In 1847, Father Louis Stanislaus Buteux received the deed for the property where the current church and rectory stand. In 1854, Father Buteux established two schools for the youth of the parish. A boy’s school, St. Stanislaus College, was setup under the administration of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart. The girl’s school, St. Joseph’s Academy, was staffed by the sisters of St. Josephine.
In 1907, the original structure of Our Lady of the Gulf Church, rectory, school, and convent of the St. Joseph nuns, was completely destroyed by fire. By just one year later the cornerstone was laid for the new church that still exists today. St. Joseph’s Academy was able to move into larger buildings that replaced those destroyed in the fire.
By 1926, Our Lady of the Gulf was one of the most beautiful churches in the area. The high altar is built of Italian Carrera marble. Over the altar is a dome with a large painting of Mary as Our Lady of the Gulf to whom the church is dedicated. The background is a restful shade of blue. Mary is robed in a deeper shade of blue and holds in her arms the Christ Child. Angels surround and hover over the pair. In the foreground, sailing ships, like those that first approached these shores in the seventeenth century, ply the blue-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The exquisite stained glass windows, done by Mayer and Company in Munich, Germany, were intended for meditation and for lifting one’s spirit. In 1967, St. Joseph’s Academy, after 112 years of Catholic education in the community, closed.
Address: 228 South Beach Blvd.
City: Bay St. Louis
Phone: 228. 467.6509 Fax: (228) 467-2960
Hours of Operation: Monday–Friday: 8:00 am–12pm; 1:00pm–4:00pm
Accessibility: wheelchair accessible ramp; accessible bathroom