faith

Songs For The Soul

Mar 6, 2014
Treewoman8 / Flickr

The excesses of the Carnival season are over. So this week, we're playing sacred music with a foothold in Louisiana. Some songs are religious. Some are not. But they're guaranteed to help you get ready for Easter, or Passover, or whatever day you have circled on the calendar.

Mahalia Jackson, John Boutté, Branford Marsalis, Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint and Davell Crawford are in the mix. And so is the brass band that wants to know, "Whatcha gonna do for the rest of your life? Whatcha gonna do to make it right?"

The old bathroom building behind Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in rural Vacherie, La., was little more than a shack. Hurricane Rita almost knocked it down in 2005. It finally got bulldozed in October.

Some members of the parish say that was long overdue.

When the bathroom building went up in 1959, one set of doors was painted white; the others were a different color. Ushers would follow black parishioners outside to make sure they entered the correct door.

The parishioners of Our Lady of Peace in the small plantation town of Vacherie can’t wait to get into their church’s new bathroom building. But for some poorly placed air conditioners, they would have dedicated the building last month.

For decades, the old bathroom building behind the 113-year-old Catholic church stood like a monument to segregation. A few months back, some members of the community started talking about racism in the church and concluded that bathroom needed to come down.

Laine Kaplan-Levenson

The 195 year-old First Presbyterian Church in Broadmoor is growing. It's in no small part thanks to a new pastor, who is reaching out to new communities and luring more people with special events. Like a square dance. With red beans... and beer... in a church? 

Eileen Fleming / WWNO

An interfaith coalition is calling on elected leaders to cut the number of people incarcerated in Louisiana. The group is highlighting prison population numbers as the nation marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for civil rights.

On Saturday, gubernatorial candidate Rep. John Bel Edwards delivered what The Times-Picayune called an animated speech at a Democratic rally, aiming to distance himself from Republican Governor Jindal's practices. Edwards doesn't have to try hard: he's opposed nearly every one, if not all, of the Governor's initiatives since they both assumed office in 2008.

Edwards is a leader of the minority party. Republicans have two-thirds supermajority control over the Senate (thanks to a few recent aisle-jumpers), a majority in the House, and every statewide office other than US Sen. Mary Landrieu's seat. 


Jim talks with the legendary Percy Sledge about his career and his monster hit "When A Man Loves A Woman"

A visit with former Congressman Bob Livingston, and his views on current political events.

Former pastor Jerry DeWitt, who is now an atheist and preparing to open an "atheist church" in Baton Rouge.


Thomas Walsh / WWNO

The Dalai Lama has wrapped up his first visit to New Orleans. He brought a message of peace and compassion.

<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-650296p1.html?cr=00&pl=edit-00">vipflash</a> / <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/?cr=00&pl=edit-00">Shutterstock.com</a>

On Friday, the Dalai Lama will be giving the first of two public talks at the New Orleans theatre in the Convention Center. For many, the Dalai Lama’s visit is reminiscent of the last major religious leader to pass through New Orleans 25 years ago.

When Pope John Paul II visited New Orleans in 1987 it was described as the Super Bowl of all Super Bowls.

25 years later, Archbishop Gregory Aymond remembers it well.

Tulane University

Most New Orleanians have probably heard that the Dalai Lama is in town this week. But perhaps you do not know of the work it took to bring the spiritual leader of 6 million Tibetan Buddhists to this city.

On this week's Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks with Ronald Marks, the Tulane scholar who organized the visit.

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