Thursday, September 21, 2006

Photos of Bishop DuBourg High School, in Saint Louis, Missouri

Here is Bishop DuBourg High School, the largest diocesan high school in the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, located in the Saint Louis Hills neighborhood.

This is the school at dusk.

Groundbreaking of the school was in 1952, and was designed to house 1600 students, and has been subsequently enlarged. At its peak, enrollment was 2300 and was staffed by 40 archdiocesan priests and 50 Sisters of the Most Precious Blood.

Attached to the school is DuBourg House, a retirement home. Here is a view towards its chapel.

Bishop Louis-Guillaume-Valentin Dubourg (1766-1833) was born in Santo Domingo on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola; he studied theology at the Collège de Sorbonne of the University of Paris until fleeing the French Revolution, and eventually settled in the United States in 1794.

According to Wikipedia:
He became the apostolic administrator of the Louisiana Territory in 1812. When he arrived in New Orleans, he found that the rampant vice of the city, coupled with the insubordination of Antonio de Sedella, a popular Spanish Capuchin priest who catered to the whims of the lukewarm local Catholic population, gave him reason to request that a new bishoporic be created for Louisiana. After a trip to France and Rome, and he was named the second bishop of Louisiana and the [East and West] Floridas in 1815. Shortly thereafter, however, he found he could no longer safely reside in New Orleans, and to avoid a schism, he relocated to St. Louis, Missouri in 1817. While in St. Louis, Dubourg founded St. Mary's of the Barrens Seminary, the first college founded west of the Mississippi River. He also helped to bring Rose Philippine Duchesne and her newly created Society of the Sacred Heart to the St. Louis area. In 1823, his last year in St. Louis, he welcomed the arrival of Pierre-Jean De Smet and his fellow Jesuits to the diocese. These same men would later found St. Louis University.

He then returned to New Orleans, leaving the St. Louis Catholic community greatly expanded, even if in considerable debt. Joseph Rosati became his coadjutor in 1825, and after Dubourg returned to France, Rosati became the first bishop of the new diocese of Saint Louis.

In 1825, Dubourg returned to France, having resigned his seat in New Orleans due to supervisory conflicts with Rosati. In France, DuBourg served as Bishop of Montauban, and was appointed Archbishop of Besançon in February 1833. He died later that same year.
Click for his episcopal history.