In the late 1840's, three brothers, Etienne, Francois and Visitant Planche, staked out land for themselves at the conjunction of Bayou Jack and Bayou Choupique. Other settlers slowly followed to plant corn and cotton. This area would become the town of Plaucheville.

In 1872, Fr. Paul Simon, the pastor of the Moreauville church, began construction of a small mission chapel on Bayou Choupique, about three miles from Moreauville, dedicated to the mystery of the Assumption.

In 1873, Bishop Martin consecrated a bell for the chapel with the name ‘Marie'.

In 1874, the church was moved to Couvillionville where it was blessed by Fr. Chauvin, in Bishop Martin's name, on May 11, 1875.

In 1876, Fr. Dicharry, the administrator of the diocese, signed a decree changing the name of the chapel to ‘Notre Dame des Sept Doleurs' (Our Lady of Seven Sorrows--Mater Dolorosa) and in 1878-1879, the church was moved again to Plaucheville and Fr. Julien Gallop was appointed pastor.

Construction on a new church began in 1894 but the work was destroyed in a storm before it could be completed. New plans were made and a large church was finished in 1898. That year, Fr. J. B. Limagne invited the Sisters of Divine Providence to staff St. Joseph's School. The sisters arrived in August and began classes in September with 90 students.

Fr. Van Haver was instrumental in establishing a Knights of Columbus Council in Plaucheville. Council #2142 was formally organized on June 4, 1920 with J.A. Dufour as the first Grand Knight. In 1924, a new church was constructed under the direction of Fr. Van Haver. This church, with its carved Gothic high altar, survived the 1927 flood which inundated the Avoyelles.

A new brick church was erected to replace the old wood-frame structure in 1964 under Msgr. Marcel Anderson at a cost of $115,000. The high altar and statues from the old church add beauty to the new building and serve as a tangible sign of the continuity of the faith. Msgr. Anderson oversaw the construction of a new rectory before his retirement in 1986.

In 1999, St. Joseph's School marked its 100th anniversary with a year of celebration led by Fr. Stephen Scott Chemino. A perpetual adoration chapel was added to the rear of the church in 2000 by Fr. Craig Scott. The parish school serves grades Pre-K3 - 12th. Marianites of Holy Cross, until 2006, together with the Brothers of the Holy Eucharist, who are still present today, added a religious presence to the academic excellence still found at St. Joseph's today. In 2017 we are happy to welcome sisters of the Secular Institute of the Two Hearts to teach religion at the school and to serve in pastoral works in the church.

School: St. Joseph School, Plaucheville

Administrative Staff

Map Info: Mater Dolorosa Church 30.965406 -91.982429