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Why 10% of NOLA Catholic churches are closing or merging; Télé-Louisiane launches French newspaper

The set of the first season of La Veillée with hosts Drake LeBlanc and Caitlin Orgeron
Will McGrew
The set of the first season of La Veillée with hosts Drake LeBlanc and Caitlin Orgeron

Gov.-elect Jeff Landry is preparing to take office, and his appointees and transition team include some familiar – and some surprising – faces. The Time- Picayune/The Advocate’s editorial director and columnist Stephanie Grace joins us to break down who’s who on the team.

At Catholic Masses across the New Orleans metro area last month, parishioners heard in an announcement from Archbishop Gregory Aymond that multiple churches in the region are set to close or consolidate by next summer. New Orleans, one of the nation’s oldest Catholic cities, will now close or merge roughly 10% of its 111 parishes. Many parishioners responded to the news with shock and sadness.

Stephanie Riegel has been covering the story of the consolidation for the Times-Picayune/The Advocate and joins us now for more on the timeline for these changes and what she’s heard from church-goers.

In October, the Louisiana French news outlet Télé-Louisiane officially launched a French-language newspaper, Le Louisianais. But the paper, which offers print stories focused on the state’s French and Creole communities, is just one of the media outlet’s latest endeavors. It is also airing the second season of its weekly newsmagazine and animated TV show, and it recently hosted an assembly of Louisiana culture activists.

For more on all of Télé-Louisiane’s projects, we talk with co-founders, CEO Will McGrew and Chief Creative Officer Drake LeBlanc.

Today’s episode of Louisiana Considered was hosted by Bob Pavlovich. Our assistant producer is Aubry Procell and our engineer is Garrett Pittman. 

You can listen to Louisiana Considered Monday through Friday at 12 and 7 p.m. It’s available on Spotify, Google Play and wherever you get your podcasts. 

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Alana Schreiber is the managing producer for the live daily news program, Louisiana Considered. She comes to WRKF from KUNC in Northern Colorado, where she worked as a radio producer for the daily news magazine, Colorado Edition. She has previously interned for Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul and The Documentary Group in New York City.
Bob Pavlovich, a long-time fill-in host for New Orleans Public Radio, joined the station full-time in 2023. He hosts "All Things Considered" and "Louisiana Considered" on Thursdays.