Exhibition - One Nation Under God
One Nation Under God The Church, The State, and the Louisiana Purchase Colonial Catholicism
Colonial authorities provided permission for religious orders to settle in Louisiana and played an important role in legitimizing the authority of the Catholic Church. In return, priests and nuns played a critical role in settling Louisiana and ministering to the area's inhabitants in ways both sacred and secular.
The Ursuline nuns, for example, established the colony's first school for girls. After an arduous journey, the first group of Ursulines arrived in New Orleans on August 6, 1727. In the first letter she wrote after arriving in the city, Mother St. Augustin noted that "all the inhabitants try very hard to make us realize the joy they feel in having us for the education of their children." The Ursuline Sisters also created instruments of worship that, over time, have proved to be enduring works of art.