St. James Catholic Church


6613 Highway 18
St. James LA 70090
Times have changed along River Road since the first Acadian settlers arrived in St. James in the mid 1750s. A French Capuchin priest, Father Valentin, became the first resident pastor at St. Jacques de Cabahanoce, as it was referred to then. St. Jacques was the patron of Jacques Cantrelle, who donated the land for the first church and rectory. Cabahanoce is a Native-American term interpreted to mean “the roosting place of wild ducks”. The first baptism and first marriage were recorded in 1770. From a modest “shed church” to a magnificient Roman-esque three-steepled structure eventually claimed by en- croaching Mississippi River waters, to the present church built in the 1930s, the people of St. James have sustained their Catholic identity for these 250 years.