City of Spirits: Religious Celebration in New Orleans


Looks at worship and culture in the city across a calendar year.  Scenes include Irish Channel St.Patrick’s Day Parade; St. Joseph altars, Touro Synagogue’s Jazz Fest Shabbat concert; local devotions to saints; All Saints’ Day celebrations and more.  Produced and narrated by Peggy Scott Laborde.

Approx. 60 minutes.  (DVD only)

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CITY OF SPIRITS:  RELIGIOUS CELEBRATION IN NEW ORLEANS looks at worship and culture in the city across a calendar year.

Discussing their religious upbringing during the one-hour program are such New Orleans notables as novelist Anne Rice, musicians Pete Fountain and Dr. John, Antoine’s restauranteur Bernard Guste, and writer Jason Berry.  Among the area religious leaders interviewed are former New Orleans Archbishop Philip M. Hannan, Fr. Harry Thompson and Fr. Jerome LeDoux, Episcopalian Rev. John Sennette and Rabbi David Brockman.

Scenes include the always lively Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day Parade; St. Joseph altars, festooned with flowers and a rainbow of decorated pastries; Touro Synagogue’s Jazz Fest Shabbat concert and much more.

CITY OF SPIRITS looks at local devotions to saints, including a visit to a Black spiritual church whose congregation honors the spirit of Black Hawk, the legendary American Indian warrior.

New Orleanians of different faiths celebrate All Saints’ Day, November 1st.  Family graves are cleaned, repaired and decorated with fresh flowers.  In Lacombe Louisiana, located on the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain, candles are lit on top of the tombs while families keep vigil in the graveyards, maintaining a tradition believed to have been introduced by several ethnic groups, including the Choctaw Indian tribe.

The documentary is narrated and produced by Peggy Scott Laborde; co-producer is Mary Lou Eichhorn.