Parish History

Maria Immacolata Catholic Church Parish was established under the Archdiocese of New Orleans in 1963 when Archbishop John P. Cody announced the new congregation and appointed Rev. William M. Fleming pastor. The first Eucharistic celebrations were held at Houma Jr. High school and continued there for the next two years. The first parish church building was completed on April 25, 1965 and was located on Estate Drive, along with the new parish elementary school. Mass was held in the dual purpose church and cafeteria. A convent for the Benedictine Sisters staffing the school was later built behind the school complex. During these first formative years, Maria Immacolata had 300 registered families.

 In 1977, Maria Immacolata Catholic Church became part of the new Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux under the leadership of Bishop Warren L. Boudreaux.

 On June 7, 1980, Rev. Richard Hemenway succeeded Rev. Fleming as pastor. On May 7, 1987, the Diocese granted Maria Immacolata permission to purchase property and construct a new Church on Corporate Drive. Under the leadership of Fr. Hemenway and the Parish Building Committee, the current church building was completed and dedicated on September 30, 1988 which coincided with the 25th anniversary celebrations of the parish. At this time the church had 950 registered families.

In April 1996, following the death of Rev. Hemenway, Rev. Caesar Silva was appointed pastor. Under his leadership and with the help of the Parish Building Committee, the Bell Tower was constructed. Funds from Rev. Hemenway’s family were used for the memorial. Many upgrades to the parish were made during Rev. Silva’s tenure, including memorial donations that provided new furnishings for the sanctuary, new liturgical decor, a new white marble altar, and life-sized statuary of the Crucified and Risen Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary.

 In July 2004, Rev. Clyde Mahler was appointed as Pastor. Under his leadership memorial donations were made to provide for new Processional Crosses and Candles, Altar candles, an Ambry display case, new glass-etched vestibule doors and Italian marble tile in the entrance. Construction of the Community Gathering Center was completed in August of 2008. As of November 2013, the parish had 1,250 registered families.

 In June 2014, Rev. Joseph “Joey” Pilola was appointed Pastor. Rev. Pilola had most recently served as the Pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church on the Nicholls State University Campus. Rev. Pilola is fluent in many languages including Spanish. He also is fluent in American Sign Language and often assists the hearing impaired by signing the Holy Mass. Rev. Pilola has begun offering regular educational classes for parishioners on various subjects pertaining to the Catholic Church and the Holy Mass.

 Today Maria Immacolata is united in celebrating a vibrant liturgy to the Glory of God and dedicated to the service of the people of God and the parish continues to grow. As of January, 2019 the parish has 1,301 registered families.