Originally located on the corner of Cambronne and Freret Streets, Mater Dolorosa School was founded in 1872 in order to provide quality education to the children of the Mater Dolorosa congregation. Father Prim had reunited the French and German Catholic communities after they had earlier split into two congregations. After Prim passed away, his assistant, Joseph Pyzikiewicz, became the spiritual leader of Mater Dolorosa.

In 1909, Mater Dolorosa gave its original church and school to the Josephite Fathers so they could serve the African-American Catholic community in the Carrollton area. This first location is now known as Blessed Sacrament-St. Joan of Arc Church and School.

While its new church and school were being constructed, Mater Dolorosa School temporarily used Olympia Hall, on the corner of Oak Street and Carrollton Avenue. The new Mater Dolorosa School was dedicated on September 18, 1927, by Rev. John W. Shaw, Archbishop of New Orleans, where it served the Carrollton community for over half a century. In 1988, it was converted to an apartment complex for senior citizens. The building is still owned and operated by the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

In the interviews below, Delfeayo Marsalis, renowned musician and Mater Dolorosa alumnus, shares memories of attending Mater Dolorosa School.


Delfeayo Marsalis shares memories of the priests and teachers at Mater Dolorosa.
Source: Courtesy of Michael Mizell-Nelson.
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Delfeayo Marsalis shares memories of a paper he wrote while attending Mater Dolorosa.
Source: Courtesy of Michael Mizell-Nelson.
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1228 South Carrollton Avenue New Orleans, LA