Little Flower School 1947 - 1992

First the Convent

Little Flower School closed around 1991-1992 according to a source.  She stated:  "I was there the last year it was open. Sadly, I was only able to go to Kindergarten there.  Wish it was still open.  My kids would be enrolled in a heartbeat." That is the sentiment of many a parent.  We remember the great experiences at Little Flower School through many generations.

How did it begin?

During Lent of 1946, Father Bernard distributed small "Self-Denial Banks," among the parishioners of Saint John Francis Regis Catholic Church.  The "Banks" came with an admonition from the pastor that the response that he would receive from the generosity of the people upon returning these small boxes would be for him an indication of their willingness to make the sacrifices necessary to build and maintain a parochial school.  The answer was heartening.  Some 170 families signalized their willingness to make sacrifices for Catholic education.  The total returns from the "Self-Denial Banks" was $1,350 and to this Father Bernard added $4,500 that he had accumulated through the years from the surplus of the ordinary church fund, making a total of $5,850 in hand.

In December 1946, the pastor with the aid of the veterans back from the war, conducted a census of the parish and a survey by parishioners' votes to determine the good will of his people in regard to the new school project.  Each of the 47 veterans was given a small portion of the parish to canvass, and the following questions to be asked of each family:  Would you like to have the Sisters return to Arnaudville?  (If yes, how many of your children would you send to the parochial school?) Would you be willing to give us a day or more of free labor? (Number of days to be listed.) As a result of this last query, 365 working days were pledged by the generous and cooperative parishioners.  Replies were so favorable, that Father Bernard and the trustees placed their plans before His Excellency, the Bishop, who gave hearty approval and a "go-ahead" signal.

Work began.  Damase Noel and Wilton Wyble worked and supervised the whole construction. Soon, with the help of labor donated the new Sisters' home arose.  Today, it stands as a testimonial of the love and esteem of the people of Arnaudville for the Marianite Sisters of the Holy Cross, who are doing such a splended work of bringing God into the hearts of the children of the parish.

Next, Little Flower School Building

In February 1947, Father Bernard needed additional funds to go on with the construction of the new school building, so a special appeal came from the pulpit and was supplemented by personal letters to all the families of the parish.  Once more the parishioners manifested their generosity and spirit of cooperation with their pastor, when more than $8,000 was donated for the school.  Through the personal designing and supervision of the pastor, the foundation for the new school was laid in April of 1947.  Then the walls began to rise, thanks to the untiring efforts of Martin Campbell, who also gave much of his salary to bring about the realization of the proposed school. By September 1947, the doors were opened for the enrollment of the first classes, showing a grand total of 160 pupils. The new school was designated as the Little Flower School and the Sisters' residence as the Little Flower Convent. This was in tribute to the many graces obtained from Saint Theresa of Lisieux, who has done so much to bring about the great spiritual revival in the parish of Saint John Francis Regis.

The wonderful memories of days at Little Flower School all started with Father Bernard's dream and his drive to construct the convent and the school.  Nonco helped in many ways.  He was even called "Sister Nonco" by some of the children.

The above information was excerpted from the great resource ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF THE UPPER TECHE, Arnaudville, Louisiana, pages 75 and 77.
PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR PICTURES:  Help us preserve student pictures from Little Flower School days.  Bring us any you have.  The  pictures will be scanned and returned to you and then posted here.  Thank you to all who have contributed.  Keep them coming!
Little Flower School Staff, 1976-1977
From Memories of Little Flower School 1976-1977
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