The History of Assumption School in Carencro
Saintly Racial Justice in Carencro
During the era of segregation in the United States, many Christian communities created parishes exclusively for black Christians to separate them from the white Christians, whether in support of segregation or to prevent a riot. Saint Katherine Drexel was an advocate against racial discrimination and provided funds from her wealthy father's inheritance to create schools for black and native students. She held a strong focus on supporting black students in the U.S. South based on the intensity of the racial discrimination that occurred there. With the assistance of Bishop Jules B. Jeanmard of the Diocese of Lafayette, St. Drexel offered the funds necessary to establish Assumption School in Carencro, LA to provide schooling for black students in the region in 1925.
Three lay teachers would first teach there, and St. Drexel would pay for their salary. Eventually, as enrollment in the school increased in 1948, St. Drexel sent three more of her Sisters to teach at the school, and more laypeople, as well as priests, worked at the school. Eventually, during the 1980s, Assumption School closed its doors to reintegrate with white Catholics and create Carencro Catholic School. Currently, the school’s parish, Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church, remains an active Catholic parish for black families, but the former school now likely serves as a gathering place for private lessons.