Our History

St. Theresa's has had a colorful background. Its history goes back to the 1840's when groups of staunch pioneers settled east of the Mississippi River. Can you imagine having to cross the river to attend Mass on Sundays back then? Due to this great inconvenience French and Spanish settlers never ceased trying to have a church of their own on this side of the river. The first chapel located at Crevasse near Belle Helene in 1840 was named St. Ann.

By the late 1840's another chapel about ten feet square was built at Cornerview to serve the people who settled along a little stream called "Riviere Nueve" or New River - its name today. The chapel was under the title of "The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary." Our little community grew too large, and the church needed expansion. The Civil War did not stop this group of faith-filled people from reaching their goal in procuring a larger church at Cornerview. This was accomplished in 1863—the year our parish was officially established, still under Our Lady's patronage. Somewhere in time the name of the Church was changed to Sacred Heart of Jesus. Some of our Senior Citizens of today recall a very active congregation back in the early 1900's - when they learned their Catechism and prayers in French. More people began to move into the Gonzales and St. Amant areas and the need for a more centrally located church was needed. Thus Gonzales property near the LR & N railroad tracks became home to our parish. With the move came yet another change of titles. A generous benefactor requested that the name of the Church be changed to St. Theresa of Avila - the French spelling of the saint's name prevailed over that of the Spanish saint's name - "Teresa."

Our Church today has expanded to include a regional school, which serves all parishes of the area. Under so many different patrons it is no wonder that St. Theresa of Avila attracts people of deep and active faith.