Christmas in New Orleans

Story and File Photos By Peter Finney Jr. | CLARION HERALD

Christmas caroling in Jackson Square – a New Orleans tradition since Patio Planters of the Vieux Carré began sponsoring the celebration in 1946 – is an event that extends far beyond the Christian community.

Thousands of locals and tourists, each holding a lit candle, squeeze flame-to-flame inside Jackson Square in front of St. Louis Cathedral and sing timeless Christmas hymns.

That 73-year tradition will be renewed Sunday, Dec. 22, with gates to Jackson Square opening at 6:30 p.m., 30 minutes before the caroling begins.

Although the archbishop of New Orleans usually is there to lead the singing – Archbishop Gregory Aymond often jokes that he was not given the gift of music – the communal choir does just fine and collectively carries the tunes.

“This is our gift to the city,” said Tracy Treadaway, president of Patio Planters, which completely underwrites the staging, security, caroling booklets and candles each year. “This is free and open to the public, regardless of religious affiliation.”

Turn to the centerspread for the Clarion Herald’s day-by-day rundown of Christmas events, especially those with a Catholic connection, that lead up to Christmas Day.

Merry Christmas from the staff of the Clarion Herald!


List of Events:

Dec. 1

St. Alphonsus Art and Cultural Center exhibit of 125 creches from around the world (Dec. 1-8). Viewing hours on Dec. 1 and 8,  noon-4 p.m.; Dec. 2-6, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; and Dec. 7, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The Laetare Singers will conclude  event, Dec. 8. 2025 Constance St., New Orleans. Free. 524-8116.

Archdiocese of New Orleans Gospel Choir, “A Christmas Musical 2019: For Unto Us a Child is Born,” 3 p.m., Corpus Christi-Epiphany Church, 2022 St. Bernard Ave., New Orleans.

Jefferson Chorale Christmas Concert with UNO choir, 4 p.m., UNO Performing Arts Center, St. Anthony Avenue at Leon C. Simon.

St. Louis Cathedral Zulu Men’s Chorus concert, 5 p.m.

St. Catherine of Siena Parish blessing of the creche and Christmas caroling in front of church, 6:30 p.m., 105 Bonnabel Blvd., Metairie.

“Advent Wreath Drop,” 8:30 p.m., Loyola University Peace Quad, with cookies, hot chocolate, apple cider and Christmas music, 6363 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans.


Dec. 2

St. Louis Cathedral jazz concert by Ellis Marsalis, 6 p.m.

All Saints Parish Advent Revival (Dec. 2-4), “Prepare for the Birth of Our Lord,” by Father Sidney Speaks, 6:30 p.m. nightly, 1441 Teche St., New Orleans.

Ascension of Our Lord Parish “Rejoice! Advent Meditations with Joseph,” 6:30 p.m., Piovan Parish Hall, 1900 Greenwood Drive, LaPlace.

Garden District Christmas Concert with the U.S. Marine Forces Reserve Band, 7 p.m., Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, 1307 Louisiana Ave., New Orleans. Free; donations for Toys for Tots.

St. Genevieve Parish Advent Mission (Dec. 2-4), “Watching, Waiting and Preparing for the Lord,” 7-8 p.m. nightly, by Redemptorist Father Maurice Nutt, 58203 Hwy. 433, Slidell.


Dec. 3

Notre Dame Seminary Christmas Mass and luncheon to celebrate ministry of priests, 10:30 a.m. Mass at Immaculate Conception Church,130 Baronne St., New Orleans, followed by reception and lunch at The Roosevelt New Orleans, 866-7426.

St. Clement of Rome School Chorale performs at The Roosevelt New Orleans, noon, 130 Roosevelt Way, New Orleans.

Jesuit High School Evening of Advent Reflection for alumni, guests and parents, “The Incarnation: Seeing the Transcendent God Face to Face,” by Jesuit Father Penn Dawson, 7 p.m., Chapel of the North American Martyrs, 4133 Banks St., New Orleans. Confessions, 6:30 p.m. jesuitnola.org.


Dec. 4

St. Scholastica Academy “Dove Market” Christmas Pop-Up Shopping, 4-9 p.m., 122 S. Massachusetts St., Covington.

St. Louis Cathedral concert by the St. Peter Claver Gospel Choir, 6 p.m.

Mount Carmel Academy “Spotlight on Arts” program for girls in fourth through sixth grades, 6-7:30  p.m. 7027 Milne Blvd., New Orleans. RSVP at mcacubs.com.


Dec. 5

St. Mary’s Dominican High School Advent Morning of Reflection, “Making Room for Jesus,” for all parents and alumnae, 8:30-11:15 a.m., St. Mary’s Hall. Led by alumnae Theresa Bertucci Truxillo ’97, Jill Curry Cabes ’87 and Claire Gallagher ’04. School Advent Mass at 11:30 a.m., 7701 Walmsley Ave., New Orleans.

St. Louis Cathedral Cajun concert by Sweet Cecilia, 6 p.m.

Archbishop Chapelle High School Evening of Reflection for adults with guest speaker Father Paul Hart, library, 6:30 p.m., 8800 Veterans Memorial Blvd.

Jefferson Chorale Christmas Concert with UNO choir, 7:30 p.m., St. Agnes Catholic Church, 3310 Jefferson Hwy., Jefferson.

St. Catherine of Siena Advent series for young adults (Dec. 5, 12 and 19), 7:30-9 p.m. each session, Pope John Paul II Room. 105 Bonnabel Blvd., Metairie. 


Dec. 6

“The Hush of Advent Amid the Holiday Noise” retreat and Mass, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., by Jan Tate, Archdiocesan Spirituality Center, 2501 Maine Ave., Metairie,  861-3254; $30. 

Advent Morning of Reflection, 10 a.m.-noon, by Teresian Sister Gloria Murillo, Northshore Catholic Center, 4465 E. Hwy. 190 Service Road, Covington; 861-3254; $30.

St. Clement of Rome School Chorale at the Hotel Monteleone, noon, 214 Royal St., New Orleans.

Shades of Praise Interracial Gospel Christmas concert and fundraiser, 7 p.m., Beacon Light International Cathedral, 1937 Mirabeau Ave., New Orleans. $20 at www.shadesofpraise.org/concert or $25 at door.


Dec. 7

Archbishop Chapelle High School Breakfast with Santa, 8:30-10:30 a.m., crafts, story time with Mrs. Claus and pictures with Santa, 8800 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie. Register at archbishopchapelle.org.

“St. Joseph the Worker” Advent retreat for young adults. Mass, free breakfast, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Notre Dame Seminary, 2901 S. Carrollton Ave., www.ycpneworleans.org

St. Francis Xavier Parish “Old Metairie Christmas Market,” 9 a.m.-2 p.m., 444 Metairie Road, Metairie.

St. Ann Home and School Club hosts Santa’s Secret Workshop, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., in school cafeteria, 4921 Meadowdale St., Metairie.

St. Augustine Church, jazz/R&B concert by The Nayo Jones Experience, 4 p.m., 1210 Gov. Nicholls St., New Orleans.

NOLA Catholic Parenting Christmas caroling and blessing of outdoor creche, 5:30 p.m., front lawn of Notre Dame Seminary, 2901 S. Carrollton Ave., New Orleans.

St. Clement of Rome School Chorale at Lafreniere Park, Metairie, 6 p.m.

New Orleans Black Chorale, Christmas concert, 6:30 p.m. Trinity Episcopal Church, 1329 Jackson Ave., New Orleans.

Tulane Catholic “Intimacy with God” Advent mini-retreat, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., led by Dominican Father Marty Gleeson and Carol Weiler, based on the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Mass, breakfast and lunch, 1037 Audubon St., New Orleans. $5. Register at catholic.tulane.edu.

Ladies of the Shield Brother Martin 2019 Holiday Home tour, noon-3 p.m. showcasing four Uptown homes. $30 in advance, $35 on day of tour. 283-1561, ext. 3063

Symphony Chorus of New Orleans, Handel’s “Messiah” with Chalmette High School Voices Chorale, University of New Orleans Chorale and a professional chamber orchestra, 7 p.m. Chalmette High Cultural Center, 2600 Palmisano Blvd., Chalmette. SymphonyChorus.org and at door.


Dec. 8

St. Andrew the Apostle Parish Christmas caroling, 6:30 p.m. in front of church, 3101 Eton St., New Orleans.

Symphony Chorus of New Orleans, Handel’s “Messiah” with Chalmette High School Voices Chorale, University of New Orleans Chorale and a professional chamber orchestra, 7 p.m. UNO Performing Arts Center, 2000 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans. SymphonyChorus.org and at door.


Dec. 9

National Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor Morning of Reflection with Jesuit Father Anthony McGinn, 9 a.m., 2701 State St., New Orleans.

St. Louis Cathedral traditional jazz concert by the Preservation All-Stars, 6 p.m.

Archbishop Chapelle High School Christmas concert by concert choir, chorale and Showstopper ensembles, 6:30 p.m. in gym, 8800 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie.

St. Angela Merici Parish’s “Word of God Speak,” a night of adoration and reflection with word and music, 7 p.m., 835 Melody Drive, Metairie.

St. Anselm Parish Advent Mission (Dec. 9-12), with Father Simeon Gallagher, 7:30 p.m. nightly; confessions on Dec. 12, 306 St. Mary St., Madisonville.


Dec. 10

Northshore Catholic Women in Action Advent Morning of Reflection, “The Joyful Call of Advent: Consent, Conception and Consecration,” 9-11:30 a.m., with Mass, confession and reflection by Karen Sheehy, Mary Queen of Peace Church, 1501 West Causeway Approach, Mandeville.

St. Vincent Infant and Maternity Guild Christmas Mass and luncheon, 11 a.m., Southern Yacht Club, 105 Roadway St., New Orleans. $40, (504) 909-9109.

Archbishop Rummel “Raider Band” Christmas concert at Archbishop Chapelle High School, 6:30 p.m., 8800 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie. Performances by Rummel’s symphonic band, percussion ensemble and jazz band.

St. Peter School Christmas Celebration of the Arts, with Live Nativity by All Star Drama Club followed by display of student artwork, 6:30 p.m., 188 West 7th St., Reserve.

Daughters of St. Paul “He Is Born Christmas Concert,” 7 p.m., Jefferson Performing Arts Center, 6400 Airline Drive, Metairie; 887-7631.

St. Scholastica Academy Christmas Concert and Tree Lighting, 7 p.m., 122 S. Massachusetts St., Covington.


Dec. 11

St. Clement of Rome School Choir and Chorale Christmas concerts, 1:50 and 7 p.m., 3978 West Esplanade Ave., Metairie.

St. Louis Cathedral Latin/Merengue concert by José Fermin Ceballos, 6 p.m.

Ascension of Our Lord Parish, Christmas Mass of Remembrance, 6 p.m., register by Dec. 4; bring photo of departed loved one, 1900 Greenwood Drive, LaPlace; (985) 652-2615.

De La Salle High School Christmas Concert with band, string orchestra and choir, 6:30 p.m., 5300 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans.

St. Margaret Mary School Christmas Band Concert, 6:30 p.m. in the gym, 1050 A Robert Blvd., Slidell.


Dec. 12

Southshore Advent Morning of Reflection, “A Family’s Faith Journey,” and Mass hosted by Catholic Women in Action, 9-11:30 a.m. at St. Angela Merici Church, 901 Beverly Garden Drive, Metairie. Speakers:  Denny Charbonnet, Janice Charbonnet and Elise Charbonnet Angelette.

Archdiocese of New Orleans Retreat Center Day of Prayer, “Advent: The Time of Expectation,” led by Dominican Father Sergio Serrano, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5500 St. Mary St., Metairie. $40, includes lunch.

St. Louis Cathedral classical concert by Opera Creole, 6 p.m.

St. Clement of Rome Parish’s Lessons and Carols, 7 p.m., 4317 Richland Ave., Metairie.


Dec. 13

Archdiocesan Spirituality Center Seasonal Morning of Prayer, 10 a.m.-noon, presented by Dominican Sister of Peace Jeanne Moore, 2501 Maine Ave., Metairie, 861-3254; $30. 

St. Francis Xavier Parish Children’s Choir concert, 6:30 p.m., followed by lighting and blessing of the outdoor creche and Christmas tree, caroling and refreshments; 444 Metairie Road, Metairie.    


Dec. 14

St. Francis Xavier Parish Advent Morning of Reflection, “Advent Peace Amidst the Christmas Storm,” Mass, conference presented by Jan and Lloyd Tate, confession, adoration, 8 a.m.-noon, 444 Metairie Road, Metairie.    

St. Anselm Knights of Columbus’ Breakfast with Santa, 8:30 a.m., St. Joseph Hall, 306 St. Mary St., Madisonville; (985) 845-7342.

Mount Carmel Academy Breakfast with St. Nick, Dec. 14, 9:30-11:30 a.m. https://www.mcacubs.com.

Ursuline Academy Santa’s Workshop for kids, including music, refreshments, arts and crafts, pictures with Santa and Christmas shopping for adults, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 2635 State St., New Orleans. uanola.org.

Redemptorist community “Inside and Outside: An Advent Retreat,” 10 a.m.-3 p.m., followed by confession and Mass at 4 p.m. Seelos Welcome Center, 919 Josephine St., New Orleans. $15, lunch included. (504) 522-6748 to register.

St. Mary’s Dominican’s Breakfast with Baby Jesus, 10 a.m.-noon, Alumnae Hall, 7701 Walmsley Ave., New Orleans, $25 per family (up to three adults). Register by Dec. 11 at www.stmarysdominican.org.

Daughters of St. Paul “Christmas Party for Baby Jesus,” 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Pauline Books and Media, 4403 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie. Children ages 3 through third grade meet St. Nicholas and participate in manger scene. (504) 887-7631.

St. Augustine Church, Gospel concert by Audrey Ferguson and the Voices of Distinction, 4 p.m., 1210 Gov. Nicholls St., New Orleans.


Dec. 15

St. Ann’s Men’s Club will host Breakfast with Santa following 8 and 9:30 a.m. Masses, school cafeteria, 4921 Meadowdale St., Metairie.

St. Catherine of Siena Parish’s “Bless the Baby Jesus,” 10 a.m. and noon, 105 Bonnabel Blvd., Metairie.

St. Clement of Rome School Family Mass and Bless Baby Jesus, 10 a.m., 4317 Richland Ave., Metairie.

St. Joachim Church Breakfast with Santa after the 10:30 a.m. Mass, 5505 Barataria Blvd., Marrero.

Good Shepherd Parish’s “Christmas at St. Stephen’s,” with sopranos Phyllis Treigle and Melissa Brocato, harpist Judy Seghers, tenor Trey Cassells, flautist Louis Hackett, organist Brian Morgan and the Good Shepherd Choir, 4 p.m., 1025 Napoleon Ave., New Orleans. Free-will donation.

St. Louis Cathedral jazz concert by Quiana Lynell, 6 p.m.

St. Ann School Choir and Band Christmas Concert and Pageant, 7 p.m., school gym, 4921 Meadowdale St., Metairie. Reception follows.


Dec. 16

St. Andrew the Apostle Parish penance service, with eight priests available for confession, 7 p.m., 3101 Eton St., New Orleans.


Dec. 17

St. Francis Xavier Christmas Home Tour, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., of seven Old Metairie homes, including rectory, decorated for Christmas, 444 Metairie Road, Metairie.


Dec. 18

St. Louis Cathedral, Gospel concert by Zulu Gospel Choir, 6 p.m.

St. Andrew the Apostle Parish Choristers sing at Celebration in the Oaks, 6:15 p.m., City Park, New Orleans.


Dec. 19

St. Louis Cathedral organ concert debut by Loriane Llorca, the cathedral’s 11th Young Artist in Residence, 6 p.m.


Dec. 20

St. Clement of Rome School Mass and Christmas Play, 8:15 a.m., 4317 Richland Ave., Metairie.

St. Margaret Mary School Living Nativity performed in church by first graders after the 8:30 a.m. Mass, followed by a Christmas pep rally, 1050 B Robert Blvd., Slidell.

St. Cletus School “Live Nativity” after 9 a.m. Mass, 3600 Claire Ave., Gretna.

St. Francis Xavier Advent Word Service, 9 a.m. in church, followed by Christmas Nativity play by students, 444 Metairie Road, Metairie.

St. Genevieve Parish sacrament of reconciliation, 5-6:30 p.m., 58203 Hwy. 433, Slidell.

St. Anselm Parish “Elf Night” with youth ministry, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Weseman Center, 306 St. Mary St., Madisonville.


Dec. 21

St. Augustine Church, Americana concert by Loose Cattle, 4 p.m., 1210 Gov. Nicholls St., New Orleans.

St. Joachim Church Christmas Sweet Treat Social (after all Masses Dec. 21 and 22), 5505 Barataria Blvd., Marrero.

Mary Queen of Peace Parish  Lessons and Carols, 7 p.m., 1501 W. Causeway Approach, Mandeville.


Dec. 22

St. Louis Cathedral Choir, classical music concert, 5:30 p.m.

St. Anselm Parish “Sounds of the Season,” 5:45 p.m., Weseman Center; 306 St. Mary St., Madisonville.

Christmas Caroling in Jackson Square. Gates open at 6:30 p.m., with caroling at 7 p.m.

St. Angela Merici Parish Christmas caroling, 6:30 p.m., Msgr. Kern Center, 2101 Pomona St., Metairie.


Dec. 24

St. Patrick Church choirs sing Christmas Prelude Music with instrumental ensemble, 11:15 p.m.; Solemn Midnight Mass (“Missa Sancti Alberti” by Joseph Leopold Eybler), 724 Camp St., New Orleans.

St. Catherine of Siena Parish Christmas caroling before Midnight Mass, 11:30 p.m., 105 Bonnabel Blvd., Metairie.

St. Louis Cathedral, Midnight Mass.


Dec. 29

Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, “Christmas at St. Jude’s Concert,” 5 p.m. followed by Mass and refreshments. Free parking at the St. Jude parking lot (N. Rampart and St. Louis streets).


Jan. 5

St. Patrick Church Epiphany Sunday Lessons and Carols, 4 p.m., for choir and congregation, 724 Camp St., New Orleans.

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