Metairie, in the early part of the twentieth century, was an area of farm houses, barns, dairy cows, cultivated fields and orchards.
Catholic families were ministered to by priests assigned to parishes in New Orleans and Kenner. Metairie became part of Mater Dolorosa at the turn of the century.
In 1909, Robert Bensberg donated a piece of land at the intersection of Labarre Road and the tracks of the Louisiana Railway and Navigation Company. On this site Fr. Joseph Prim, Pastor of Mater Dolorosa, erected a small country chapel. In 1921, Archbishop John William Shaw established St. Catherine of Siena Parish, with Rev. James J. Furlong as the first pastor.
Through the kindness and generosity of the Codifer Family, the parish became the owner of a parcel of ground measuring 472' by 148' on Bonnabel Boulevard which was sufficient for all necessary buildings to be erected. The parish had been saved a large debt by this worthy donation. To honor this gracious donation, a memorial plaque is attached to the first pew in the church. The Codifer family remains today a vital part of the parish history.
In 1925, the then pastor, Fr. Jarysch, erected a residence, a combination school-auditorium and a convent, facing Bonnabel Blvd. Because of the number of parishioners, the original church was turned into a parish hall and the new auditorium was converted into a church. In 1926, five Sisters of the Incarnate Word from San Antonio arrived to staff the school. In May, 1939, Msgr. Paul A. Melancon was called to assume the pastorate of St. Catherine. Under his leadership, four rooms were added to the school in 1944, and in 1947 eight more rooms were added to accommodate the growing number of students. In that same year, the church was enlarged to accommodate the expanding number of parishioners.
During and after the years of World War II, the community of St. Catherine continued to thrive. In September 1951 work began on what was referred to as the Parochial School Annex.
In 1952, The Jefferson Parish Times showed a picture of Msgr. Melancon and a group of committed parishioners attending a meeting to determine methods of raising funds for a new church. In 1957, the new church was completed by Lionel F. Favret Co., Inc.
During Msgr. Melancon's tenure as pastor, the parish territory was diminished with the establishment of St. Louis King of France and St. Angela Merici. However, when Msgr. Melancon retired, the physical plant had grown to include the cafeteria-gymnasium, a new school building, a convent, and the remodeled old wing of the school.
Msgr. Melancon was succeeded by Msgr. Gerald T. Barrett. During Msgr. Barrett's tenure the parish facilities were greatly expanded to include a new rectory, the Melancon Center, and the ultimate renovation and construction that would bear his name, the Barrett Complex.
In 1996, the rectory was redesigned so as to afford a separate Parish Office and a separate rectory for the clergy.
Under the leadership of Msgr. Roger A. Swenson, the school was again renovated so as to allow for a larger cafeteria for the students, additional storage and rooms for use by the teachers and parish organizations.
In addition, the church built in 1957 underwent renovations by Charles Favret, Inc., headed by the grandson of the original contractor, and Mr. Nano Turchi, Architect.
After the death of Msgr. Swenson, Rev. Eugene Jacques was named as pastor effective July 1, 2010.
Rev. Ronald L. Calkins was named as pastor by Archbishop Gregory Aymond effection July 1, 2014. Rev. Timothy D. Hedrick was also named parochial vicar. St. Catherine of Siena's long history shows that the parish has always been a vital and integral part of the community and a continuing source of spiritual and community life to its members.