Convent, Louisiana

Convent (French: Couvent) is a census-designated place in and the parish seat of St. James Parish, Louisiana, United States.[1] It has been the parish seat since 1869.

Convent, Louisiana
Convent, Louisiana is located in Louisiana
Convent, Louisiana
Convent, Louisiana
Location of Convent in Louisiana
Coordinates: 30°01′15″N 90°49′47″W / 30.02083°N 90.82972°W / 30.02083; -90.82972Coordinates: 30°01′15″N 90°49′47″W / 30.02083°N 90.82972°W / 30.02083; -90.82972
CountryUnited States
ParishSt. James
 • Total5.331 sq mi (13.81 km2)
 • Land3.887 sq mi (10.07 km2)
 • Water1.444 sq mi (3.74 km2)
20 ft (6 m)
 • Total711
 • Density130/sq mi (51/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code
Area code(s)225

As of the 2010 census, its population was 711,[2] and 2018 estimates put the parish at 2174 people, 61% of whom were African American.[3] The 2018 median household income was $52,292 above the state's average.[3]


Manresa House of Retreats (formerly Jefferson College) in 1934

The community was originally named Baron when first settled 1722 to 1739. It was the location of the St. Michael's Convent (Order of the Sacred Heart) from 1825 to 1932 and the location of Jefferson College, 1831 to 1931.[4]

St. Michael's Church Historic District and Jefferson College (now a Jesuit retreat center called Manresa House of Retreats), along with several historic homes in Convent, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The former Jefferson College operated in Convent. Among its alumni was Etienne J. Caire, who owned the E. J. Caire Store in Edgard and was the Republican gubernatorial nominee in 1928 against Huey Long.[5] Caire founded the Manresa retreat center in 1922.[6]

The town sustained damage during Hurricane Katrina, disrupting parish government activities for several months.

On February 23, 2016, an extremely large wedge tornado hit the Sugar Hill RV park with two dead and several people injured.[7][8]


The town of Convent is home to a Royal Dutch Shell, Hydrogen cracking refinery that can produce 210k barrels of day of consumer petroleum products.[9][10] As of July 2020, Shell was considering selling the plant.[11][10] The plant produces 129,000 kg of annual air emissions that are high risk, including Cobalt and cobalt compounds.[3]


Located on the east bank of the Mississippi River, the town is only 16 feet (5 meters) above sea level. Convent has an area of 5.331 miles (8.579 km), of which 3.887 miles (6.256 km) is land and 1.444 miles (2.324 km) is water.[12]

Notable personEdit


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  2. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
  3. ^ a b c "The rise of environmental justice". Chemical & Engineering News. Retrieved 2020-09-10.
  4. ^ Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. "Convent Historical Marker".
  5. ^ David Vitrano (July 31, 2010). "E. J. Caire's legacy lives on: Historic Edgard store turning 150". Archived from the original on January 12, 2015. Retrieved January 7, 2015.
  6. ^ "Caire, Etienne J." A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography from Louisiana Historical Association. Archived from the original on February 25, 2012. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  7. ^ "(WWL TV)". Archived from the original on 2016-02-25. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Shell Convent refinery restarting fire-struck hydrocracker: Sources - ET EnergyWorld". Retrieved 2020-09-10.
  10. ^ a b "Shell weighs sale of Convent, Louisiana refinery". Reuters. 2020-07-07. Retrieved 2020-09-10.
  11. ^ Kalt, Amy (2020-07-21). "Time to Move On - Shell's Plan to Sell Another Refinery, This Time in Louisiana's Refinery Row". Retrieved 2020-09-10.
  12. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.