Thursday, February 14, 2013

St. Monica Catholic Church


St. Monica was built in 1924 at the corner of South Galvez and First Streets in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was built and opened with hopes of  erecting a school for four hundred poor Colored Catholic children who had no opportunity of a Catholic education. The Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament (SBS) taught Sunday School to about one hundred fifty children in the church but they were on their own for the rest of the week.

In less than 6 months, St. Monica Catholic church had a school. The school was dedicated on October 1924 and was run by two SBS sisters who commuted from Xavier University. All of the Hicks siblings and their children attended St. Monica Catholic School. Nace Hicks, Sr., my grandfather, was a founding member of St. Monica and he built built an altar to the Blessed Mother with a place to kneel in the corner of each room,

My mother, Augusta, was in the first graduatiing class.  At that time, St. Monica Church and School was grey. In Mom's day, it was a four-room school that housed eight grades. When I attended, St. Monica had at least eight rooms, a room for each grade level.

 I can remember my days at St. Monica.  We wore uniforms, blue skirts and white blouses. Mom made our uniforms. The blouses were starched heavily, so much so, the collar would scratch our necks when we turned our heads.  We lived in Dixie Court at the time and right around the corner from cousins, Brenda and Linda. Each morning we would get dressed, pick up our cousins and continue walking to school with our lunch and book bags.

On October 3, 1987, First Annual Alumni Gathering was held and the Hicks family presented a card catalog and a dictonary stand in honor and memory of Nace Hicks.

The above photograph was taken in 2003 or 2004 before Katrina struck the city.  The Hicks/Estes family had a reunion in 2004 and we attended mass in the church on Sunday. After Katrina, St. Monica was shuttered and never reopened. It was merged with two other church parishes and is now a part of Blessed Trinity Catholic Church on Broad Street.

Although, some of has moved out of Louisiana and some have moved to other church parishes, we still consider St. Monica as our home.

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