War of the Pews: A Personal Account of St. Augustine Church in New Orleans
St. Augustine Catholic Church has stood in the Tremé section of New Orleans for over 170 years. Its international fame and role as a musical and cultural center as well as a spiritual focus has made it a national treasure. In the spring of 2006 the archdiocese of New Orleans declared St. Augustine Church closed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The beloved pastor since 1990, Fr. Jerome LeDoux, was reassigned to a congregation in Texas. But the parishioners, inspired by their pastor-in-exile, faced off with the archbishop, forcing an unprecedented mediation to keep the church's doors open and its future secure. This fascinating story in all its details is told with candor and humor by Fr. LeDoux. He also goes back into the church's history from its founding in 1841 through the Civil War, segregation, Civil Rights and ultimately Hurricane Katrina to show how its predominantly African-American population weathered each of four Battles in the War of the Pews. “LeDoux's gripping description of events offers a unique window into the rich cultural complexity of the city with rare historical depth” -- Dr. Ina Johan Fandrich, author and historical researcher." -- from publisher's website.