Travel to a place where voices from the past will greet you as you journey back in time, remembering our rich history for the past 200 years. The tours of the St. Landry Catholic Church Cemetery give one a perspective into how our past has shaped our present and influenced future generations of our community. Learn which families were here and what their lives were like, and what events helped to shape our present day history.
Opelousas, Louisiana’s third oldest city, founded in 1720, is comprised of many cultures, each with unique histories which should be shared.
The St. Landry Catholic Church Parish, Opelousas Little Theatre, St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission along with Community Volunteers are pleased to be able to share these historic portrayals of such a diverse people - for our past is a treasure.
All proceeds from the cemetery tours fund the Cemetery Historical Restoration Project. The tours began in 2003 and, so far, 30+ grave sites have been restored.
Imperial St. Landry
Standing under the massive cedar trees of St. Landry Catholic Church Cemetery, there is a calm that will transport you back in time to a place named Opelousas. From it’s beginnings as a Spanish Fort to the City of today, it has beckoned people from all ethnic groups to be part of its colorful history. Each person who has been a part of Opelousas and St. Landry Parish has left their mark. Epidemics such as Yellow Fever and Typhus claimed many families and this cemetery, consecrated in 1798, reminds you of the lives that were lost. For nine months during the Civil War, Opelousas was Capitol of Louisiana. In fact, when Union Soldiers occupied the town they even camped out on the church grounds. As with wars before and after the Civil War, here you will find soldiers who fought in every war for what they believed in and the families that remained at home. They helped to create a foundation rich in its culture and traditions, one that Opelousas is proud of.
We invite you to experience it all. Spend some time with the voices from our past and listen to their stories. Some are happy while some are sad and others will leave you wanting more. You will be amazed at what they are willing to share about their live and the struggles they endured. Time and Mother Nature have taken their toll on some of the graves in this cemetery. Many buried here are lost forever but those that do remain await your visit. You’re always welcome beneath the cedars.