Diocese Obtained Keystone from St. Theresa School

St. Theresa Catholic School in Shreveport was closed in 1988 and both it and St. Theresa Church (which merged into the Cathedral parish in 1989) later were sold to Willis-Knighton Health System.  At the time no one focused on the historic value of the school building’s keystone until a local pastor was contacted recently by a former St. Theresa teacher who mentioned that the stone was still in place. According to a past principal, artifacts had been placed inside when the school was built in 1954.

Conversations took place with Willis-Knighton, and the diocese was allowed to retrieve the stone. On April 11, 2014 Willis-Knighton representatives, a stonemason, the diocesan chancellor and diocesan Director of Communications met on Bessie Street in Shreveport for the process of removing the grant marker. The process took about an hour.

All present were disappointed when it was discovered that the granite box had been covered with a metal lid and the artifacts, which appeared to have been paper documents, had been placed in a metal box.  Over the 60 years since its placement, the metal had sustained substantial water damage, and most of the contents were destroyed.  A few newspaper articles were recovered in very poor condition.  Only one of the surviving newspaper clippings was dated—September 9, 1954.  The keystone itself has been moved to the Catholic Center for safekeeping.

by Christine Rivers, Chancellor

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