Preserving our Parish History

Preservation of our parish history has been of great importance ever since the first day the Jesuits came to Shreveport in 1902 – the preservation continues today with the writing of our history (book to be published this fall) and the archaeological dig at the site of our first church and school.

From the early days of the establishment of the parish, our Jesuit priests kept journals chronicling the day-to-day life of a Catholic community in the early 1900’s Shreveport.  Along with city maps, journals and old photographs, the exact site of the first church and school were located on Texas Avenue.  The findings have been posted on our Facebook site.

May 9. 2017:  Excavation exposing foundations of original St. John’s College and Church on Texas Avenue, built in 1902 by the Jesuits. A historical marker will be placed at the site of our first parish church and school.

May 26: More excavation exposing foundations of original St. John’s College and Church on Texas Avenue, built in 1902 by the Jesuits. East foundation!! Center aisle of church. Chimney. Meet the team. First artifacts.

June 2:  Please share!! From Red River Radio:  Thursday, June 1, 2017, at 11 a.m. Bill Beckett spoke with Father Peter Mangum, Rector of the Cathedral of St John Berchmans along with archeologist Jason Brown and Dr. Cheryl White, Associate Professor of History here at LSUS about an archeological dig going on now on the site of the Original Cathedral of St John Berchmans.

June 4: Update from the archaeological site of St. John’s 1902 original church. Team unexpectedly unearths eastern foundational pillar deep–like an ancient step pyramid or Mayan ziggurat.

View Videos:






On the local newstation, Channel 3, KTBS:

Text from the Channel 3 article

Site of the original St. John Berchmans Parish Church & College
1564 Texas Avenue

2 original SJB buildings
Rear View of original Church & Parish Hall (right)
College (left)

Inside first chapel
Original interior of the Church (1902-1908)

Aerial view of the site

Archaelogical find
Marty exposes 3 sides of eastern foundational pillar

at the dig
Watching the progress

Father Peter metal-detecting

digging at the site 4
Marty meticulously unearthing bottle

findings at the dig
Some of the first artifacts

Team at work

John Michael Giglio moving a lot of dirt

Pic from early in the dig

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