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A Pilgrim’s Baton Rouge

Courtesy Visit Baton Rouge

Faith-based travelers will find numerous sites of interest in Baton Rouge, where religious heritage is evident in numerous places.

St. James Episcopal Church downtown is the city’s most historic church. It was constructed in 1844 as the first Episcopal church in town. Nearby, St. Joseph Cathedral was built as a Catholic parish church in 1853 and then rose to the rank of cathedral in 1953. Both churches are available for group tours.

For more information on the area’s faith heritage, groups can visit the Louisiana State Museum, which has a permanent exhibit on local religious customs. Visitors will learn about interesting practices such as the jazz funeral, which is popular in New Orleans and also occurs in Baton Rouge.

In 2013, New Orleans will host a major exhibition of artifacts from the late Pope John Paul II.

“We’ve had several large groups that are taking faith-based tours in conjunction with that exhibit,” Katie Guasco said. “They’re going to New Orleans to see those artifacts, then coming over to Baton Rouge to see our religious culture as well.”

Brian Jewell

Brian Jewell is the executive editor of The Group Travel Leader. In more than a decade of travel journalism he has visited 48 states and 25 foreign countries.