Louisiana Daily Photo: Madonna Manor Was A Dark Era In The New Orleans Catholic Church

Louisiana Daily Photo via rl reeves jr

Louisiana Daily Photo via rl reeves jr

I had no idea that I was photographing a place where dozens of children were ritually abused by priests and nuns in the Catholic Church. The Hope Haven complex was merely an interesting looking set of buildings on my route to yet another rural po boy shop

But when I began my research I discovered that the Archdiocese of New Orleans has paid out millions of dollars to former residents of Hope Haven and Madonna Manor, the structures on the side of hwy 45 in Marrero, Louisiana.

I was routinely beaten by nuns when I was in grammar school but I didn’t think too much about it. I was unruly and provocative and I knew my actions would be met with corporal punishment. I did it anyway. Like lots of young punks I was full of sand and how hard can an elderly woman really beat you anyway?

I guess the nuns in Louisiana were made of rougher cloth than the ones in Kentucky.

As I read some of the tales of abuse rendered by these sisters of God I blanched. Sister Catherine Regina was my arch-nemesis growing up but she kept the punishment she served up within the bounds of decency. Being beaten with a skip rope was about as bad as it got. Some of her sisters in Louisiana were considerably kinkier and more violent.

Madonna Manor was founded in 1933 by priest, Monsignor Peter Wynhoven. It was established to be a home for orphans and children from abusive homes but apparently the mission went off the tracks at some point and the protectors became serial abusers.

About RL Reeves Jr

I'm a writer living and working in New Orleans, Louisiana.
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5 Responses to Louisiana Daily Photo: Madonna Manor Was A Dark Era In The New Orleans Catholic Church

  1. Fred L. Nichols says:

    I was a resident of Madonna Manor 1975 to 1982, please contact me, have many stories. Have pictures to prove I was a resident.

  2. RL Reeves Jr says:

    I will, thanks for commenting

  3. Johm says:

    I was there from ’63-’72
    Love to fond others
    It was a nightmare, loke a pow camp

  4. John polit says:

    I lived in hope haven between 1978 and 1980.i suffered abuse by a,preists named(brother harold) and physical abuse by the man who ran the wood shop downstairs(Mr.Sal)..I have tried to deal with this through lawyer’s. .only to be told.the preists and wood shop man..never worked there…meaning the church is calling me a liar..my email is(johnpolit50@gmail.com)..please contact me if you know of others who went through it also

  5. RL Reeves Jr says:

    I will contact you.

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