Ascension Catholic Diocesan Regional School, though incorporated in 1969, has existed under several different names since 1845. It was in January of 1845 that the school was founded under the direction of six members of the Daughters of Charity. The school was located in a windowless barn with two classrooms and was named St. Vincent’s Institute, in honor of the founder of the religious order.
Forty years later, in 1885, the school experienced reorganization and the addition of the Sisters of the Holy Family and the Brothers of the Sacred Heart. The school was relocated the following year to a structure across the street from the barn and renamed St. Joseph’s Commercial Institute. During the next sixty-nine years, the school offered skills that were useful in the business community to young men only.
In 1954, the high school was relocated to the present site and was once again renamed as Ascension Catholic High School. For the first time the school was opened to both boys and girls. Separate wings were provided to separate the sexes. The Daughters of Charity and the Brothers of the Sacred Heart staffed and administered the school until the departure of the brothers in 1968. The following year the school was consolidated with the neighboring black Catholic school, St. Catherine’s School. This consolidation marked the beginning for the present day interracial, inter-parochial, and co-educational school. Thus, the school was renamed Ascension Catholic School, as it remains to this day This consolidation also marked the first time the faculty of the school consisted of both lay and religious teachers.
In June of 1986, the school experienced the loss of participation by the religious, as the Daughters of Charity departed from the Donaldsonville area. This time marked the end of involvement of religious orders with the school and the complete staffing of the faculty and administration by laity The present day school enjoys the benefit of the extensive participation by the clergy. Their presence of leadership in the school ensures the continued commitment of traditional Catholic teachings for all members of the school community. Throughout its many years of existence under its many names and administration, the school has always had as its purpose, “to teach the Catholic faith and be responsive to the needs of the day”. This purpose has caused much adaptation and readaptation by the many who have given of themselves for the betterment of the area’s youth. The school today stands as testimony to the sacrifice and commitment of the community and the perseverance and dedication of the many who have worked so hard throughout the years to maintain this institution.
The mission of this school is to educate the students from Donaldsonville and the surrounding area in the Catholic faith and to prepare them academically socially and physically to accept their places in society. This holistic and quality education is designed to accept children and their gifts and develop them to their fullest potential. The school continually challenges the student body and faculty and staff alike to profess their faith and love of God and God’s people by word and deed.