You Are Here: The Statuary
In many cases, the stories behind a well-known object are lost to the passage of time. To those who walk the halls of the Catholic High campus, these icons have faded into the background of the school. But to those who have never seen them, the statues of Catholic High School’s campus are a link to the past. Even those who daily visit campus, the history of the statues are unknown. Some statues are here simply because the school wished to have them, such as the statue of Mary in the prayer garden. Others great relics, such as the statue of St. John Baptiste de LaSalle and the statue of St. Peter, are here to honor CHS’s history with St. Peter’s College and Mount Carmel Academy.
The statue of St. John Baptiste de LaSalle has a long history dating back to 1945. It was a gift of the senior class of St. Peter’s College and was dedicated by Monsignor J. M. Langlois. It remained on campus as a central landmark until the school’s closing. Once it was moved to Catholic High, it sat behind the school for years until it was finally moved to the front of the old chapel. Its new home was an almost perfect recreation of how it used to look at St. Peter’s College. Once the old chapel closed, the statue was moved a final time to a prominent place in the school parking lot. Donald Voorhies, a well known citizen and teacher at Catholic High School, was primarily responsible for this move as well. The statue was not only bolted to the concrete pedestal, but also glued down for extra security. This was done by Kippy Babineaux, the owner of Babineaux Marble and Granite and a CHS alumni. Now anyone who comes to CHS is greeted by the school’s founder as he stands watch over the campus.
Another statue that once stood at St. Peter’s College was the statue of St. Peter, which now resides near the Administration Building. It was first placed on St. Peter’s College’s campus on November 23, 1943. The statue was donated in memory of Joseph A. Gonsoulin by his wife on the 25th anniversary of St. Peter’s College’s founding. Once the school was closed, it was transferred to Saint Peter’s Catholic Church in 1964. This is where it remained until it was moved back to Catholic High and left practically forgotten on campus for nearly a decade. Thanks to the efforts of several people, including Donald Voorhies, the statue was restored to how it originally looked on St. Peter College’s campus. Although St. Peter’s new home does not feature a fish pond like its original resting place. It was finally rededicated on February 4, 2000. Near St. Peter’s statue, there are plaques used to honor all those who become Golden Endowment Members by contributing funds to Catholic High School. A person does not need to be a graduate of Catholic High School in order to receive a place of honor on the statue. He or she only needs to have a love of the school.
The newest statue on campus is also a statue of St. Peter. It was dedicated on March 22, 2012 by Mrs. Jodie Suire and her family in memory of her father Huey Patrick Darby who graduated from St. Peter’s College in 1954.
Close by this newer statue is the statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, which is directly in front of the middle school building. The statue of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel was donated in 2006 by Mrs. Robert Breaux in honor of all of her daughters who graduated from Mt. Carmel and her twin granddaughters who graduated from Catholic High. Three generations of this family have attended St. Peter’s College, Mount Carmel, and Catholic High. This tradition started with Mr. Robert Breaux who first graduated from St. Peter’s College.
Gary, Allyson. Photographs of Catholic High School.Photographs. Private Collection. Allyson Gary and Alexandra Badeaux.
Hebert, Jamie. Email Interview. 10 May 2012.
The Panther. 1948. Print. Catholic High School, New Iberia, LA.
Statuary Documents. Documents. Private Collection. Donald Voorhies.
Voorhies, Donald. Personal Interview. 10 May 2012.