Vermilion Catholic to Acquire and Integrate Mount Carmel
Acquisition Forms the only Pre-Kindergarten through 12th Grade Catholic School in Lower Acadiana Region
Abbeville, Louisiana, January 22, 2021 – St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church and The Congregation of the Sisters of Mount Carmel jointly announced today that they have signed a Purchase Agreement whereby Vermilion Catholic High School will acquire and integrate Mount Carmel School of Abbeville, forming the only Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade Catholic School in the lower Acadiana region. Vermilion Catholic High School is the only Catholic high school located in Vermilion Parish.
The school will be named “Vermilion Catholic, a legacy of Mount Carmel”, and will begin registering students for the 2021-2022 school year on January 31, 2021. Mr. Michael Guilbeaux, current Principal of Vermilion Catholic High School, will be Principal of the Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade school.
Mt. Carmel School of Abbeville, located adjacent to Vermilion Catholic High School, is owned by the Congregation of the Sisters of Mount Carmel. Vermilion Catholic High School is owned by St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church, through the Diocese of Lafayette.
The Very Rev. Louis J. Richard, V.F., Pastor of St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church and Chancellor of Vermilion Catholic High School, stated, “St. Mary Magdalen and the Sisters of Mount Carmel have long shared a common goal of preserving Catholic education in our community. After prayerful consideration and an optimistic outlook for the future success of our school, we at Vermilion Catholic are pleased to be given the opportunity to promote the only fully integrated Catholic school in the lower Acadiana region. We will be forever grateful to the Sisters of Mount Carmel for their profound influence in our community, and we are committed to honoring their legacy and ensuring the Carmel spirit remains prominent in our school’s future.”
In addition to identifying the integrated school as a legacy of Mount Carmel, Vermilion Catholic also intends to update its Crest to incorporate the crown from Mount Carmel’s Crest representing the Carmelite Order.
Sr. Lawrence Habetz, O. Carm., President of the Congregation of the Sisters of Mount Carmel, stated, “For 136 years, the Sisters of Mount Carmel have provided Catholic education to the people of the greater Abbeville area. We are most grateful to all who have come through the halls of Mount Carmel School of Abbeville over these years. It now seems to be the appropriate time to reunify with Vermilion Catholic High School and provide a one-system of Catholic education that will be sustainable in the future.”
Mr. Michael Guilbeaux, Principal of Vermilion Catholic High School, stated, “Vermilion Catholic has a proven track record of excellence in academics, athletics, and other extra-curriculars, and the integration of Mount Carmel will further strengthen our position by allowing us to introduce consistent programs across all grade levels. We look forward to capitalizing on the expertise of the faculty and staff of both schools to offer new programs, the most advanced technology, and the greatest enrichment opportunities for all of our students.”