prytania Street ideal for yoga classes, meditation and water aerobics, its new owners told residents of the Lower Garden District on Wednesday. If all goes as planned, the site of the former Scandinavian Jazz Church — previously called the Norwegian Seamen’s Church — will be transformed into a wellness center called the Santosa Center for Healthy Living by the fall of 2020. The property’s owners say the development will be a unique, all-inclusive wellness center not found anywhere else in New Orleans. “We feel there’s no better place to do this than in this church,” said Diana Fisher, who owns the property along with her sisters Deborah Peters and Kendall Winingder. Fisher said most of the existing buildings on the property wouldn’t be altered.