Over 138 years ago, 4 nuns descended upon New Orleans in 1878. They moved into the simple pre Civil War cottage on N. Rampart street to found the Monastery of St. Joseph and St. Theresa of the discalced Carmelites of New Orleans. It was designed by famed New Orleanian architect James Freret. During that time, the carmelites built courtyards, orchards, and added buildings to the property. It was completed in 1895 and the chapel was dedicated by Archbishop of New Orleans. The high walls that enclose the convent, which still remain, along with the chapel stand as a historical landmark in the city.
The Carmelites occupied the space for over 75 years until they sold the property to the archdiocese in 1971. It laid dormant until 1975 when Fr. Emile LaFranz reopened the facility calling it the Monastery Center of Jesus the Lord. The space was then used for spiritual renewal, prayer meetings, healing services and retreats.