"Saddest Funeral on the Teche"

Mount Carmel Academy

A terrible funeral for a historic school.

The small town of New Iberia, Louisiana has a unique secret that thrives inside this local high school. Over 170 years ago Mount Carmel Academy opened its doors! The academy was originally for girls and helping with their development. The historic school was once home to Doctor Frederick Duperier of New Iberia in 1850. He holds a well-known artifact that lies in the heart of the Academy. The famous artifact is known as “The Emma Window,” which is a window scratched up by his wife’s engagement ring. Throughout the years Mount Carmel acted as a home for over a thousand girls in Southwest Louisiana. The school was such a success that they were able to produce a graduating class in 1890. It consisted of so many talented and educated sisters that the owner of the brother school, St. Peter’s College, Father Jouen asked for them to teach his young men for a couple of years. When the school initially moved, it renamed to Catholic High School. In 1987, New Iberia accomplished a very important milestone of incorporating young girls into the school. Unfortunately in 1988, after the closing of the academy, the structure remained abandoned for several years until the Schellestede family of New Iberia bought it. Now the building has been converted into an administrative office used by Catholic High. Mount Carmel Academy’s legend will live on along the Bayou Teche!