Parish History

Good Shepherd Parish was formed in October 2008 by merging together three parishes: St. Stephen, St. Henry and Our Lady of Good Counsel.  The boundaries of the new parish go from Seventh Street to Leontine Street, and from Carondelet to the Mississippi.  All three of the merged parishes have long and interesting histories.

As time goes on, this page will be updated with more information and photos showing the long heritage of the Catholic Church in Uptown New Orleans.

St. Stephen Catholic Church
1025 Napoleon Avenue
The parish of St. Stephen’s was established in 1849. Bishop Blanc gave it to the Vincentian Fathers to serve the large German settlement in this area. Mass was first said in the parishioner’s homes until a very simple church was built in 1850.The parish continued to grow, and a larger church was needed. Construction begun in 1868 on the new church and continued for ten years. Built in a German Gothic style, the present church celebrated its first Mass on December 26, 1887, the feast of St. Stephen.

St. Stephen’s is the second largest Catholic church in New Orleans. Its six sided spire rises over 200 feet high and is visible for miles. The stained glass windows were designed by the Fanz Mayer Company of Munich, Germany.  They have been recently restored after damage from Hurricane Katrina.

St. Henry’s Catholic Church
812 General Pershing 
St. Henry’s was founded in 1855 in response to the request of the Germans of the laboring class who preferred to hear their faith preached to them in their own language instead of attending Mass with the other immigrants and the upperclass Germans of St. Stephen’s. This created a parish within a parish.The original frame church was built at the present site and was blessed in 1856. In 1911 Archbishop Blanc designated St. Henry’s as a territorial parish, serving more than just those of German descent.

The present brick church was built in 1925, keeping the intimacy of a chapel. The stained glass windows were executed by the Emil Frei Company. The two small windows behind the side altars are believed to have come from the original frame church.

Our Lady of Good Counsel
1307 Louisiana Avenue
On February 16, 1887 Archbishop Francis Xavier Leray erected a new parish carved from the territories belonging to Redemptorist and St. Stephen’s. Established during the time of Pope Leo XIII, this parish was named after his favorite patron, Our Lady of Good Counsel, to whom the Albanians immigrating to Italy prayed to for safe passage.The first Mass was celebrated on July 3, 1887 in a little frame building where the parking lot is now. The present brick church was dedicated on January 21, 1894. Its stained glass windows were crafted by the Emil Frei Company and tell the story of the relationship of Our Lady and Christ. A new marble altar was installed and dedicated in March 1953. This altar is believed to be the first in New Orleans to use different colored marbles in its design. The church lost its bell tower in 1965 when Hurricane Betsy blew it off.