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The magazine for the people of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux

Bishop Shelton Fabre This is Your Diocese HOUMA, LA ~ NOVEMBER 2013 ~ COMPLIMENTARY

The Cathedral Parish of St. Francis de Sales

Bishop Fabre, May the Lord give you the heart of the Good Shepherd and every grace and virtue you need to shepherd the Lord’s flock in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux.

In This Issue





The magazine for the people of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux

The magazine for the people of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux

¡Gracias, Bishop Jacobs! Concert honors bishop for work among Hispanics

Regular Issue

Bishop Shelton Fabre

171-204 3

This is Your Diocese





Commemorative Special • Getting to Know Him • Catholic Schools • Diocesan Offices

• Parishes and Missions • Organizations, Institutions • History 1699-2013



Bayou Christmas raditions

Christmas Traditions 205-228


Editor’s Corner Louis G. Aguirre Editor & General Manager

New journey


The celebrations are over, those memorable events leading to – and following – the installation of Bishop Shelton J. Fabre as our Fourth Bishop will remain in our minds and hearts for as long as we live. For Bishop Fabre and all of us, we now begin an exciting journey as we continue to build God’s Kingdom here in this piece of heaven we call the Bayou Country. Much that is positive has been said about our new bishop. Take time to read the many articles and messages that are included in the Commemorative Special within this issue. They attest to his goodness, kindness and eagerness to be the best priest and bishop that he can be. In an article that Bishop Fabre wrote for the Clarion Herald in September, on the occasion of the Louisiana Priests Convention held in New Orleans, he gives us a glimpse of how he views his ministry. Following are a few excerpts from his article: “When I reflect upon my past priestly ministry, my mind and my heart immediately remember all the wonderful people whom I have served in parish ministry. Leading parishioners in public liturgical prayer and discerning with them individually how God’s providence unfolds in our lives has been a grace for me. “I have ministered to others to the very best of my ability. However, these same people to whom I ministered also ministered to me, and I will always count this among my choicest blessings and be grateful for the part of my life that I journeyed with them. Their deep faith impressed me, their fervent prayer strengthened me and their unbounded kindness in so many ways supported me. Their names and their faces cross my prayers often, and memories bring a smile to my face and joy to my heart. I treasure my past priestly ministry. “My present ministry is that of a bishop, Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013


Bishop Shelton Fabre delivers homily at Installation Mass Oct. 30.

and I nonetheless seek to be of service to all whom I serve. While ministry as a bishop is different from my past parish priestly ministry, I am grateful for the opportunities that I have at present to serve others and to strengthen my faith. “With regard to my future ministry, I envision it through a Scripture passage (Isaiah 40:1) very dear to me and also my episcopal motto: ‘Comfort My People.’ I hope that I will continue to embrace the opportunities to live this motto each day. I trust in God’s providence and look to the future filled with hope. “I love being a priest!” Thank you, Bishop Fabre, for so willingly accepting to serve us here in Houma-Thibodaux. May God continue to give you the spiritual and physical fortitude to be with us for many, many years!

Bayou Catholic Vol. 34, No. 5

Thank You. The editor and staff of Bayou Catholic sincerely thank all who have contributed to this Commemorative Issue. This special magazine represents the work of hundreds of individuals throughout the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux who sent in stories, photographs and historical accounts. We also gratefully acknowledge the many advertisers who helped make this the largest issue in Bayou Catholic’s 34-year history.

How to reach us: BY PHONE: (985) 850-3132 BY MAIL: P.O. Box 505, Schriever, LA 70395 BY FAX: (985) 850-3232 BY E-MAIL: The Bayou Catholic is published monthly, for the people of the Roman Catholic Diocese of HoumaThibodaux by the H-T Publishing Co., P.O. Box 505, Schriever, LA 70395. Subscription rate is $35 per year. The Bayou Catholic is a member of the Catholic Press Association, the National Newspaper Association and an associate member of the Louisiana Press Association. National and world-wide news service and photos by National Catholic News Service. Louis G. Aguirre editor and general manager Lawrence Chatagnier managing editor Glenn J. Landry, C.P.A. business manager Peggy Adams advertising manager Anna Givens advertising accounts executive Janet Marcel staff writer Pat Keese secretary and circulation Lisa Schobel Hebert graphic designer Janet B. Eschete accounts payable assistant Meridy Liner accounts receivable assistant

First Place Winner General Excellence

Bayou Catholic



Bishop Shelton Fabre j Archbishop Gregory Aymond, the clergy, religious and laity of the Archdiocese of New Orleans congratulate Bishop Shelton Fabre on his appointment as Bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. Our prayers are with you!



Part One Getting to Know Him 17

Part Two Parishes and Missions 43

Part Three Catholic Schools 97

Part Four Diocesan Organizations, Institutions 121

Bishop Shelton Fabre This is Your Diocese

Part Five Diocesan Offices 135

Part Six History 1699-2013 163






Record number:

Archbishops, Bishops and Abbot attend installation

Archbishops, bishops and abbot are all smiles in front of the Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales rectory prior to the Installation Mass. They are (front row, from left), Archbishop Gregory Aymond, Bishop Shelton Fabre, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano’, and Bishop Emritus Sam G. Jacobs; (second row, from left), Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, Bishop Edward Weisenburger, Bishop Michael Jarrell, Archbishop Thomas Rodi, Auxiliary Bishop David Talley, Bishop Terry Steib, Archbishop Emeritus John

Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

Favalora, Bishop Robert Muench, Bishop Curtis Guillory, S.V.D.; Bishop Stephen Mamza, Bishop Emeritus William Houck, Bishop Ronald Herzog and Bishop Emeritus David Foley; (third row, from left) Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Dominic Carmon, Bishop Roger Morin, Abbot Justin Brown, O.S.B., and Bishop Herbert Bevard; (fourth row, from left), Bishop Joseph Latino, Bishop Emeritus Joseph Howze, Bishop Daniel Flores and Auxiliary Bishop Martin Holley. (Not shown is Bishop David Choby).

Large crowds attend Evening Prayer and Installation Mass Story by Janet Marcel Photos by Lawrence Chatagnier Approximately 1,000 people gathered at the Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales in Houma to witness the episcopal installation of Bishop Shelton J. Fabre as the Fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano’, apostolic nuncio to the United States and papal representative; Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans, installing bishop; three other archbishops, 20 bishops, one abbot, approximately 200 clergy which included priests of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, friends of Bishop Fabre, and

deacons; along with religious, staff members of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, diocesan staff, family and friends of Bishop Fabre, and faithful from throughout the diocese were present to witness the installation. An overflow crowd viewed the installation on a large rear projection screen in the courtyard outside of the cathedral. Bishop Emeritus Sam G. Jacobs welcomed those present saying he was grateful to the Holy Father for appointing Bishop Shelton Fabre as the Fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. “After knowing (him) for seven years, I believe (he) is the right person for this diocese at this time.” Archbishop Vigano’ then quoted Pope Francis from an address

Archbishops, Bishops and Abbot Attending Bishop Shelton J. Fabre’s Installation Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales, Houma, LA October 30, 2013 Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano’ Archbishop Gregory Aymond Archbishop Emeritus John C. Favalora Archbishop Joseph Kurtz Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi Bishop Herbert A. Bevard Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Dominic Carmon Bishop David R. Choby Bishop Daniel E. Flores Bishop Emeritus David E. Foley Bishop Curtis J. Guillory, S.V.D. Bishop Ronald Herzog Auxiliary Bishop Martin D. Holley Bishop Emeritus William R. Houck Bishop Emeritus Joseph Lawson Howze Bishop Emeritus Sam G. Jacobs Bishop Michael Jarrell Bishop Joseph Latino Bishop Stephen Mamza Bishop Roger P. Morin Bishop Robert Muench Bishop Emeritus John Ricard Bishop Terry Steib Auxiliary Bishop David P. Talley Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger Abbot Justin Brown, O.S.B.

Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Archdiocese of New Orleans Archdiocese of Miami Archdiocese of Louisville Archdiocese of Mobile Diocese of St. Thomas (Virgin Islands) Archdiocese of New Orleans Diocese of Nashville Diocese of Brownsville Diocese of Birmingham Diocese of Beaumont Diocese of Alexandria Archdiocese of Washington Diocese of Jackson Diocese of Biloxi Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux Diocese of Lafayette Diocese of Jackson Diocese of Yola (Nigeria) Diocese of Biloxi Diocese of Baton Rouge Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee Diocese of Memphis Archdiocese of Atlanta Diocese of Salina St. Joseph’s Abbey

he gave to a group of recently appointed bishops: “Be pastors with th e odor of the sheep, present in your people’s midst like Jesus, the good shepherd. Your presence is not secondary, it is indispensable presence! The people themselves who want to see their bishop walk with them and be near them ask it of you. They need his presence in order to live and breathe! Do not close yourselves in! Go down among your faithful, even into the margins of your diocese and into all those ‘peripheries of existence’ where there is suffering, loneliness and human degradation. A pastoral presence means walking with the people of God, walking in front of them, showing them the way, showing them the path, walking in their midst, to strengthen them in unity; walking behind them, to make sure no one gets left behind but especially, never to lose the scent of the people of God in order to find new roads.” After Archbishop Vigano’ read the Apostolic Letter, Archbishop Aymond asked Bishop Fabre if he was willing to accept the leadership of the diocese. Bishop Fabre accepted and was escorted to the cathedra, the chair from which the bishop exercises his role as teacher of the church. The bishop’s chair is the most ancient symbol of episcopal ministry, signifying the oneness of the people of a diocese with their bishop. Archbishop Aymond presented the crozier to Bishop Fabre and he was seated in the cathedra to a thunderous round of applause. The newly installed bishop was then greeted by members of the diocesan clergy, representatives from some of the different ethnic groups within the diocese, ecumenical representatives, civic leaders and diocesan staff. Representatives from various cultural groups of the diocese read the intercessions. The Cathedral Choir of St. Francis de Sales,



Evening Prayer

Co-Cathedral shines for solemn evening prayer service

Continued from pg. 9

the St. Joseph Co-Cathedral Choir, and a brass ensemble of local musicians provided music for the celebration. Bishop Fabre began his homily by thanking those present for being there with him as he began his new journey with the faithful in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. He said that since the public announcement of his appointment, he has had the opportunity to meet many people in the diocese including members of the diocesan clergy, diocesan staff and seminarians. “It was during the course of a gathering with the seminarians that I was playfully asked by one seminarian if I planned after my arrival here to take a pirogue 10 ride down the bayou, just as Pere Menard had probably often done when he first brought the faith to this immediate area,” said the bishop. “I was intrigued by this invitation to root myself in the rich, wonderful Catholic history of this area by reenacting the travels of Pere Menard, a pioneer of the faith in this area. Planted in my mind in this manner, I must admit that as I have been driving along the bayous in my initial ventures into the diocese, I actually envisioned Pere Menard, Father Souby, another pioneer in faith, and our other ancestors in faith traveling in the area as best they could to bring the presence and comfort of the church to so many.” He spoke to the congregation about how each one of us is called by the Lord, and how “the call of the Lord is not only a vocational call to holy orders, the sacrament of marriage or the single life. The call is ongoing, renews itself and echoes in every single aspect of

Bishop Shelton J. Fabre enters St. Joseph Co-Cathedral in Thibodaux for the solemn evening prayer service on the eve of his installation.

our lives. … The call of the Lord also has a communal dimension as together we are called by God as the church.” Bishop Fabre emphasized that because the church here in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux is rich in cultural diversity, it is made stronger by the gifts of many cultures. “It all begins and it continues with a call from God, and we all bring our individual and cultural gifts as we answer this call,” says the bishop. “Indeed, what a blessing to join together as individuals and as the church in Houma-Thibodaux to respond in trust to God’s call to go out into the deep. We can therefore expect the miraculous blessings promised to those who recognize that what is needed is not always expertise, but rather simple, trusting faith.” Following the installation, hundreds of people gathered at the Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center to meet and congratulate the new bishop of Houma-Thibodaux. On the evening before the installation of Bishop Fabre, the faithful gathered for an evening prayer service at St. Joseph CoCathedral in Thibodaux. During

the service, Bishop Fabre made a Profession of Faith, took an Oath of Fidelity to the Apostolic See and then signed documents accepting his role as the Fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. Bishop Fabre spoke to those present about God’s eternal gift to us, Jesus Christ. “In reality,” he said, “ALL that we have is a gift from God. … Gifts are blessings that we do not deserve, and they enrich our lives tremendously. Gifts remind us of the love and support of those who bestow them.” He recalled the words of St. Paul where we are reminded that we need God’s gift of Jesus Christ because we have all fallen short of the glory of God because of sin, and we cannot overcome sin on our own. Bishop Fabre went on to say, “I thank God for the gift of all who make up and serve the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, and for my call to serve the church here as bishop.” The St. Joseph Co-Cathedral Choir provided music for the service. Afterwards the faithful greeted Bishop Fabre at a reception at Envie banquet hall.

For complete texts of Bishop Fabre’s homilies go to Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

Evening prayer Bishop Shelton J. Fabre delivers his 11 homily during the solemn evening prayer service at St. Joseph Co-Cathedral in Thibodaux. The bishop signed documents accepting his role as the Fourth Bishop of the Diocese of HoumaThibodaux. Father Jay L. Baker, rector of St. Joseph Co-Cathedral, and the bishop are all smiles at the reception after the prayer service. Craig and Lisa Schobel Hebert of Thibodaux were among the many well-wishers at the reception.

Photos by Lawrence Chatagnier




Bishop Shelton Fabre Fourth Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux

Bishop Shelton J. Fabre, Fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, is seated at the cathedra at the Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales in Houma. Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano’, Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

apostolic nuncio to the United States and papal representative at left, and Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans applaud the bishop along with the congregation in the cathedral.

Cathedral welcome Bishop Shelton J. Fabre knocks on the door of the Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales in Houma during the Gathering Rites. The bishop blessed a crucifix and all present in the main vestibule with holy water. Bishop Fabre spends time praying at the 13 tabernacle before the Installation Mass. The bishop greets his mother Theresa Fabre before the Mass.

Photos by Lawrence Chatagnier



Mass of Installation Bishop Shelton J. Fabre processes into the Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales in Houma flanked by the Knights of Peter Claver and Knights of Columbus honor guard. Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans greets all present for the installation. Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano’, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States and papal representative, reads the Apostolic Letter from Pope Francis I during the installation. Bishop Emeritus Sam G. Jacobs welcomes those present and thanks all who supported him the last 10 years.

Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

Memorable moments Bishop Shelton J. Fabre is greeted by Terrebonne Parish President Michel Claudet. Sister Silvia Serrano, M.C.S.H., reads during the Installation Mass. Native American Theresa Dardar was among the intercessors of the Mass. Pictured with Bishop Fabre are his family members, his brother Angelo, his mother Theresa, his brother Gerald and his sister Diane. The bishop blesses a rosary for two Vietnamese sisters at the reception after the Mass.

Photos by Lawrence Chatagnier

The Installation Mass will be rebroadcast in its entirety on HTV Channel 10 Nov. 17 from 1-5 p.m. and Nov. 24 from 1-5 p.m.




Part One


Getting To Know Him



and Bishop Fabre’s family describe him:

Personable ... gentle ... calm ... quiet ... humble ... comforting Story by Janet Marcel Photos by Lawrence Chatagnier Personable… gentle … calm … quiet … humble … comforting … are just a few of the words used by Bishop Shelton J. Fabre’s family members to describe him. Bishop Fabre was the fifth of six children born to Luke (died in 2007) and Theresa Fabre. His siblings are Diane, Gerald and Angelo. Luke III drowned in 1973, and Clyde died in 1980 from leukemia. His mother, Theresa Fabre, says that although he was very quiet and shy as a young boy, he was always friendly toward the other children. His younger brother, Angelo, recalls him being a timid, humble, peaceful person. One of the bishop’s sister-in-laws, Barbara, who is married to his older brother Gerald, explains that when she became part of the family, Shelton was nine or 10 years old, and she says she saw a special quality in him at that time. “I told Gerald, ‘your brother is Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

going to be something special.’ He was, and still is, very gentle, caring and full of life.” When asked who Bishop Fabre is most like, his mother or his father, Barbara says he is definitely a combination of both of his parents. “He has his mother’s gentleness and his father’s gusto for life.” Bishop Fabre’s father died shortly after he was ordained auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. His parents had been married for 57 years at that time. One of his father’s first cousins is Bishop Emeritus John H. Ricard, S.S.J., of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee. Bishop Fabre’s grandmother, whose maiden name was Ricard, and Bishop Ricard’s father were siblings. His mother says that Bishop Fabre was a straight “A” student. He was valedictorian of his graduating class at Catholic High School of Pointe Coupee in New Roads. “He was very studious, and making good grades came naturally to him,” she says. “Shelton was involved in many different types of clubs while he was in school, but he didn’t like sports much. He loved his books.”


He was an altar server at St. Augustine Church parish in New Roads, where he grew up. As a young man, Bishop Fabre spent a few summers training to become a bricklayer with his father, whose career took him away from home sometimes for months at a time. His mother says when his father was away on a job, she would have to be mother and father to her children. One thing she always made sure of was that they all went to Mass on the weekend. Angelo recalls a funny story involving his older brother when they were children. “I remember a time when we used to set up a ‘store’ in our house. We would gather things in the house and sell them back to people. We took stuff from mom and daddy and then we would try to sell it back to them. But Shelton would always say, ‘We can’t take mama and daddy’s stuff and sell it back to them; that’s dishonest.’” A favorite childhood memory involving his older brother, says Angelo, is the two of them playing games together. Mouse Trap, Operation, Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em ROBOTS, and Hi Ho Cherry-O were some of their favorites. “We loved playing games.” Bishop Fabre’s mother says she was very excited when she learned her son had been appointed a bishop. “I never did think it was going to be so quick; I

always thought he would become a bishop and I think he’ll go even further – I don’t know if I’ll be here for it – but he’s going further. I’m very proud of him; it’s hard not to be proud of him.” Angelo echoes his mother’s sentiment saying it is wonderful having a brother who is a bishop. “It’s a good feeling to know he is doing God’s work. He is so humble and he does it (God’s work) because loves it, not because he has to. I think the sky’s the limit for him. He is destined for great things.” Angelo’s wife Monica, who is an elementary school principal, says he is extremely personable. In her profession, she meets a lot of people and she says someone is always asking her, because of her last name, if she is related to the bishop. She says it’s amazing to her how many people whose lives he has touched. “He leaves an impression wherever he goes and everyone has stories they want to share about him. This is his calling and a profession – you can’t split the two with him. He is very intelligent, well-educated and such an eloquent speaker; his homilies draw you in and you can tell he’s speaking from the heart,” says Monica. “He has a true gift. I can really see him going as far as he can because he has that innate ability to connect with people ... that’s what makes him so special.”

‘ , He leaves an impression wherever he goes

The Diocese of Lafayette extends congratulations and best wishes to Bishop Shelton Fabre as he begins his service as Shepherd of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux


Getting To Know Him

Congratulations Archbishops, bishops and abbot express joy; offer prayers, support Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond New Orleans

For me you have been a good friend, a great co-worker in the Lord, and a supportive brother bishop. I congratulate you on the honor that is given to you, by Pope Francis, to serve as Bishop of the Diocese of HoumaThibodaux. I am quite sure that the people of the diocese will embrace you with open arms and an open heart. They are very blessed to receive you as their shepherd. I am sure that you will offer to them the loving shepherd’s care that you gave to the people of God in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Please know that we will miss you greatly in New Orleans, but you are not far away and so we do expect frequent visits! Please 20 know that I stand ready to support you in your episcopal ministry in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux and I look forward to our continued ministry together through the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops. Shelton, congratulations and may God continue to give you the energy and enthusiasm to serve his people.

Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Dominic Carmon, S.V.D. New Orleans I am pleased to express sincere congratulations to Bishop Shelton Fabre on his appointment as Fourth Bishop of the Diocese of HoumaThibodaux. As a pastor in the Diocese of Baton Rouge, Bishop Fabre was well known for his commitment to the mission of the church and for reaching out in a pastoral way to the parishioners he served. For almost seven years as auxiliary bishop and vicar general in New Orleans, Bishop Fabre continued to demonstrate these fine qualities. We have seen him as a bishop who is blessed with many of the virtues that Pope Francis is encouraging bishops to develop in their episcopal ministry – gentleness, simplicity, humility, zeal, courage, understanding of the needs of the people, and a sincere love of the people. It has been a joy and a privilege to collaborate in ministry with Bishop Fabre. I pledge to him and his new flock my prayerful support. May the Lord bless him with many years of fruitful service in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux! Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

Bishop Emeritus Sam G. Jacobs Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux Congratulations to you, Bishop Fabre! I am grateful to the Holy Father for appointing you as the Fourth Bishop of this great diocese. I look forward to supporting you in your role as the shepherd of this local church. May the Lord give you the gifts you will need as you undertake this new ministry! Ad multos annos!

Archbishop Emeritus Francis B. Schulte New Orleans I join with Bishop Fabre, his family, friends and the people of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux in praising and thanking God for the great gift to the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux Bishop Fabre will be. I also want to thank him for his wonderful ministry to the church in and of New Orleans. Bishop Fabre is a conscientious and most devoted servant of the Lord in many important positions which he has occupied throughout his time as a priest and auxiliary bishop. The priests, religious and lay people of the Diocese of HoumaThibodaux have every right to rejoice in his appointment as their new bishop.

Bishop Emeritus Joseph L. Howze Diocese of Biloxi I extend my sincere congratulations to Bishop Shelton Fabre as the Fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. The Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux was established on June 5, 1977, with (the late) Bishop Warren L. Boudreaux as the First Bishop. Bishop Boudreaux was present at the establishment of the Diocese of Biloxi on June 6, 1977, of which I was the first bishop. I feel these two dioceses are sister dioceses.

Welcome Bishop Fabre to the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux! We offer our support & best wishes for much success as our Fourth Bishop Serving the Diocese since 1991

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Getting To Know Him

Congratulations Archbishop Emeritus Alfred C. Hughes New Orleans

The news that our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has appointed Bishop Shelton Fabre as the Fourth Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux brings great joy to the priests and people of HoumaThibodaux and to me, personally, as well. At the same time, I am saddened by the personal loss in New Orleans of a man who has come to be a wonderful friend and collaborator. Bishop Fabre has been profoundly shaped by his family and the vibrant church of St. Augustine in New Roads. The loss of two brothers at 20 years of age, Luke through drowning and Clyde because of leukemia, nudged the young Shelton into an early facing of the most significant questions in life. His faith, thus tested, did not weaken but rather deepened. In that challenging time God’s call to the priesthood began to become clearer. As a priest, Father Fabre evidenced a lively faith, a keen intellect and a compassionate heart. He was engaged in a richly varied pastoral experience in the Diocese of Baton Rouge. His mother, Theresa, was a good teacher both at home and professionally in school. In a very special way, she shaped him into becoming a good 22 teacher himself, especially as he assumed the office of bishop. Bishop Shelton has always exercised the role of shepherd after the mind and heart of Christ. He has tried to govern through serving and with great pastoral charity. Bishop Fabre’s father was a bricklayer. Young Shelton also apprenticed as a bricklayer. He is now called to build up God’s church in Houma-Thibodaux, not with lifeless bricks but the living stones of God’s people. He manifests a very special capacity to bring people together across racial, ethnic and social lines to live out the life of the church with Christ as her cornerstone and the apostles as the foundation. I personally treasured the personal support and collaboration that he provided as vicar general of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. He embraced a role of healer and reconciler in the difficult work of recovery and then reconfiguration of the archdiocese. Bishop Fabre’s motto “Comfort my people” expresses his personal desire to fulfill a ministry to which Pope Francis has both witnessed and called the church to live. May God bless him and his good ministry in the name of the Lord.

Bishop Emeritus William B. Friend Diocese of Shreveport Congratulations on being named Fourth Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux by our Holy Father. I am happy for the good people of Houma-Thibodaux.

Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

Bishop Michael Jarrell Diocese of Lafayette

It is my great pleasure to join with Bishop Jacobs, the clergy and faithful of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux in congratulating and welcoming a new bishop, the Most Rev. Shelton Fabre. His calming presence and competent leadership will continue the good work begun by Bishop Warren L. Boudreaux in 1977, a work in which I was privileged to share for 10 years. Also, I have enjoyed my association with Bishop Fabre as a fellow member of the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops. I pray that the Lord may continue to shower his blessings on this beautiful part of God’s vineyard, a diocese that will always be very close to my heart.

Archbishop Emeritus Oscar J. Lipscomb Archdiocese of Mobile It is a joyful privilege to send prayerful greetings and congratulations to the Most Rev. Shelton Joseph Fabre on his appointment to shepherd the family of faith in the Diocese of HoumaThibodaux. I have experienced his pastoral care and leadership as a colleague in Region V of the USCCB in past years and am sure there will be more of a blessing in response to larger areas of ministry. Ad multos annos! Mobile has a rich tradition of welcoming bishops. From it I would like to draw, and make my own for Bishop Fabre, the prayer sent to our second bishop in 1859 by St. John Nepomucene Neumann, C.Ss.R., Bishop of Philadelphia, that the Lord “grant you an abundance of the graces so necessary to all, whom he has placed to rule the church of God, which he has purchased with his own blood.”

Bishop Glen J. Provost Diocese of Lake Charles With great joy and satisfaction, I extend to Bishop Fabre my sincere congratulations on the occasion of his installation as the Bishop of HoumaThibodaux. I have had the pleasure of working with him and the other bishops of the state over these last six years, and I am encouraged that this collaboration will continue. He will prove to be a thoughtful, prayerful and gentle shepherd for the people of the diocese. May God prosper his episcopal ministry.

It is with great honor that the Knights of Columbus councils listed below

Welcome His Excellency Bishop Shelton Fabre to the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux Council Lafourche Council #1114 Houma Council #1317 Sacred Heart Council #1373 Msgr. Carrol Badeaux Council #3054 Our Lady of The Sea Council #3150 Pope Pius XII Council #4761 St. Joseph Council #5013 St. Gregory Council #6170 St. Bernadette Council #7355 St. Louis/Bayou Blue Council #7657 Our Lady of Good Voyage Council #7722 St. Andrew Council #8371 St. Charles Borromeo Council #8616 Our Lady of Prompt Succor Council #8743 St. Eloi Council #8779 St. Hilary of Poitiers Council #8840 Father Charles Tessier Council #8898 Christ the Redeemer Council #8906 St. Ann Council # 8932 Our Lady of Lasalette Council #9000 John “T-Nonc” Trahan Council #9338 Annunziata Council #10612 St. Lawrence the Martyr Council #10800 Msgr. T. Jebbe Bekema Council #12060 Holy Cross Council #12179 St. Bridget Council #12285 St. Genevieve of Paris Council #13397 Maria Immacolata Council #13819 San Juan Diego Council #15615

Location Thibodaux Houma Morgan City Lockport Cut Off Raceland Chauvin Houma Houma Bayou Blue Dulac Amelia Pointe-aux-Chenes Chackbay Theriot Mathews Larose Thibodaux Bourg Golden Meadow Bayou Black Houma Kraemer Thibodaux Morgan City Schriever Thibodaux Houma Amelia

Getting To Know Him

Congratulations Archbishops, bishops and abbot express joy; offer prayers, support Bishop Roger Morin Diocese of Biloxi

I am very proud to be able to count Bishop Shelton Fabre among my personal friends. He is a unique individual, blessed with a quiet softspoken demeanor, but strengthened by many blessings that give him a spirit-driven dynamic that allows him to be forceful in pursuit of ministry as a sensitive, caring leader. Bishop Shelton gives ample reflection of discerning the proper response to the challenges presented in any given problematic situation. Personality-wise, the bishop is an interesting blend of solemn contemplation and powerful expression of charity rooted in justice. I have no doubt that the good people of the Houma-Thibodaux diocese are to be abundantly blessed by good Pope Francis’ 24 decision to send the priest from New Roads to the bayou country.”

Bishop Robert W. Muench Diocese of Baton Rouge Congratulations to Bishop Shelton Fabre, native priest of the Diocese of Baton Rouge, on Pope Francis naming him the Fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. Bishop Fabre, who hails from a faith-filled family in New Roads, is a devoted, gifted, exemplary and respected minister of the Gospel. He manifests strong intellect, genuine piety, true fidelity to, and inspiring zeal for, Christ and the church. We thank Bishop Fabre for his significant contributions to the Diocese of Baton Rouge and extend to him our support, affirmation, affection and prayers. We are delighted he will continue to serve in the same ecclesiastical province to which we belong.

Catholic Daughters of the Americas Court Cardinal Gibbons #177, Houma Rose Marceaux, Regent

Court Pope Pius X #1833, Cut Off Betty Melancon, Regent

Court Anna Marie #993, Thibodaux Margaret Labit, Regent

Court Pere Denece #1891, Montegut Frances Trivet, Regent

Court Massabielle #1134, Morgan City Denise Ritchie, Regent

Court St. Bridget of Sweden #2461, Schriever Amy Baudoin, Regent

Court St. Mary Pamela #1400, Raceland Alisa Triche, Regent

Court Genevieve of Paris #2496, Thibodaux Mary Anne Thormas, Regent

Court Our Lady of Perpetual Help #1848, Houma Fabian Whitney, Regent Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

Bishop Joseph N. Latino Diocese of Jackson The Diocese of Jackson rejoices with the faithful of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux on the appointment of Bishop Shelton J. Fabre as the Fourth Bishop of their diocese. As a native son of Louisiana, Bishop Shelton is well acquainted with the character and personality of the church and the people of Southern Louisiana. Having served as the auxiliary bishop of New Orleans for the past seven years, Bishop Shelton is well suited and well prepared to assume the role of shepherd of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. To Bishop Shelton and the church of HoumaThibodaux we extend our congratulations and best wishes.

Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi Archdiocese of Mobile Bishop Fabre is a man who possesses deep faith and dedication to his priestly ministry. He is blessed to serve among the wonderful people of Houma-Thibodaux. I am confident that the people of the diocese will quickly come to know what a great bishop they have received and will grow in affection and respect for him.

Bishop Robert J. Baker Diocese of Birmingham The Holy Father has chosen wisely in appointing Bishop Fabre as the new bishop of Houma-Thibodaux. “Awesome” is the word one of my seminarians used to describe him, after he guided a recent Day of Recollection at Notre Dame Seminary. I extend to him my congratulations and prayers as he brings his deep faith and great gifts to the people he will now serve.

Bishop Ronald P. Herzog Diocese of Alexandria The people of the Diocese of Alexandria join me in congratulating Bishop Shelton Fabre on his appointment as the Fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodeaux. I ask the laity of this diocese and all of our brothers and sisters in the Catholic Church to join us in praying for him, and for the gifts and graces he will need to carry out his apostolic office.

Abbot Justin Brown, O.S.B. St. Joseph Abbey On behalf of the Abbey and Seminary communities, I congratulate you, Bishop Fabre on your appointment as Fourth Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux. From your early years at Saint Ben’s, we have appreciated your friendship and are now looking forward to your membership on our Board of Trustees and our collaboration in the formation of future priests.

Bishop Michael Duca Diocese of Shreveport What a joy for me to congratulate Bishop Shelton Fabre on the occasion of his installation as Bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. Shelton, I pray God will use all your unique talents and experience to make you a true shepherd of your people. Be assured of my prayers and support.

St. Vincent de Paul TriParish Community Pharmacy 7385 Main Street, Houma, LA 70360 (985)872-2253 Tuesday & Thursday Mornings 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Established: September 2001 A Non-Profit, 501(c)(3), charitable pharmacy FREE medications are dispensed by volunteer licensed pharmacists. Expenses are paid by St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store. All monies donated are used to purchase medicine. We accept donations of all types Please help us help others.


Getting To Know Him

Wise Kindness A tribute to Bishop Shelton Fabre Guest Columnist Very Rev. Jeffrey Waldrep, S.T.L., J.C.L.

My friendship with Bishop Fabre spans over 31 years of seminary life, parish experiences, world travels and assignments. During this time, I have been most grateful and at times frustrated with what I would describe as Bishop Fabre’s “wise kindness.” Whether as pastor, assistant to the Tribunal or 26 auxiliary bishop, Bishop Fabre has wisely invested himself where ever he has been assigned. I have gotten to know the thousands of people that he has loved and been loved by. Each time, I have admired Bishop Fabre’s gift to make each person, even the ones who may not be happy with him, feel important and listened to. He keeps in contact with past shut-ins, friends he has

leaned on and people he admires. These people have shown their gratitude by giving him gifts for his birthday, anniversary or some holiday. Note to self, his birthday and anniversary dates are very important. Bishop Fabre never throws any of these gifts away. As I have helped move him many times over the years, I tirelessly try to get rid of some of this stuff. He holds each one, sighs, remembers the person, thinks about when they gave it to him and tells me, “pack it up.” In his next move when I have to unpack it we go through the same routine: he holds it, I try to get him to throw it away, he sighs, remembers the person, when they gave it to him and we find a place for it. In his wise kindness he forgets nothing. He remembers conversations, details, talks, homilies and comments all at his disposal. Many times, I will call Bishop Fabre in the evening and ask what he is doing. Bishop Fabre will be sitting with a candle burning, classical music playing and simply enjoying the quite. I am most grateful for Bishop

Fabre’s wise kindness that has helped me many a day in my own ministry. After becoming auxiliary bishop of New Orleans, he moved into a more administrative role, yet miraculously kept true to his core gifts - making people feel important, listened to and cared for. This gift frustrates me at times because while on vacation his wise kindness still reaches out through texting, calling, checking on people, whether we are walking the streets of Paris or sitting out on the porch in the Smoky Mountains. During his ordination to the episcopacy, I sat in the second row crying like a baby. The priest next to me asked if I was okay. I said, “This is just so beautiful.” On Bishop Fabre’s installation as the Fourth Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux, I don’t know where I will be sitting, but I will surely be crying. Because, Bishop Fabre’s wise kindness to the church and myself is just that “beautiful.” (Very Rev. Jeffrey Waldrep, S.T.L., J.C.L., is the judicial vicar and vice chancellor of the Diocese of Jackson, MS; and pastor of St. Jude Church parish in Pearl, MS.)

Bishop Shelton J. Fabre Congratulations and prayerful best wishes on your installation. May the Diocese of Houma Thibodaux grow in faith and love with your spiritual guidance. g Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013








Getting To Know Him

He’s personable, intelligent Guest Columnist The Very Rev. Paul D. Counce, J.C.L., M.C.L.

I first met Shelton Fabre in the summer of 1984 when I became pastor of St. Pius X Church parish in Baton Rouge: he was assigned as a seminarian in the parish (he was going into his senior year at St. Joseph Seminary College in St. Benedict). I was supposed to be his mentor that summer and over the next year, but we also became good friends. I was immediately taken with him: he is so personable and intelligent! And I think he was taken 28 with my stories of my old seminary days and travelling adventures in Europe, for he became interested in attending the same seminary and university there that I’d gone to: The American College of Louvain in Belgium. Bishop Stanley Joseph Ott graciously agreed that he could study there from 1985 to 1989; over those four years we corresponded regularly. Remember, this was in

the days when we had to actually write letters! Email and the internet didn’t exist yet! And of course it was wonderful to welcome him back to the Diocese of Baton Rouge and share priestly ministry with him until 2007 when he left to become the Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans. Those qualities of being personable and intelligent are what will enable him to succeed as bishop of Houma-Thibodaux. Our Catholic religion emphasizes the importance of “being church”: we are formed and saved within the community of believers, and so the ability to foster interpersonal relationships and cooperation is something very, very important. As a native of Louisiana, he’ll appreciate in a special way the importance of family and parish relationships that are part of our culture. As for intelligence, everybody knows that the church faces huge challenges in the 21st century: we need more vocations, we need better evangelization and catechesis, we often need to be creative in structuring parishes and schools, we often need more money and other resources to accomplish our works and mission. A bishop needs the intelligence to be consultative, creative and ultimately confident

in the critical decisions he makes. Bishop Shelton is that kind of person. I recall a story about him that not too many people know. In the fall of 1977, at the end of his eighth grade year, he enrolled in the high school seminary which still existed here in Baton Rouge at the time, “Cathedral Prep.” He was so shy and homesick he lasted only one day!! Four years later, in 1981, when his dad was driving him to Covington to enroll him in the college seminary, he joked with him that this was the last time he was going to try this! Fortunately, he never looked back from then on! (The Very Rev. Paul D. Counce, J.C.L., M.C.L., is the judicial vicar for the Diocese of Baton Rouge, and pastor of St. Joseph Cathedral in Baton Rouge.)

We Welcome our shepherd Bishop Shelton J. Fabre The parish family of St. Bridget Catholic Church Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

His Excellency The Most Reverend Glen John Provost, D. D,. Bishop of Lake Charles, with the clergy, religious, and laity of the Diocese of Lake Charles extend congratulations and prayerful best wishes to His Excellency The Most Reverend Shelton J. Fabre, D. D. on his installation as the Fourth Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux


Getting To Know Him


Early years • family • special events

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High school graduation

14 years old

Family in 2007

Memories With parents at diaconate ordination

Priestly ordination day

Installed a

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At ordination to the episcopacy

in 1986

Getting To Know Him


Meeting Pope John Paul II as a seminarian in 1985


Ordained to priesthood by Bishop Stanley Ott

Meeting Pope Benedict XVI during Ad Limina visit Ordained to episcopacy by Archbishop Alfred Hughes

Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

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Getting To Know Him

‘He’s truly a servant leader’



Bishop Shelton Fabre with Dr. Jan Daniel Lancaster

By DR. JAN DANIEL LANCASTER It is no surprise to me that Bishop Shelton Fabre chose “Comfort my people” as his episcopal motto. The words from Isaiah animate the life and ministry of this man I am blessed to call co-worker, shepherd and friend. I have no doubt that Bishop Fabre will bring great comfort to the people in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, just as he has brought great comfort to the people of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. During my time as superintendent, he has brought great comfort to me. He has been a compassionate co-worker, a gentle shepherd, and a good friend; in the process, he has taught me many things about life and leadership. When I began serving as superintendent of Catholic schools, Bishop Fabre welcomed me with kindness. His warmth and gentleness offered me great comfort as I stepped into a brand new role in life. He taught me the value of welcoming strangers as friends. Through the years, Bishop Fabre has been a trusted co-worker,

always offering me guidance and wisdom as I endeavor to serve our family of Catholic schools. His comfort and guidance taught me the value of collaboration, the value of building relationships as we work together to fulfill the mission of Christ. As I grew to know Bishop Fabre better, I grew to appreciate his abilities not only as an administrator but also as a good shepherd. He is truly a servant leader, a shepherd with a sharp mind and a gentle heart. He is a leader who listens, who responds, who offers God’s comfort and compassion. He taught me the value of leading from the heart. I will miss my co-worker, our shepherd, and my friend. I wish Bishop Fabre nothing but blessings and pray that I will lead in the ways he has taught me: with kindness and compassion, with gentleness and love, with the desire to be a faithful servant as a conduit for God’s great love and comfort. (Dr. Jan Daniel Lancaster is the Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of New Orleans.)

With hearts full of gratitude and joy, Father Gregory Fratt and the parish family of Sacred Heart in Morgan City, welcomes Bishop Shelton Fabre.

photo by: Al Adams

Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

“Call us First”

Bishop Shelton Fabre is joined by his friends on the day of his episcopal ordination. From left are John McGovern, Johan Van Parys, David Kozishek, Lee Bultman and Father Tim Kitzke.

Ordinary ordinary By Lee Bultman In 1985, I joined the priestly formation community of the American College of Louvain, Belgium. Soon after arriving I met Shelton Fabre. For me, at first, he didn’t necessarily stand out from among the others in one of the largest first year classes the college had seen in years, more than 20 students. But with time, I did notice him. I noticed a quiet, unassuming person who was almost lost in a sea of boisterous, academically competitive and, for some, unfortunately, inappropriately ambitious would be priests. But in time it was his quiet fortitude that attracted my attention, not to mention his humble, solid, genuine spirituality. He evinced a peacefulness of spirit that was in kind a source of peace and counsel for others. I’ve been asked what Bishop Fabre means to me, and what qualities he has that I believe will make him a good Bishop for Houma –Thibodaux. For me he is confidant, counselor, friend and spiritual inspiration. He is what a human should be. He is what a priest should be. Bishop Fabre is also the personification

of what a bishop should be – unassumingly intelligent, discerning of the faith, humble, spiritual, pastoral. It is because of those qualities that I believe he will make an excellent bishop. It seems that the church does not seem to always choose its leaders wisely. In Bishop Fabre, however, the church has chosen very wisely. The faithful, including the religious and clergy of Houma–Thibodaux, will come to know, if they do not already, that they are blessed indeed. It strikes me as ironic that Bishop Fabre, in being ordinary, in the sense of being unassuming, is anything but ordinary and here is the irony - therein will be a wonderful Ordinary. Bishop Fabre and I have remained close friends since leaving the American College of Louvain in 1989. With rare exception, we have spoken with each other every Sunday evening for the past 24 years. (Lee Bultman is the Senior Project Manager for Health Services Advisory Group (HSAG) based in Phoenix, AZ. HSAG is a nationally recognized healthcare quality consulting organization.)

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Getting To Know Him

Guest Columnist Deacon Jesse Watley

Wise beyond years Bishop Fabre was my immediate supervisor and undoubtedly the person I worked most closely and most often with in the archdiocese. I started in my position here on Feb. 26, 2007, and Bishop Fabre was ordained a bishop here on Feb. 28, 2007. We have ‘grown up” 36 together as co-workers here. Being the new kids on the block developed a bond between us that has never been broken. One of the first things that one recognizes about Bishop Fabre is that he is wise beyond his years. He is a good listener and this coupled with his thoughtfulness allows him to offer very good direction and advice. I use the word thoughtfulness in two senses. First of all, he is a profound thinker. He has the ability to analyze a situation and assess it from several different points of view and to assess the impact of a decision on the various entities involved. His thoughtfulness in the sense of caring for the needs and feelings of people also plays into this. He is able to explain an outcome that may not be the one that a party expected in a pastoral way that minimizes any harsh feelings. He is also very soft-spoken and patient. These are attributes that assist him in the pastoral care of the people he works with and for. (Deacon Jesse Watley is the executive director for the Office of Racial Harmony in the Archdiocese of New Orleans.) Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

Bishop Shelton Fabre with children at a summer camp in New Orleans.

Delightful sense of humor


Bishop Shelton Fabre with Sister Mary Ellen Wheelahan, O. Carm

By SISTER MARY ELLEN WHEELAHAN, O. CARM As Safe Environment coordinator in New Orleans, I have had the opportunity to work closely with Bishop Fabre as we met the problems and challenges of protecting our children and youth in the archdiocese. You now, in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, are blessed to have the privilege of ministering with him. You will find him to be quiet, but don’t let that fool you. He has a delightful sense of humor and always finds good in people. He has a tremendous ability to focus and brings to you the gift of wisdom. You will soon experience his love of God, the Catholic Church, and the people he so generously serves. 1 Peter 3:8 summarizes my experience of Bishop Fabre, “Be of one mind, sympathetic, loving toward one another, compassionate, humble.” He will be missed in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. You are being blessed with a good, holy leader. (Sister Mary Ellen Wheelahan, O. Carm., is the Safe Environment coordinator for the Archdiocese of New Orleans.)

Intelligent, hardworking, kind and considerate


Bishop Shelton Fabre with Maggie Sunseri

By MAGGIE SUNSERI I was Bishop Fabre’s administrative assistant for one and a half years and can honestly say I have enjoyed every minute. He is an extremely intelligent, hardworking, kind and considerate person who makes it easy to work for him. He is amazing to work for and with. I am going to miss him greatly. Bishop Fabre is humble, kind, gentle, listens to those who have suggestions or complaints, is pastoral, diverse, calm under pressure, has excellent leadership, managerial and administrative duty skills which I believe all make for an effective bishop for the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. (Maggie Sunseri is the administrative assistant to the vicar general in the Archdiocese of New Orleans.)

St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church & Community in Bayou Black, Louisiana joins the People of God in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux in welcoming the Most Reverend Shelton J. Fabre, D.D. as our new Bishop.

Efficient, organized, humble and prayerful


Bishop Shelton Fabre with Dr. Emilie G. Leumas

By DR. EMILIE G. LEUMAS, Ph.D., C.A., C.R.M. As the archivist for the archdiocese, Bishop Fabre was my direct supervisor. Without a doubt, Bishop Fabre is the best boss I have ever had. He has broad talent. He is efficient, organized, focused, humble and prayerful. He has a calming presence. He surrounds himself with good people, giving them guidance and approval when needed. He listens and advises, but most of all he allows those who are professionals to do their work. The Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux will benefit greatly from their new shepherd. (Dr. Emilie G. Leumas, Ph.D., C.A., C.R.M., is the director of the Office of Archives and Records for the Archdiocese of New Orleans.)

BIENVENU! “Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God.” (Is. 40:1) [Bishop Fabre’s episcopal motto]


Getting To Know Him

Guest Columnist Very Rev. Timothy Kitzke

Bishop Shelton Fabre is one of the best priests I know, and I have known him for a long time! We were students together at the American College of Louvain, Belgium, and it was there that I perceived that he would not only become a great friend, which he has, but that he would serve our beloved church in


Truly gifted priest and bishop many ways, which he has! Bishop Fabre has been gifted by our Lord with the gifts needed at this unique time in history: A deep love of the people of God combined with the ability to translate the Gospel message into a language that speaks to people right where they need God the most; a true and abiding respect for the tradition of the Apostles and the creativity to make that tradition alive and

empowering in contemporary times; a man of active prayer and prayerful action; a leader, but above all a follower of Jesus. My prayers for him and your wonderful diocese as you move to a future under God’s gracious care! (Very Rev. Timothy Kitzke is a pastor of Old St. Mary Church parish and dean of District 13 in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.)




Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

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Bishop Shelton J. Fabre

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Coat of Arms His Excellency, Most Rev. Shelton Joseph Fabre Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux


Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

Blazon: Arms impaled. Dexter: Arms party per fess; in chief per fess Azure and Gules; in chief three fleursde-lis per fess Or; in base, upon a cross throughout Argent a heart inflamed of the last; to base Azure, a carpenter’s square per chevron between three lilies all Argent. Sinister: Azure, upon a chevron Or, three fleur-de-lis Gules; to chief a crescent amid a semé of twelve stars, six to each side, all Argent; in base a heart inflamed of the second, pierced by two arrows, per saltare of the last.

Significance The episcopal heraldic achievement, or bishop’s coat of arms, is composed of a shield, which is the central and most important part of the design, a scroll with a motto and the external ornamentation. The design is described (blazoned) in 12th century terms that are archaic to our modern language, as if the description was being given by the bearer (from behind) with the shield being worn on the left arm. Thus, it must be remembered, where it applies, as the device is viewed from the front that the terms sinister and dexter are reversed. By heraldic tradition, the arms of the bishop of a diocese, called a “diocesan bishop,” are joined (impaled) with the arms of his jurisdiction, in this case the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, that are seen in the dexter impalement (left side) of the design. As a “dual see city diocese,” the arms of the Diocese of HoumaThibodaux are composed of two main sections. The upper half of the design is composed of two sections;

Craig Pate, PT Craig Hebert, PT

a blue upper portion containing three gold (yellow) fleurs-de-lis, to represent the French and FrenchCanadian heritage of the region and a red lower portion that bears a silver (white) cross throughout on which is placed an inflamed gold (yellow) heart to honor Saint Francis de Sales, titular of the Cathedral Church in the See City of Houma. The lower half of the diocesan arms is composed of a blue field on which is placed a carpenter’s square, to form a chevron, between three lilies, all in silver (white) a classic representation of Saint Joseph, titular of the Co-Cathedral in Thibodaux. For his personal arms Bishop Fabre has selected a design that calls to mind significant influences in his life and ordained ministry. The shield is blue and charged with a gold chevron, which in turn is charged with three red fleurs-delis. The chevron is a variation on a carpenter’s square and so honors St. Joseph, foster-father of Jesus and the bishop’s baptismal patron. St. Joseph is also the titular of the seminary college that Bishop Fabre attended in St. Benedict, Louisiana. The three fleurs-de-lis reference those on the arms of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, where the bishop will serve, although changed in color to reflect this new beginning in his life and ministry. The three fleurs-de-lis also call to mind the Most Holy Trinity: placed in the center of the shield they remind us that God must be at the center of every believer’s life. Above the chevron is a silver crescent surrounded by twelve silver stars. This arrangement, taken from the Book of Revelation where a woman is described as “having the moon at her feet and upon her

Welcome Bishop Fabre and may God’s blessing be upon you throughout the coming years.

head a crown of twelve stars” (Rev 12:1), is a traditional representation of the Blessed Virgin Mary under her title of the Immaculate Conception. This pays particular honor to Mary, mother of all priests and patroness of The American College of the Immaculate Conception at the Catholic University of Louvain in Leuven, Belgium, where Bishop Fabre completed his studies for the priesthood. Below the chevron is a gold heart inflamed and pierced by two silver arrows, a classic symbol of Saint Augustine (354-430), an early African bishop and theologian. This serves as a reminder of Bishop Fabre’s heritage, and also honors the legacy of the deep faith of all African-American Catholics, as well as the bishop’s beloved home parish of St. Augustine in his native town of New Roads, Louisiana. Bishop Fabre has chosen as a motto a phrase from the prophet Isaiah which has been a favorite of his since his priestly ordination in 1989: “Comfort My People” (Is 40:1). It expresses not only Bishop Fabre’s own goal for his ministry but also the reality of God’s will for 41 humanity: divine consolation and abiding peace in everything. The achievement is completed with the two external ornaments which in heraldic usage now signify a prelate with the rank of bishop. These are a gold processional cross behind but extending above and below the shield, and the clerical hat known as a “gallero” above the shield – with six tassels on either side of it – all in green. The heraldic achievement was designed by Deacon Paul J. Sullivan, a cleric of the Diocese of Providence.

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Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013



Part Two

Parishes and Missions

Parishes and Missions

Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales Mother church of Terrebonne Parish

By VERY REV. JOSHUA RODRIGUE The Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales in Houma is the mother church in the civil parish of Terrebonne. The intrepid zeal of Father Charles M. Menard, referred to by some as the Apostle of Bayou Lafourche and Bayou Terrebonne, laid the foundation for the Catholic faith in Houma. In 1842, Father Menard celebrated the first Mass and other sacraments in the Houma Courthouse before the first church could be built. St. Francis de Sales was erected as a parish in 1847 with Father Z. Leveque as its first pastor, caring for 200 parishioners from along the four principle bayous: Terrebonne, Little Caillou, Grand 44 Caillou and Bayou Black. The first church was made of 20,000 bricks in the Romanesque style and was completed in 1848. In 1870 the Sisters of the Marianites of Holy Cross arrived and opened the first Catholic school in Terrebonne Parish. From the educational foundations of the sisters, the current school boasts an enrollment of approximately 725 students in Pre-K through seventh grades. The Marianites remained in the diocese for 141 years. In 1926 a hurricane damaged the old church, and Father August Vandebilt saw the need for a larger church. In February of 1936, Archbishop Joseph Rummel laid the cornerstone and dedicated and consecrated the new “simple village church” that Father August Vandebilt erected in 1938. The current church follows the FrenchGothic style of Europe. Father Vandebilt would die not long after the church was dedicated. St. Francis de Sales Church parish had the distinction of being visited by the President of the United States. In 1972, President Richard Nixon, along with Vice President Spiro Agnew


Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

Very Rev. Joshua Rodrigue Rector

Rev. Simon Peter Engurait Associate

Rev. Joseph Tu Tran in residence

Deacon Douglas Authement

Deacon Joseph Weigand Jr.

and numerous political dignitaries, attended Senator Allen J. Ellender’s funeral. On his way out of the church, President Nixon asked Msgr. John Newfield, then pastor, that he convey the president’s compliments to the church choir, saying that he was inspired by the singing. On June 5, 1977, St. Francis de Sales Church parish was elevated to the dignity of a cathedral parish, making her the mother church of the diocese, with the late Bishop Warren L. Boudreaux as bishop. Bishop Boudreaux is interred in the cathedral near the cornerstone. During the 25th anniversary year of the diocese in 2002, the cathedral underwent extensive renovations and repairs under the leadership of Msgr. Joseph N. Latino, now bishop of the Diocese of Jackson, MS. The cathedral was cleaned, waterproofed and re-mortared. The interior was repaired, repainted and redecorated. Marble flooring was placed in the sanctuary along with a new marble cathedra (the bishop’s chair). The cathedral campus is composed of the cathedral church, an adoration chapel in the cathedral’s former baptistery, school, youth center and parish hall, priests’ rectory and parish office, and the cathedral convent. Behind the campus is St. Francis de Sales Cemetery No. 1, with Cemetery No. 2 located a couple of miles further up the bayou.

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux 1220 Aycock St. ~ Houma, LA 70360

Welcome Bishop Fabre

as you lead us in our mission of providing compassionate service to people in need through fidelity to the Gospel. Phone (985) 876-0490 ~ Fax (985) 876-7751 45

Parishes and Missions

St. Joseph Co-Cathedral Oldest parish in the diocese

By REV. JAY BAKER Most Rev. Father, anxious to hear what you as our new bishop would say and wondering what you would be like, I stood along the back wall of the diocesan Pastoral Center Conference Hall on September 23. When one of the reporters asked you what it was like to move from one diocese to another, you said that when you moved from Baton Rouge, you made New Orleans your home. And that now, as you moved from New Orleans, you looked forward to making HoumaThibodaux your home. Amidst all the uncertainty and disquiet of transition and change, your mention of “home” struck a comforting chord within me. I 46 immediately began to think of how we – your parishioners at St. Joseph Co-Cathedral parish – might make you feel at home. And when you spoke about your episcopal motto, it became clear: I thought how when the aged and infirmed of our larger community are in danger of becoming homebound, our Heaven’s Handymen builds handicappedaccessible ramps on their homes so that they are able to come and go more freely … Comfort My People. I recollected that each week, volunteers meet to assess the needs and allocate funds through the works of St. Vincent de Paul to people living within our parish who find themselves in emergency situations and are unable to pay for their utilities, prescriptions and housing … Comfort My People. I recalled that each Lent, our Gumbo Gang cooks and serves up thousands of bowls of Gumbo to raise money in support of the Good Samaritan Food Bank which provides canned and fresh foods to families throughout Thibodaux who are unable to purchase enough food each month from their meager resources to satisfy their


Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

Rev. Jay Baker Rector

Rev. Eric Leyble Associate

Rev. Vincent Chacko In residence

Deacon Ambrose Ayzinne

hungers … Comfort My People. I harkened back to last year – when federal funding to Chabert Medical Center was cut back and men, women and children relying on health care from there were in danger of not having their monthly medications – your school children and parishioners collected money from Mardi Gras through Easter to supplement the St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy in Houma which serves your entire diocese …. Comfort My People. I remembered how – after Hurricane Gustav cut a wide swath through our lives – your parishioners here gathered in our front parking lot over the course of six days to serve 9,998 hot meals, 7,762 bottles of water, 2,000 hygiene kits & snack kits, 1,100 MREs, and 2.2 tons of ice to local residents who were out of power and in need … Comfort My People. Bishop Fabre, amidst the vagaries and sometimes harsh realities of life, we – the People of God of St. Joseph Co-Cathedral parish in Thibodaux – gather each week to be fed with the Word broken open and the bread blessed and broken so as to better fulfill what was prayed after Communion on the twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time: “… that we may be refreshed and nourished by the sacrament we have received, so as to be transformed into what we consume” – to be the Body of Christ … to better Comfort My People. Welcome Home, Bishop Fabre!

The Office

extends a warm welcome and our sincere support to the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux’s new shepherd Bishop Shelton J. Fabre 47

Leslie Daigle, PT • Eddie Himel, PT, DSc., OCS, Cert. MDT • John Daigle, PT, OCS, COMT Tracy Peltier, PT, CMT • Steven Landry, OT, CHT • Sawyer Triche, PT, DPT


808 Bayou Lane



1321 Grand Caillou


Congratulations and Welcome Bishop Shelton Fabre 223-4760

125 Bayou Gardens


w w w. p t cen t er-la .com

Parishes and Missions

Sacred Heart, Morgan City Serving the community since 1859

By REV. GREGORY FRATT Our Mission Statement reads: “Our parish community is the realization of the church as the People of God. Sacred Heart Church is a community of believers ‘united in the profession of the one Lord, one faith, one baptism.’ (Ephesians 4:5) The community is a caring family that welcomes and invites everybody to participate actively in its ministries; to worship the Lord as a community and to grow in one’s spiritual life. We are called to share and live the Christian message, to profess our faith through service for peace and justice. We are committed to building a community that fosters a sense of communal belonging and hope, encouraging reconciliation 48 and love of others, and seeking nourishment in the Eucharist.” On Jan. 13, 1859, Father Justin Joseph Claris celebrated the first Mass here in Morgan City in a private home. After purchasing a home and arranging a chapel, he placed it under the protection of St. Justin the Martyr and this became the first Catholic Church in Morgan City ( at the time, it was called “Brashear”). Since that time, a beautiful church building was constructed and Sacred Heart is one of the most beautiful churches here in our diocese. We are very proud of our history as a parish and the importance of Sacred Heart to the community here. In this historic church, beautiful liturgies are celebrated giving glory to God and in thanksgiving for all he has done for us. We strive to be good stewards of our beautiful church so that we can pass it down, beautiful as a bride, to generations to come! We are grateful for the diversity of our parish community which adds to the richness of our being Catholic. In our unique and exquisite baptistry, we welcome the newest members to our parish Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

Rev. Gregory Fratt Pastor

Rev. Noas Kerketta, I.M.S. Associate

Deacon Randall Jennings

family just as we welcome those who come into the church at the Easter Vigil in our beautiful liturgies. Sacred Heart has deep roots in this community and it is the people who participate in our many ministries who help make us such a vibrant parish. Our Matthew 25 team (the largest in the diocese) works hand in hand with our city in times of disasters. Our Sacred Heart Thrift Store is a tremendous help to our community. We serve our Hispanic population by offering a Mass in Spanish every Sunday as well as Quincenieras on occasion. During this “Year of Faith” we have added a bereavement group and we have a seminarian from our parish, Luke Robicheaux, studying at St. Ben’s. Sacred Heart is a generous parish,

giving of their time, talent and treasure to help build God’s Kingdom here in the most western part of our diocese. It is a unique location because several civil parishes as well as the boundaries for the Dioceses of Lafayette and Baton Rouge all converge here on the Atchafalaya River. This area however, is also unique in its population and its history and we are very excited to be welcoming you Bishop Shelton Fabre as the Fourth Bishop of our diocese, and we hope that you will visit us often. As the pastor of Sacred Heart, I, as well as our parishioners, look forward to welcoming you personally to this unique and wonderful parish and working collaboratively with you in the future!

St. Joseph Church in Galliano By REV. MARIO VELOSO St. Joseph Parish in Galliano is predominantly a Cajun community. Through the years, with the influx of migration, the community’s overall landscape has changed dramatically. Its transformation is seen in both the external and internal lives of the people. Externally, parishioners are aware that the parish community is an amalgam of people with rich cultural heritage and religiosity. These diversities positively interact and influence each other, thereby making the community more dynamic and vibrant in the way they express and live their faith. Internally, driven by the dynamo of a lived-faith, the community is well aware that through diversity, they form a human family where members regard each other as brothers and sisters. The community’s faith life formed by the Word of God and its focal point is the celebration of the Eucharist. This eucharistic experience of the community enables them to reach out to others, especially to the Anawim of God.

Rev. Mario Veloso Administrator


Most Reverend Herbert A. Bevard and The Diocese of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands Extends Congratulations and Prayerful Best Wishes To

Most Reverend Shelton J. Fabre On the occasion of his Installation as the Fourth Bishop of The Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux

Parishes and Missions

Christ the Redeemer, Thibodaux By REV. MARK TOUPS The best way to describe Christ the Redeemer Church parish in Thibodaux is “Our family welcomes your family.” Christ the Redeemer really is a family. The family story of Christ the Redeemer starts in September 1983. Thirty years ago a joy-filled Irishman swept into Thibodaux and many fell in love with the spirit of Father Pat O’Brien. Father O’Brien gathered the founding parishioners in the now legendary “Celetex building.” Those early days birthed the personality of the parish, for you could smell brewing coffee during Sunday Mass! The physical confines of the original building fostered a smaller, tightknit community. It felt like family from the very first Mass! After four years of building the family, the physical church building 50 on Talbot Avenue was dedicated in December 1987. The family at Christ the Redeemer flourished, later adding a perpetual adoration chapel and family life center. The only thing better than one Irishman is two. Following in the footsteps of Father O’Brien was the beloved Father John Gallen. Father Gallen joined the Christ the Redeemer family in the summer of 1998. For 15 years he loved us and cared for us, and he continues to remain a deeply cherished member of the family even though his health has retired him back home in Ireland. Understanding the history of Christ the Redeemer helps in understanding the personality of the parish itself. There is a warm spirit of welcome; there is a generous feeling of hospitality; there is a growing hunger for Christ our redeemer. Christ the Redeemer has enjoyed a significant increase in Mass attendance from new families in the past six months, as more and more young families choose to make Christ the Redeemer home. So, yes, our family indeed welcomes your family. The family at Christ the Redeemer Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

Rev. Mark Toups Administrator

Rev. John Theckevalliara Associate

welcomes all people. We welcome saints and sinners. We welcome the most seasoned Catholics and those Catholics “coming home.” We welcome those interested in learning more about the faith, as well as those who never stepped in a Catholic Church. And, yes, “nuestra familia le da la bienvenida a su familia.” We welcome our brothers and sisters who speak Spanish as their primary language. Our special Spanish Mass every Sunday at 6 p.m. serves as an anchor for the Spanish speaking community, as well as an entry way into the larger Christ the Redeemer family. Complimenting the legendary spirit of welcome and family is the presence of the perpetual adoration chapel and surrounding prayer

Deacon Charles Giroir

garden. People come from all over Thibodaux and the surrounding countryside to find solace and rest. The perpetual adoration chapel is still flourishing, nearly 20 years after its founding. The prayer garden, featuring the St. Jude grotto, and the outdoor Stations of the Cross, rest under elegant live oaks and beautiful landscaping. Now is an exciting time at Christ the Redeemer, and our family welcomes your family. We also welcome Bishop Shelton J. Fabre as the new father and shepherd of the family of Houma-Thibodaux. We at Christ the Redeemer commit to praying for you daily. May God bless Bishop Fabre; may God bless our diocese; may God bless the family at Christ the Redeemer.

Thanh Gia Church in Amelia After the fall of Saigon, Vietnam, in 1975, many Vietnamese families fled their country to resettle in many different parts of the United States. The Catholic Vietnamese families began settling in the Morgan City/Amelia area near the end of 1975. In 1979, at the request of many Vietnamese Catholics, a group of people wrote a letter to (the late) Bishop Warren L. Boudreaux asking him for a place to worship and for a Vietnamese priest to provide pastoral care for them. Bishop Boudreaux accepted the proposal and the plans for a new church were put into action. Through the generous donation of the Vietnamese Catholics, as well as some Americans in the community, funds were acquired to purchase two lots in Amelia and to begin construction of the new church. The construction of the church began on June 16, 1980, and was completed six months later in January 1981. The new parish would be named Thanh Gia (Holy Family) and Father Joseph Luu Nguyen was appointed its founding pastor. Thanh Gia is a “personal parish�; it is non-territorial. A personal parish

51 has no boundaries; its parishioners can be from different areas of the diocese. It was established to serve the Vietnamese in Amelia, Houma, Larose and Thibodaux. The pastor of Thanh Gia also goes into these communities to celebrate Mass

with the Vietnamese people. Thanh Gia parish has grown dramatically since it was established in 1981 with 80 Vietnamese families in the diocese. We welcome Bishop Shelton Fabre to our diocese!


Bishop Shelton J. Fabre Fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux

Most Reverend Ronald P. Herzog, Bishop and the clergy, religious and laity of the Diocese of Alexandria, Louisiana

Parishes and Missions

St. Joseph Church in Chauvin By MSGR. FREDERIC J. BRUNET The church parish of St. Joseph in Chauvin is very happy to welcome you as the leader of our diocese. We all look forward to working with you in spreading the teachings of Jesus Christ to all people. The Catholic Church in the Little Caillou area has been active for many years beginning with Father Menard who in 1842 was appointed assistant pastor in Thibodaux, a village of 30 houses along two streets. He may have come by way of Brule Labadie, Chacahoula, Gibson, Bayou Black and Houma, a village of 20 houses on one street. Then Father Menard traveled to Little Caillou where he celebrated Mass in June 1842 in the home of Alexis Duplantis. In 1864, Father Denece was made pastor of Little Caillou. He arrived on Dec. 10, 1864, and found there a little cha52 pel 20 feet wide by 40 feet long on the Indian’s Cemetery near Mr. Octave Chauvin’s (property). The little chapel … built by Father Tasset, pastor in Houma, … had altogether one old alb. Since that time, the church in Chauvin has made great strides in the development of the Catholic faith in our area. At the present time, there are 1,400 Catholic families who are very dedicated to their Catholic faith. The whole community has been touched by the church’s teachings and way of life. The church is very important to the

Msgr. Frederic Brunet Pastor

life of the whole bayou. There is a great movement of active and generous lay involvement including a RCIA program, religious education program, youth ministry, Scripture classes, and social care for the sick and elderly. Every weekend we are proud of our liturgical services. We have many generous people and our parish is very much family orient-

Deacon Gary Lapeyrouse

ed. Our community is flavored by a strong Cajun culture which visitors have thoroughly enjoyed. We have a caring and efficient staff that provides a friendly atmosphere for all our parishioners. We hope and pray that St. Joseph Church parish will also be a great help and comfort to you in your ministry as our leader.

Welcome to our diocese, Bishop Fabre B & J MARTIN, INC. A Minority Corp.

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Holy Rosary Church in Houma By REV. CHARLES PERKINS Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Church parish is located on Main Street on the east side of Houma, across the Intracoastal Canal. Archbishop Rummel of New Orleans canonically established the parish Sept. 8, 1948. The first services were held Sept. 19, 1948, in the community hall. An Army chapel from Gulfport, MS, was purchased and arrived by barge Oct. 12, 1948. After renovations to the chapel the first Mass was held Feb. 20, 1949. The first pastor was Father Anthony J. Wegmann, a diocesan priest for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. In 1963, the Redemptorist Community began staffing the parish and remained for 23 years until 1986. The Franciscans staffed the parish for the next 20 years. In 2006 the priests of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux began staffing the parish. Father Carl Collins was pastor until July 2012, when Father Charles Perkins replaced him. Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary parish also built a school and the School Sisters of Notre Dame staffed it from 1954 until it closed in 1971. A new parish was carved out of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary parish in 1963 when Annunziata Church parish was established. Today Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary parish sees itself under the patronage of Our Lady, Queen of the Rosary, striving to be a welcoming community, whose heart is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We carry on the mission of Jesus through faith-filled celebrations of the Sunday Eucharist, the spiritual nourishment and religious education of all of our members and a passionate dedication to the works of peace and justice. Our parish property includes our church, cemetery, community center, school classrooms which are used for our religious education program, meeting rooms, and Terrebonne Parish’s Head Start


Rev. Charles Perkins Pastor

Rev. Roger E. Villarrubia Jr. in residence

Program. On site we have a house which was used as the old convent. Last year we had two religious sisters of the Little Brothers and Sisters of Jesus and Mary from Italy staying with us and working in the diocese. We also have an office building and rectory. We have one Mass every weekday and on the weekend we have a Saturday 4 p.m. Vigil Mass; and 8 a.m., 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Masses on Sunday. We have ministers for all of our Masses which include music, altar servers, commentators, lectors, extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist, and ushers, along with our deacons. Our parish is an older parish but many are very involved in the different ministries. Our religious education class enrollment is low and we do not have many new or young families moving into the area. However, we are trying to

Deacon Malcolm Andry

Deacon John Mattingly

move forward and build on the experience that we do have so that we can reach out to our inactive or fallen away parishioners. Some of the other ministries and services here at Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary parish are: Altar Society, emergency relief, H-Team, money counters, sick and homebound visitors, rosary leaders, RCIA and adult education, along with baptism seminars, Marriage Prep, and “Come, Lord Jesus!” small groups. We also have stewardship, evangelization, liturgy, finance and pastoral councils. As we move forward we will try to reach out to our youth, young adults and elderly. Also we plan to begin a bereavement ministry very soon. We will try to use the experience of those wiser to help us reach and educate others so that the faith will be shared and lived by all in our parish.

Parishes and Missions

St. Mary’s Nativity, Raceland St. Mary’s Nativity Church parish’s humble beginning started in the early 1800s when we were frequently visited by Father Charles Menard. It is noted in our parish history that our ancestors were “a few dedicated people of meager resources.” They were persistent with Father Menard to establish a church parish where they could come to worship together as a faith community. After Father Menard started a church in Houma and a chapel in Lockport they became impatient. They were persistent with Father Menard and finally, in 1850, our parish was established. We have consistently been blessed throughout our history from the yellow fever epidemic to the Civil War, from the depression to enduring the effects of storms like Hurricane Betsy. We stood strong, united in our faith. We 54 are a community that takes pride in carrying on our heritage by persevering through dedication and diligence for the betterment of “our” faith community. We have the same character, ethics and moral convictions that our ancestors had. We support each other by encouraging spiritual growth through our knowledge and education of the Catechism, service to one another and celebrating the sacraments together as one family. And when these objectives seem difficult to achieve, we pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance and understanding. We are not a “perfect” people by any means. We make our share of mistakes. We humbly move into the future with ample “lessons learned” from our past. With the continued support of this great Diocese of HoumaThibodaux, we are optimistic of the blessing the Lord has for all of us in the future. We were excited to hear the news of your appointment as our Fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. We knew with the pending retirement of Bishop Jacobs and the retirement of Pope Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

Rev. Jay Baker Administrator

Rev. John Arogyasami Associate

Benedict, our prayers would be desperately needed for our diocese to receive a new bishop in a timely manner. Once again, we have been greatly blessed. We are eager to get to know you and seek your guidance and leadership as we work toward our common goal of everlasting and eternal life with our Lord Jesus Christ. In the Gospel of John 6:1-13, we hear of Jesus feeding 5,000. Jesus asked Phillip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” Phillip answered Jesus, “Two hundred days wages worth

Deacon Brent Bourgeois

of food would not buy enough for each of them to have a little.” Well obviously, Phillip didn’t listen to Jesus’ question. Jesus asked nothing about the cost of the food, only where they could buy enough food. Like Phillip, we also at times miss the point. We pray for patience and understanding as we move forward as a diocese and a faith community. We are forever grateful to our Holy Father, Pope Francis for your appointment. Our prayers are forever yours.

St. Lucy Church in Houma By REV. MITCHEL SEMAR Mass was celebrated on Sunday, July 1, 1945, by Father John A. McShane, S.S.J., at a public school. Father McShane had the desire to build a church home for 300 or more fallen away Negro Catholics. His superior general, the Very Rev. Edward V. Casserly, S.S.J., responded with words of encouragement and was instrumental in getting a generous donation of $10,000 from the St. Joseph Society of the Sacred Heart. Father Lucien J. Caillouet, pastor of St. Francis de Sales Church parish, assisted in forming committees to locate a suitable site and to solicit funds for the mission. Judge J. Louis Watkins served as chairperson of the Church and School Site Committee. Archbishop Joseph F. Rummel purchased an approximate three-acre site from the Montegut Insurance Agency of Houma for $10,000. The dedication of St Lucy Mission Church, named in honor of the patron saint of vision and the late H.L. Bourgeois’ mother, took place on June 8, 1947. Archbishop Rummel dedicated the church and delivered the homily. Father Edward V. Casserly, S.S.J., superior general of the Josephite Fathers, celebrated the first Mass in the new church. Father J. B. Georges of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, West Indies, was the master of ceremony. In 1966, St. Lucy Parish was

Rev. Mitchel Semar Associate

closed to further the cause of integration. The doors remained closed as a church until (the late) Bishop Warren L. Boudreaux realized that, once again, more than 300 to 400 black Catholics were without a true church home. The help of the Josephite Fathers was solicited once again. Father William Norvel was instrumental in organizing the people of Houma and Thibodaux. St. Lucy in Houma and St. Luke in Thibodaux reopened in 1986. They were left

55 to operate sufficiently to prove the true need and ardent desire of black Catholics to worship in the cultural setting of their African-American heritage. True to his word, Bishop Boudreaux embraced the gift of black Catholics and granted full parish status the following year to St. Lucy and St. Luke within the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. St. Lucy was re-dedicated in 2004 and is presently linked with St. Luke in Thibodaux as they share the same pastor.

Welcome Bishop Shelton J. Fabre Peace & Blessings

Central Catholic High School

2100 Cedar Street • Morgan City, LA 70380 •

Parishes and Missions

St. Genevieve in Thibodaux By REV. DEAN DANOS In July 1959, St. Genevieve Church parish sprung to life as its founding parishioners converted a warehouse into a church in three scorching days. Since the first standing room-only Mass, the people of St. Genevieve have forged a special communal faith in west Thibodaux. St. Genevieve’s story began in the late 1950s when Archbishop Joseph Rummel carved a new parish out of St. Joseph parish’s southwestern half and appointed Father John Newfield as pastor. In Father Newfield’s first meeting with his new parishioners in June 1959, he gave them a deadline: they would have to find a large building in the mostly residential parish and convert the structure into a church by July 5. The parishioners initially thought they had no chance 56 of succeeding. Then, through what one called “divine intervention,” the Protestant owners of the Lafourche Lumber Company offered one of their warehouses rent-free until a new church could be built. The catch was the warehouse would not be available until three days before the first Mass. In the ensuing weeks, the St. Genevieve parishioners procured and borrowed church articles from various congregations and secured the donated services of numerous craftsmen to renovate the warehouse. In 72 hours,

Rev. Dean Danos Pastor

Rev. Allan Fenix Associate

Deacon Irving Daigle


Conrad Shipyard wishes a warm welcome to Bishop Shelton J. Fabre!

501 Front Street • Morgan City, Louisiana 70380 • 985-384-3060 • Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

a volunteer army transformed the empty “tin box” into a church with an altar, communion rail, tabernacle, confessional and other stark furnishings. In this simple setting, the people felt a closeness with the Spirit and a communion with each other. The warehouse walls seemed to disappear and speak the words of 1 Corinthians 3:16: “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” Sensing the spirit, Father Newfield embarked on campaigns to build both a school and a permanent church on the present St. Genevieve campus. About one year after the parish’s founding, St. Genevieve School opened in August 1960, and in April 1961, the parish celebrated Mass in its first permanent church. Father Newfield startled many not only with his breakneck building plan but also with his attempt to run a school without nuns. An all-lay faculty led the school, which began with grades K through

three and added a grade a year until it reached seventh grade. In 1964, Father Newfield finally secured the services of the School Sisters of Notre Dame. In 1966, Father Newfield handed St. Genevieve’s reigns to Father Winus Roeten. Dubbed “Rootin Tootin” for his fiery sermons, Father Roeten quickly implemented Vatican II’s monumental changes. He formed a parish council, then asked the council to make a difficult choice in 1970 – to decide whether to close St. Genevieve School. The school had never been financially stable and when the School Sisters of Notre Dame announced their departure in 1969, survival was unlikely. While the council voted in favor of maintaining a school and hiring a lay principal, Caroline Cappel, the school faced immediate fiscal crisis in Miss Cappel’s first year. The parish council’s solution to keep the school afloat was the inaugural St. Genevieve Fair in 1971. With the help of the fair and other community-building fundraisers, St. Genevieve Church

parish and school began to thrive. The school doubled in size in 1983, and the parish endured, surviving the loss of a chunk of its population when Christ the Redeemer was formed primarily out of St. Genevieve in 1983, and the diocese decided to terminate fundraisers in 1986. At St. Genevieve School, Miss Cappel served for nearly four decades before retiring in 2009 and turning her office over to then assistant principal and still current principal, Chris Knobloch. At the rectory, St. Genevieve has had eight pastors. In addition to Fathers Newfield and Roeten, Father Robert Melancon (1973-85), Msgr. Francis Legendre (198595), Father Joey Pilola (1995-98), Father Wilmer Todd (1998-2007), Father P.J. Madden (2007-09) and Father Dean Danos (2009-present) have all made their marks in west Thibodaux. Through all the pastoral and societal changes, the people of St. Genevieve have experienced the power of a community of faith.

Welcome Bishop Fabre to the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. May God bless you and your ministry.


Parishes and Missions

St. Louis in Bayou Blue By REV. CARLOS TALAVERA It is with great honor that we welcome Bishop Shelton Fabre as our father, shepherd and guide. We the members of St. Louis Church parish in Bayou Blue are a family blessed with steadfast faith. The first Catholic chapel was built in 1915. It was then a mission chapel of St. Bridget Church parish in Schriever. St. Louis of France IX was chosen as the patron because it was located near the St. Louis Canal. The chapel was destroyed twice, by a storm in 1915 and a hurricane in 1926, and faith enabled the dedicated parishioners to lovingly rebuild it. St. Louis of France was formally established as a church parish on Jan. 2, 1965, after 50 years of being a mission chapel. The dedication of the people enabled the parish to thrive. The parishioners have 58 worked together to build a beautiful church, a rectory with business offices, parish hall, ministry office for religious education and youth, storage building, St. Jude Shrine and cemetery with mausoleum, just to mention a few. St. Louis Church parish prides itself with committed parishioners who devote their stewardship of time, talent and treasure to continue the mission of our Lord. They actively participate in the ministries of the church from liturgical ministers, Communion to the sick and elderly, bereavement group, religious education, youth

Rev. Carlos Talavera Pastor

ministry, and so on. The parish has 1,300 registered parishioners and 300 children enrolled in religious education. Adult faith formation is regularly offered through Bible study and Bread for Everyday Living. Organizations like Knights of Columbus and Ladies Auxiliary have been beneficial in providing

the needed assistance to continue the parish’s service. In the next two years we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of our establishment. We are a church community filled with faith, enriched with service and abounding in generosity.

May God Bless you as our new shepherd Bishop Shelton J. Fabre from “Gloria Callais and the Callais Family.” Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

Community of St. Anthony, Gheens By REV. SABINO REBOSURA II The Community of St. Anthony of Padua is situated in Gheens which is located on Hwy 654 off of Hwy 308 near Mathews. The church has been serving the community since 1912 when it was a mission of Holy Savior Church parish in Lockport. Today the church is administered by the pastor of St. Hilary in Mathews. The present church was built under the leadership of Father H.C. Daigle and was blessed and dedicated on Sept. 21, 1967, by Archbishop Hannan of New Orleans. It is the fourth in its history, with at least two previous buildings destroyed by storms. The parish is made up of 190 families in a faithful, close-knit community. It has its own parish pastoral and finance council, and religious education program, and runs independently although it is not considered a full-fledged parish

Rev. Sabino Rebosura II Pastor

Rev. Alexis Lazarra Associate

of its own. Community services include ministry to the homebound, Thanksgiving food collection, donation for Thanksgiving Basket

for the needy, and Christmas angel tree. Parish celebrations include a children’s Mass, May Crowning, and an annual parish picnic.

Welcome Bishop Shelton Fabre to the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux with prayerful good wishes and much success.

Watkins Walker & Eroche Attorneys At Law Houma, Louisiana


Parishes and Missions

St. Lawrence in Chacahoula By JANET MARCEL St. Lawrence Church parish, situated near the end of a long, winding road in the small rural town of Chacahoula, is one of the oldest church parishes in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. Prior to its establishment in 1858, the area had been a mission of St. Joseph Church parish in Thibodaux. Father Joseph Pineau, the parish’s first pastor, is buried in St. Lawrence Cemetery. The present church, which is made mostly of cypress wood, was built after a fire destroyed the first church in 1911. Built in 1850, the first church was located across the street from the present church, where St. Lawrence Cemetery is now located. There are currently about 250 active families in the parish. The 60 parish operates through a pastoral council and a finance council and has a variety of organizations and ministries including a liturgical committee. The St. Lawrence Harvesters collect clothes, toys and household items to distribute to the poor. The store is open on the second and fourth Saturday of each month. The parish has a special collection each year with the proceeds donated to the group, who also prepare food baskets for Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving for the needy of the parish. An annual St. Joseph’s Altar is constructed by members of the parish with the money collected going to St. Lawrence Harvesters. The bereavement committee organizes meals which are served in Finnegan Hall after a funeral for the family and friends of parishioners who have died. The committee also prepares food for parish celebrations. A men’s group and women’s group gather monthly, and a traveling prayer group visits with families in their homes to study the upcoming Sunday Gospel. The parish also has a homebound ministry. Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

Rev. Josekutty Varghese Pastor

St. Eloi Church, Theriot

By JANET MARCEL St. Eloi Church parish in Theriot was established in 1875. Archbishop Napoleon J. Perche’ of the Archdiocese of New Orleans celebrated the parish’s first Mass in April 1875 and blessed the new church, which according to the history of the parish was a community effort by families who went into the surrounding swamps and neighboring land to gather and haul the huge cypress trees to the site to be cut into lumber for the church building. The land for the church was donated by the widow of Michel Eloi Theriot, in memory of her late husband and in thanksgiving for the safe return of all of her sons from the Civil War. The present church is an A-framed structure with wood laminate beams built in a cruciform or “cross-shaped” architectural design with the sacristy being located at the entrance of the church rather than next to the altar. Many of the artifacts, statues and paintings that adorn the present church are from the original church. There are approximately 460 families currently in the parish. The parish’s organizations and ministries include extraordinary liturgical ministers, music ministers, CCD, ushers, a ladies

61 Rev. Florentino Santiago Pastor

Deacon Daniel Bascle

altar society, youth group, Prayer Blanket Ministry and Knights of Columbus St. Eloi Council 8779 which sponsors an annual fishing

Deacon Glenn Porche

rodeo and a country fair. St. Eloi Church parish welcomes its new shepherd, Bishop Shelton Fabre.

Congratulations and prayerful best wishes Most Reverend Shelton J. Fabre On the occasion of your Installation as Fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux May God bless you abundantly in your new ministry. The Most Reverend Roger P. Morin and the Clergy, Religious and Laity Diocese of Biloxi

Parishes and Missions

St. Bridget Church in Schriever By REV. DOMINGO CRUZ Our church parish of St. Bridget in Schriever is located about half way between Houma and Thibodaux. We have been able to continually sustain our diocesan ministry and personnel. We now have four part-time employees who tend to the day to day activities around the church, rectory and office. We have over 150 people who are active in church ministry. These include acolytes, lectors, commentators, eucharistic ministers, altar servers, altar dressers, children’s liturgy, song leaders and ushers. We also have many involved in ministering to the homebound, prayer line, church cleaning, money counters and altar linens, etc. We have a very active Knight of Columbus and Catholic Daughters organization. These 62 groups are always willing to help in any way possible with parish life. We have dynamic parishioners in the sense that we carry on our spiritual or material endeavors to respond to any particular needs. For example, our Matthew 25 group is always ready to help when needed. I know we are a graying community; many of our active parishioners are older. Yet in recent years our youth have been emerging. They have become very active and participation at monthly Youth Masses has increased. Our parishioners have responded to the

Rev. Domingo Cruz Pastor

youth by providing for their needs. Sometimes the help is financial or sometimes it may be food for a retreat or other activity. We try to be an active community

Deacon Lloyd Duplantis

and not just react to what is going around us. We take the initiative where it is needed. With God’s blessing and guidance we can do better.

St. Joseph’s Parish Family Galliano Welcomes Bishop Shelton Fabre as our New Shepherd Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

St. Luke Church in Thibodaux By REV. MITCHEL SEMAR St. Luke School opened in 1923 and the church in 1924. The church and school were housed in the same building at that time. The original church was dedicated in 1924. The parish ministered to communities from Bertrandville, Klotzville, Schriever, Palmer Plantation and Thibodaux. From an initial Catholic population of 100 in 1924, the parish grew to 389 by 1948. In 1966 the parish was closed because of the Archdiocese of New Orleans’ desire to implement integration in all the Catholic churches. At that time St. Luke did have an integrated community with three Masses weekly. Bishop Warren L. Boudreaux reopened the parish in 1986. St. Luke presently ministers to 130 families. The pride of so many who had attended St. Luke School drew many back to St. Luke parish which was “home.” While many are still coming home, we continue to struggle somewhat because we have no resident minister. The Josephites withdrew in May of 1997 and St. Luke became linked with St. Joseph CoCathedral in Thibodaux in June of that year. St. Luke was later linked with St. Genevieve in July 2002. This type of linkage proved to be very beneficial to the parish. One of the benefits of the linkage is that the pastoral associate is on site and available to the community on a regular basis. This

Rev. Mitchel Semar Associate

Deacon Martin Dickerson

and other factors have contributed to the revitalization of St. Luke’s, which celebrated 75 years in 1999. A 50-year-old gymnasium was closed in early 1997. The building was renovated and reopened Aug. 5, 2001, on the 50th anniversary

of the present church building. It was named St. Luke’s Community Center. In June of 2007, St. Luke was linked to St. Lucy in Houma, sharing a pastor or administrator, and has continued to be so to the present time.


Bishop Shelton Joseph Fabre!

Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church in Thibodaux welcomes you to our family!


Parishes and Missions

St. Thomas Aquinas, Thibodaux By REV. ANDRE’ MELANCON On behalf of the people of St. Thomas Aquinas Church parish in Thibodaux, I would like to welcome you, Bishop Fabre, to the Diocese of Houma Thibodaux! Our parish joins with the rest of the diocese in thanking God for bringing you to us! The people of St. Thomas can’t wait for you to visit us. We would like to tell you a little about our parish. St. Thomas is unique in the diocese in that it was established with the intension of serving the faculty and students of Nicholls State University. There are currently about 6,500 students enrolled in the university with about 2,000 who identify themselves as Catholic. The parish community tries to reach out to students Catholic and nonCatholic by offering them a church family to welcome them. Assisting 64 in this mission to minister to the “young adult church” is over 600 registered families. The parish offers many programs to help our people come to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Just about every night of the week, there is something going on at St. Thomas. Our students and adult parishioners love to pray! From adoration, liturgy of the hours, rosary and daily and Sunday Mass attendance, the church is always filled with hearts being lifted up to God. Our people also have a hunger to learn about the faith. Through our men’s and women’s Bible study, our Wednesday night formation classes, an alive CCD program, children’s liturgy, RCIA and countless other opportunities, our people are going deeper in the faith by being open to the church’s mysteries. We are blessed to have a group of missionaries, The Missionaries of Mary Mother Church, who have done great work in the parish. Their mission is to be missionaries of the liturgy. They strive to teach the people how to enter more fully in the liturgical life of the church, especially through the chanting of the liturgy Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

Rev. Andre’ Melancon Pastor

of the hours. They teach about the Mass, about liturgical music and countless other liturgical topics. They desire to follow the call of the Vatican Council II that Catholics would experience full, conscious and active participation in the liturgy. Our campus ministry program is fast growing. More and more students are finding their way to St. Thomas to be welcomed into the life of the church. We are seeing much fruit from this especially in the area of vocations. We have sent young men to the seminary and young ladies to discern religious life and serve as missionaries. The highlight of our semester for campus ministry is the Awakening retreat. This retreat was an initiative of Bishop Sam G. Jacobs in the early 70s when he was campus minister at McNeese State University. The retreat is held on college campuses all over Louisiana and Texas. Colonel

Deacon William Dunckelman

Awakening boasts over 150 student participants in different capacities. Countless students have attributed the Awakening retreat as a conversion moment for them. I think you could some up what is beautiful about St. Thomas by saying we are a family. St. Thomas is place where everyone is welcome. It is not a parish where people just come to Mass and leave. People stay and share life. Our people know each other and they want to be a part of each other’s lives. When you walk into St. Thomas, you smell the coffee and hear the laughter. You know that life is being lived here. Bishop Fabre, our students and adult parishioners cannot wait to welcome you to our parish! They keep asking: when is Bishop Fabre coming? Bishop, know that you are always welcomed here. Know that we are praying for you every day and we thank God that he has sent us a good shepherd!

Tune In To... Quality Family Programming for the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux

~ Channel 10* on Comcast of Houma and CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS of Terrebonne Parish. ~ Channel 10* on CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS in Thibodaux. ~ Channel 10* on VISION COMMUNICATIONS of South and Central Lafourche ~ Channel 10* AT&T U-Verse *Channel 10 is provided by and in cooperation with HTV of Houma. ~ Channel 71, ALLEN’S TV CABLE of Morgan City


6:30 A.M. 9:00 A.M.

Proclaim the Good News/The Rosary Closer Walk

6:30 A.M. 9:00 A.M.

Proclaim the Good News/The Rosary Focus

6:30 A.M. 9:00 A.M. 9:30 A.M.



TUESDAY Proclaim the Good News/The Rosary Real Food Proclaim the Good News/The Rosary

WEDNESDAY Proclaim the Good News/The Rosary

6:30 A.M. 9:00 A.M. 9:30 A.M.

6:30 A.M. 9:00 A.M.

6:30 A.M. 9:00 A.M.

6:30 A.M. 9:00 A.M.

Closer Walk Live With Passion

THURSDAY Proclaim the Good News/The Rosary Living Scripture


Proclaim the Good News/The Rosary Live With Passion

SATURDAY Proclaim the Good News/The Rosary The Choices We Face

Programs produced by the Diocesan Office of TV Communications. We reserve the right to make program changes.

Parishes and Missions

St. Gregory Barbarigo, Houma By REV. EVELIO BUENAFLOR JR. It was with great excitement that the Catholics of Terrebonne Parish heard Archbishop John Cody proclaim on June 2, 1963, the formation of a new church parish in Houma and announce its founding pastor, Father Francis Amedee, who wasted no time in getting St. Gregory operational and shepherding his flock. On the feast of the Assumption, Aug. 15, 1964, the parishioners of St. Gregory celebrated Mass for the first time in the new church. On Sept. 1, 1964, St. Gregory Elementary School opened its doors with an enrollment of 144 students staffed by the School Sisters of Notre Dame with Sister Basil as the first principal. The school has been in continuous operation since and is today completely staffed 66 by lay personnel with Elizabeth Scurto as principal. Father William Koninkx became St. Gregory’s second pastor in April 1970. Under his leadership, a bright future full of spiritual growth and development lay ahead as he implemented changes as a result of the second Vatican Council. Parishioners welcomed the formation of the new HoumaThibodaux diocese on March 20, 1977. The appointment of Bishop Warren L. Boudreaux, a native of Berwick, as the First Bishop of this “bayou diocese” gave the people a profound sense of ownership.

Rev. Evelio Buenaflor Jr. Pastor

On July 15, 1981, Father Joseph Coyne became the third pastor to shepherd St. Gregory parish. Under his guidance a new dimension in lay participation unfolded. Inspired by Bishop Boudreaux’s call for active participation by the laity, a new direction for the parish was developed through various ministries. St. Gregory hosted the annual Louisiana Praline Festival from 1983 until 1996, when all church fairs ended in the diocese. It was a major Louisiana tourist attraction and a tremendous community builder. On Jan. 24, 1991, St. Gregory

Deacon Dennis Dupre

witnessed the installation of Father Wilfredo Decal as its third pastor. Under his leadership, which lasted 12 years, many improvements were made to the aging plant, the youth group was revived, and he promoted participation in parish life. Father Decal relied on the talents and resources of parishioners. Father Francis Bui was installed as St. Gregory’s fourth pastor on Dec. 7, 2002. Father Bui showed great energy and continued the legacy entrusted to his pastoral care. He promoted the many works of the parish and school and saw the need for evangelization and encouraged parishioners to


Welcome and congratulations Bishop Shelton J. Fabre Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

live and witness the Good News. He, with parish leaders, created opportunities for adult and youth religious formation, spiritual development and enrichment. On July 22, 2006, Father Shenan Boquet was installed as the fifth pastor. From day one Father Boquet set out with church leadership to build on the many blessings of the parish. Once the needs were assessed, he began gathering people, resources and financial support to accomplish the pastoral, spiritual and maintenance concerns facing the parish and school. With the parish pastoral, finance and school councils, Father Boquet set forth goals and objectives to build the parish family and meet its ongoing needs and responsibilities. Under Father Boquet’s leadership, renovations to the church, school and rectory were made. His energy was contagious and challenged everyone to build a brighter tomorrow. Father Evelio “Toto” Buenaflor Jr. joined St. Gregory parish as administrator on Oct. 27, 2011, and was installed as the sixth pastor of the parish on July 17, 2012. Father Buenaflor met with the parish and school staffs, the pastoral and finance councils, and various ministry groups and volunteers and got to know everyone by name. Father Buenaflor saw the importance of evangelization, and under his spiritual leadership the parish developed vibrant liturgies and strives to encourage participation at Mass and in various ministries. On June 2, 2013, St. Gregory celebrated 50 years as a parish. We are grateful for “God’s Bountiful Blessings,” and look forward to participating in God’s will for the future.

Offices of Pastoral Services and Child & Youth Protection


Bishop Shelton Fabre

to the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux


Parishes and Missions

St. Hilary of Poitiers, Mathews By REV. SABINO REBOSURA II St. Hilary of Poitiers Church parish was conceived when Archbishop John Patrick Cody deemed it necessary to divide the parishes of St. Mary and Holy Savior during an era of extensive population growth in the area. The site—9.3 acres—for the new church was selected by Archbishop Cody in Twin Oaks Subdivision. A temporary church was built on these grounds. Father H.C. Daigle, a former Lockport resident, was appointed the founding pastor. The first Mass celebrated in the new parish—St. Hilary of Poitiers—was offered by Father Daigle on Jan. 3, 1965, in the mission chapel of St. Anthony at “La Vacherie.” A milestone was reached in the parish of St. Hilary of Poitiers when Father Daigle celebrated the first Mass in the new building in August 68 of 1966. Following the building of the temporary church and school, a convent to house the Sisters of Mercy of Dublin and a rectory were added to the parish plant. The construction of the current St. Hilary Church was completed in 1984. Currently, the parish offers several organizations, services, and celebrations. Parish organizations include: pastoral council, finance council, Council of Catholic Women, Knights of Columbus, Ladies Auxiliary, youth group and young adults group. The religious education programs include: CCD; vacation Bible school, adult Bible study and R.C.I.A. Community services include: ministry to the homebound; hospital and nursing home visits; Christmas angel tree, Thanksgiving food collection and donation, Grief to Grace support group, bereavement group, and men’s fellowship. In addition, parish celebrations include: annual picnic; St. Joseph Altar, Cajun French Mass; May Crowning; children’s Mass, rosary candlelight procession, and memorial Mass. The parish, with 1,680 families, Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

Rev. Sabino Rebosura II Pastor

also includes the mission of St. Anthony in Gheens (La Vacherie). The parish families are made up of a fairly evenly distributed cross section of age groups. However, at St. Hilary the over 55 age group appears to make up a disproportionate share of Mass attendance, support and organization membership. The same individuals from this group are the ones who routinely volunteer to carry out the necessary parish activities. The typical young and middleaged families in our parish are made up of two full-time working parents or step parents with two to three children who participate

Rev. Alexis Lazarra Associate

in multiple recreational activities beyond their school day. These parents value CCD and the receiving of sacraments for their children. They also support participation in the children’s liturgy and youth Mass. Another successful organization for St. Hilary is its active youth group. Their increased participation in the Steubenville on the Bayou conference, diocesan youth rallies, youth Mass, and monthly gatherings has increased their membership and involvement. Also, many of our youth choose to experience a deeper spiritual experience at outings such as Abby Fest, aNEW and TEC.

St. John the Evangelist, Thibodaux By REV. MICHAEL BERGERON St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church is approaching its 95th anniversary and the parish continues to grow and revitalize. As the surrounding area develops with new housing, younger families are moving into the parish and joining our already established community. In every parish event, participation is high and volunteers are plentiful. A recent Cajun celebration drew over a thousand people. With a very active Mens’ Club and Altar Society, we recently held our family day which was attended by most of our parish family. During this parish event, food was delivered to over 50 of our shut-ins who could not be with us. St. John is a prayerful community. It is not uncommon to see the entire Mass lay hands and pray over the sick. A side altar has dozens of pictures of those who are ill in the community and they are prayed for at every Mass. The community celebrates first Friday, eucharistic adoration, first Saturday, and prays the rosary before daily and weekend Masses. The parish also hosts a monthly charismatic mass on Sundays. St. John takes great pride in its cemetery and maintains it as a place for prayerful reflection. The grounds of our parish plant are beautiful with carefully attended gardens, a prayerful grotto, and clean and wellmaintained support buildings. Most of the maintenance is done by volunteers who take both pride and ownership in the parish. Often the volunteers themselves identify areas of improvement and carry the projects through. Masses are truly a family gathering and the family is greeted at the door. The liturgies are joyful and the homilies are always educational and thought provoking. Attendance has increased over the past couple of years and there has been a renewed spirit among parishioners. The St. John family treasures its past and displays pictures of all 19 priests who have

Rev. Michael Bergeron Pastor


served the community, four of whom are buried in the cemetery. The parish has invested time and resources in maintaining the health of the numerous oak trees which grace the property, some of which are on the national register. Any youth who desires to attend the diocesan youth rally, Steubenville on the Bayou or any other youth function is encouraged to do so, particularly since our Mens’ Club finances all those activities. As a mission, St. John also sponsors seminarians at St. Joseph Seminary in the Philippines. Within the community, we conduct food drives for the food bank and sponsor regular Masses at a nursing home. Holidays are special at St. John. During the Christmas season, we rent a bus for caroling throughout our community. Children are delighted to see Santa stop in before the Christmas Eve Mass to pray before the manger for a safe trip. During Easter, an Easter egg

hunt is held on the grounds and our veterans are honored at all the Masses for Veterans Day. The St. John family has enthusiastically embraced the diocesan capital campaign, “Continuing the Vision ... Ensuring our Future.” Parishioners are generous with their time, talent and resources. The parish administration is also a good steward of those gifts and carefully uses resources in a responsible manner, as evidenced by the Annual Report which is provided to parishioners. Throughout its activities, the St. John family lives by its mission statement: “We the family of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church provides worship, education, ministerial and social opportunities for the Spiritual growth of all.” We are grateful for the enormous blessings that God has bestowed upon our parish and we look to the future with great hope and sense of optimism.

Parishes and Missions

St. Ann Church in Bourg By REV. TY VAN NGUYEN For 105 years St. Ann Church parish has been serving the spiritual needs of the Bourg community. In 1863, through the church parish in Thibodaux, Father Jean Marie Joseph Denece handled the area on horseback and pirogue. It was in 1873 that the first Mass at “La Petit Chapelle de Sante Anne” was celebrated. It was in 1908 that Father Adrian Van den Broek was appointed as first pastor of the newly established parish. In the 50 year anniversary book, it was stated, “though the land was excellent for farming, the roads were composed of hardships upon which the pastor and people traveled either by horse and buggy or boat.” The current church building was started in 1964. The parish 70 celebrated its first Mass in 1965 on the same site on which the original building was constructed. That building was moved to the bayouside to hold services during the new construction phase. Later that year, Hurricane Betsy demolished that building. There have been 13 pastors in the parish. Continuous

Rev. Ty Van Nguyen Pastor

Deacon Gerald Belanger (Retired)

Deacon Stephen Brunet


We Welcome Bishop Shelton Fabre as our Fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

visitation with parishioners and others, in hospitals and nursing homes is an important ministry in the parish. As well as visiting the elderly and sick in their homes, holy Communion is distributed to the shut-ins on Wednesdays, and Mass is celebrated in neighborhoods. Today, a visual description of the spirituality of St. Ann Church parish would be that the laity helps to form the hands and feet of the body of the church. Prayerful hands of the biblical Mary are embodied by the various ministries dedicated to silent and vocal prayer: monthly adoration for the youth with family supper/social, first Thursday adoration, monthly adoration with the rosary for adults, missions for women and men along with several sacramental confessors for the congregation during Advent and Lenten seasons; rosary groups in the church and in the nursing homes; Perpetual Help novena, and vocational support prayer group. Active running feet of Martha

are alive in the ministries of meals for the homebound, RCIA, CCD, monthly social and meeting with youth; volleyball and softball team; Ladies Altar Society, annual Family Fun Day, annual Christmas social and dinner; St. Ann feast day with Mass and dinner/social; and a large youth participation in Steubenville on the Bayou/youth conferences. Additionally, the following committees are active: decorating, usher, volunteer choirs, maintenance, pastoral, finance, stewardship, building, volunteer office group and garden angels, etc. St. Ann is blessed with an active and supportive Knights of Columbus Council. St. Ann recently celebrated its 100 year anniversary and many renovations to the church have been successfully accomplished. Improvements to St. Ann church include a portico, removal of asbestos/new suspended ceiling, air-conditioning system, sound system, light fixtures, new flooring/

carpeting, refurbished pews, renovated choir loft, remodeled confessional, relocation of the St. Ann statue, new tabernacle, ambo, lectern, celebrant chairs, candle stands and lectionary. Outdoor improvements include fencing around church property, new statuary in the cemetery, and a Ten Commandments plaque. Currently, we are in the process of constructing a new parish center which will accommodate the administration offices, CCD classes and large capacity social functions … the anticipated completion date of the new two-story parish center is scheduled for late 2014. Recent major completed projects include a new mausoleum and a new storage building. All of the improvements in the parish have happened because of the parishioners. Everyone works together as a ‘Family of St. Ann Catholic Church’ for God. 71

Parishes and Missions

St. Lawrence in Kraemer and St. James in Choctaw By REV. BABY KURUVILLA, I.M.S. Through the years, St. Lawrence the Martyr Church parish and St. James Chapel have journeyed together in faith. St. Lawrence the Martyr was dedicated as an independent parish with St. James Chapel as a mission Aug. 12, 1962. In August 2012, a wonderful and meaningful celebration took place to celebrate 50 years of St. Lawrence and St. James becoming a faith community. This day was a great day for the parish and mission to celebrate. Many people, including many who had moved away from the parish, helped to make this day a memorable event. Over the years, there have been 12 pastors who have served in 72 this parish. They have brought with them to the community many changes and developments according to the needs and demands of the people both spiritually and physically. Some of the many improvements over the last few years include a new grotto, roof to the church and rectory, flag pole memorial, pavement of the church parking areas, church sign, new church organ, cemetery fencing, electronic bells, new lighting and an air conditioning system for the church. Over the years, the cemeteries of St. Lawrence and St. James have expanded by new mausoleum additions. St. Lawrence added a Parish Life Center in 1991 which hosts many activities along with the Religious Education program. St. James Chapel was remodeled back to its original wooden state and a new roof was installed. A new storage shed is currently in process of construction at St. James Chapel. As you can see, the pastors (past and present) have been very busy to meet the needs of the community. The pastors and religious have always assisted the community Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

St. Lawrence, Kraemer

Rev. Baby Kuruvilla, I.M.S. Pastor

St James, Choctaw

through various organizations. Some of the organizations include religious education for children and adults, children’s liturgy, baptismal and marriage preparation, summer bible school, church decorating,

eucharistic minister visiting shutins, youth ministry, pastoral & finance councils, evangelization and liturgy committees, Ladies Altar Society, Knights of Columbus, church choir, altar servers, etc.


St. Charles, St. Charles Community By REV. MICHAEL MANASE, O.C.D. Greetings, Bishop Fabre! Welcome to the Diocese of HoumaThibodaux! Our church parish is currently home to approximately 729 registered families and we are located about seven miles south of Thibodaux along Highway 308, between Thibodaux and Raceland. The people of this church parish form a close-knit and dedicated faith community, who work well together in dedicated service of God, yet who are always open to welcoming newcomers to the parish. The various church organizations and ministries include parish pastoral council, finance committee, extraordinary eucharistic ministers, acolytes, lectors, ushers, altar servers, CCD, children’s liturgy, bible study group, vocation support group, musicians, community life and activities, prayer line, vacation Bible school, Ladies Altar Society and Knights of Columbus Council 12060. It was my great honor and privilege to be serving as pastor of this extraordinary parish on the occasion of its Centennial Celebration, March 19, 2012. With the motto “100 Years of Blessings” the parish enjoyed a year-long-celebration of the unity and fellowship of the St. Charles community, which provided the opportunity to reflect upon the decades of Catholic values imparted to our children, as well

as several vocations, some of whom were born here, others raised here, and still others “adopted” into the church’s family. These include Father Roch Naquin, Father Joshua Rodrigue, Father Eric Leyble, Father Etienne LeBlanc, Timothy Boudreaux (apostolate for family consecration), the late Msgr. Francis Legendre and the late Sister Mary Helen Lorio. The beautiful church grounds are home to four buildings and the St. Charles Borromeo cemetery. The original church, which is 99 years old and now named Keller Hall, serves the community as classrooms for CCD Students. The current church complex, constructed in 1989, houses

Kraemer, Choctaw We also have various devotions and practices to strengthen the faith life of the parish. Some of them include weekly novenas to Our Mother of Perpetual Help, first Friday adoration, live Stations of the Cross by the youth of the parish on Good Friday, walking Way of the Cross, Christmas play by the CCD children, carol singing to the shut-ins, yearly retreats for parishioners

Rev. Michael Manase, O.C.D. Pastor

the church, chapel, rectory and administrative wing. A new church hall was constructed and dedicated in 2002, which is known as the 73 Mauret Family Life Center, and is utilized for parish gatherings, as well as additional CCD classrooms. The Oaks Building houses the kindergarten CCD classroom and serves as a storage facility. The cemetery includes four phases of mausoleums and a priests’ tomb, and is a beautiful and peaceful resting place among the oaks. We welcome you, Bishop Fabre, with open arms, to the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, and invite you to come and visit us in our “little piece of heaven” out in the country of the St. Charles community.

during Lent, Seder Meal, family days, and so on. Currently, we are conducting a census of St. Lawrence and St. James community. The evangelization committee is getting in touch with all families of the parish for details and to help those who have issues with sacraments or faith. This past May 2013, the parish completed its goal for the upcoming five years. We are glad to note that our parish is growing both in strength and faith with various activities and participation both at St. Lawrence and St. James. Our trust is in God, who guides us forward in spite of various difficulties and challenges that we face every day.

Parishes and Missions

St. Charles, Pointe-aux-Chenes By REV. THOMAS KURIAKOSE, I.M.S. St. Charles Borromeo Church parish in Pointe-aux-Chenes was established as a parish in 1971. We have had several things happened to our church; in 1978, a Christmas tree caught fire and caused the destruction of the carpet and the Tabernacle. Mass was being celebrated in the original church building which is now the K.C. building. In 1997, St. Charles Borromeo became linked with Sacred Heart in Montegut under the administration of Father Robert Rogers. Although both parishes shared the same pastor, they both maintained their canonical statute. In July 2004, St. Charles Borromeo was unlinked from Sacred Heart with Father Joseph Tu Tran being appointed pastor. In July, August and September 74 2005, Hurricanes Cindy, Katrina and Rita hit Louisiana shores. The church had approximately three inches of water. Once the water receded the asbestos floor tiles and glue were removed and replaced with Miracle Crete. In 2006, the interior church renovations were completed and the church and rectory roofs were replaced. After Hurricane Gustav made landfall on Sept. 1, 2008, and Hurricane Ike on Sept. 13, the church had about 18 inches of water for several days. Because of the water damage, four feet of wall all around the church had to be replaced. The entire church was repainted and the sanctuary floor was redone with ceramic tile. All the pews had to be replaced. The rectory received about eight inches of water. All the flooring in the rectory was pulled up and ceramic tile was placed throughout the house. In all, repairs took approximately six months. While renovating the church, Mass was again held in the K.C. Hall. Our parish has 293 registered Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

Rev. Thomas Kuriakose, I.M.S. Pastor

parishioners at this time. Grants from the diocese and a fundraiser have put the church in a good financial position for the time being. The parish employs a pastor, organist, secretary, housekeeper and director of religious education. We are also very fortunate to have a retired priest, Father Roch Naquin, in our parish. Our CCD and RCIA programs are a vital part of our church parish which could not be sustained without the aid of a large number of teachers and teacher helpers who give their time and efforts to educating the children of the parish in the faith. The parish has Ladies Altar Society, Ladies Auxiliary, Knights of Columbus No. 8616, St. Charles the Roch Kateri Circle (Native Americans) and Ultreya

group. We also have rosaries said in homes; Monday Night Disciples is for men, Wednesday is for anyone. There is also a healing Mass every first Friday of the month at church at 6:30 p.m. A Native American Mass is celebrated the Friday after Thanksgiving at 6:30 p.m. with our own Native American drummers. Everyone is invited to attend to learn about liturgical Native American ways. We have a great group of parishioners who donate their time and talent for our parish to thrive which includes the cleaning angels, groundkeepers, ushers, commentators, lectors, pastoral council members, finance council members and seasonal church decorators.

St. Andrew Church in Amelia By REV. JOSEPH CHACKO, I.M.S. We the community of St. Andrew Church parish in Amelia join the jubilant people of God and the Diocese of Houma Thibodaux to extend a warm and cordial welcome to our new shepherd, Bishop Shelton J. Fabre to our diocese. As early as 1859, most of the people in the area traveled by boat to attend Mass on the banks of Bayou Boeuf. In January 1965, Archbishop John Cody of New Orleans officially established St. Andrew as a parish. However, in the fall of 1965 Hurricane Betsy made the wooden church unsafe and a new church was built on a new site in Amelia. We are looking forward to celebrating the Golden Jubilee of our parish in 2015. Though a small community of 272 families, St. Andrew is a vibrant and welcoming community of generous and committed parishioners who joyfully offer their time, talent and treasure to build-up a community of faith and fellowship. Our volunteers play a significant roll in making every parish event a success, especially the Sunday liturgy. The wholehearted support and co-operation of the parish council, finance council, the Knights of Columbus No. 8371, the Ladies Altar Society, and the CCD director and teachers along with the Hispanic community are extremely important to the parish. Through the ministry of door to door evangelization, we are

s t n A

Rev. Joseph Chacko, I.M.S. Pastor

reaching out to the people of God in our area regardless of their religious affiliation and the result of it is very encouraging with some of them experiencing the powerful healing touch of the Lord in their lives. While the Come, Lord Jesus! program has helped us to deepen our faith through the prayerful study of the Word of God, participation in the mall ministry has afforded our community, especially the youth, an opportunity to share our Catholic faith with others. We have 107 students currently enrolled for the CCD program for the year 2013-2014. Twenty-three of them are preparing for the reception of their first reconciliation


and first Communion. Our high school students are involved in fund raising with the help and 75 support of their CCD teachers to defray the cost of attending various youth events such as Steubenville on the Bayou. St. Andrew parishioners are excited and looking forward to Bishop Fabre visiting the parish. The Lord in his wisdom has anointed him to be our leader to guide us. We thank the Lord for Bishop Fabre and assure him of our love, prayer, co-operation and support. May his dream of becoming a channel of God’s love and solace to everyone come true on each day of his ministry.

Welcome Bishop Fabre


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Parishes and Missions

St. Anthony in Bayou Black By VERY REV. VICENTE DELA CRUZ, J.V. St. Anthony of Padua Church community would like to welcome our new Bishop, the Most Rev. Shelton J. Fabre, D.D. to our diocese. In the old language of our heritage, our church community would say, “Bienvenue”! The church community of St. Anthony of Padua in Bayou Black was established in 1876 as a mission of the former St. Patrick Church in Gibson. Since then, this church community “up the bayou” has been providing the pastoral care to the early settlers in this area who have been the first farmers, fishermen and mostly oilfield workers of the nearby town of Morgan City. The original church building was burned in the 1940s and all its records lost. The present church building came from the nearby 76 town of Donner and was floated on a barge to the banks of Bayou Black and installed on its current location. This church building has undergone various renovations and improvements through the years as needed, including a major renovation after Hurricane Gustav destroyed the old steeple in 2008. The church campus includes a community center named in honor of its founding pastor, Father Gerard Hayes, who died in 2013, the church administration building, the church rectory, and an adoration chapel. A privatelyowned cemetery is located next to the church building that is owned and operated by the Bayou Black Cemetery Corporation. The church community has 950 parish families and is one of the most active church parishes in the diocese in the areas of youth ministry and various parish ministries. The church community also has a very active Knights of Columbus Council whose members serve not only the people of Bayou Black but all who are in need of assistance and care. When (the late) Father Hayes took over the administration of this church parish, he challenged his Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

Very Rev. Vicente DeLa Cruz Pastor

Deacon Jessee LeCompte

parishioners to actively participate in the stewardship life of the church through the gifts of their time, talent and treasure. Father Hayes also engaged the community in the promotion of vocations to the priesthood and the religious life, reciting the Serra Prayer for Vocations at the end of each Mass. This communal involvement in vocation promotion bore fruit with the ordination of the Father Joseph Tregre a couple of years ago, who was a native of Bayou Black. The church community currently is

Deacon Brent Bergeron

supporting Cody Chatagnier, its adopted seminarian, who is in formation at the Provincial Seminary in New Orleans. The church community of St. Anthony of Padua in Bayou Black eagerly awaits the pastoral visit of our new shepherd and bishop. Following the ancient custom and tradition of the church, we pledge our respect and obedience to you as our bishop, and we are looking forward to working with you for the good of the church and the salvation of all. Bienvenue!

Prompt Succor, Golden Meadow By JANET MARCEL Our Lady of Prompt Succor Church parish in Golden Meadow began as a mission of Our Lady of the Rosary Church parish in Larose in 1916. According to the history of the church parish, many of its parishioners are descendants of those who fled the coastal village of Cheniere Caminada after it was destroyed by a devastating hurricane in 1893. From 1938 until 1989, the LaSalette Fathers served the parish and a shrine was built to Our Lady of LaSalette. The current church, a rectangular structure made of brick, steel and concrete, was built in 1959. A brick cross extends the height of the tall belfry located to the right of the church. After Vatican II the church underwent extensive renovations. A mosaic of the risen Christ became the main focus of the new sanctuary and the altar was replaced with one made of Italian marble. Both on the altar and the center of the floor is a mosaic of a pelican feeding her young with her own blood, which symbolizes the holy Eucharist. Stained glass representing Golden Meadow’s proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and the importance of the shrimping and fishing industry to the members of its congregation was added to the façade of the church. There are approximately 800 families in the parish. The evangelization and service ministries of the parish are very active. Our Lady Helps is an active charitable organization that assists many of the poor in the area. Other service ministries include Thanksgiving baskets which are distributed to the needy of the area regardless of religious denomination, a Jesse Tree program, hospital and shut-in ministers, and a bereavement committee whose members not only provide food after a funeral but check on the family after some time has passed. The church parish also has an active pastoral council, a very supportive Knights of Columbus,


Rev. Henry Joseph Sebastian Pastor

Ladies of LaSalette, CCD program, evangelization team that makes home visits, church environment committee, maintenance and building committee, music ministry, Bible study group, a recently revitalized vocations committee, Lenten gumbo whose proceeds go to Our Lady Helps, a prison ministry, and a Holy Name Society. Share Books is a program which

has books about various topics regarding the Catholic faith available in the church for people to borrow, much like a library. During the different liturgical seasons like Advent and Lent, additional books are added to the collection. The parish also holds an annual Blessing of the Fleet, which is thought to be the oldest of its kind in the United States, at the start of shrimp season.

Parishes and Missions

St. Bernadette Soubirous, Houma By REV. CARL COLLINS Welcome Bishop Fabre! St Bernadette Church parish was established on Feb. 11, 1958. St. Bernadette Soubirous, was named because it was on the morning of Feb. 11, 1858, exactly 100 years earlier, that the Blessed Mother appeared to Marie Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes, France. Father George Herbert became the first pastor of St Bernadette. The first Mass was celebrated in the new church on July 5, 1959. In August 1961, construction began on a rectory, school and convent. The school opened in August 1962. The enrollment was 128 students. Each year a grade was added until the seventh grade. As St. Bernadette continued to expand, many construction projects have occurred. A parish 78 center, multi-purpose gymnasium, additional classrooms, meeting rooms, youth center, Rebecca’s Walk, prayer and meditation garden, Glenn’s Tower, and a walking track were constructed over the years. St. Bernadette is blessed with very active organizations such as the Knights of Columbus, Catholic Daughters, K.C. Ladies Auxiliary, St. Vincent de Paul, Men’s Club, etc. All parishioners are encouraged to take responsibility for the life and growth of the parish. This is evident in the involvement of the laity in every aspect of parish

Rev. Carl Collins Pastor

life – youth ministry, religious education, liturgical ministries, evangelization and school. St. Bernadette has a variety of choirs leading liturgical celebrations at all Masses. Opportunities for adult learning and spiritual growth include educational courses, two parish missions a year, parish retreats, faith sharing and Scripture study groups.

Congratulations and Blessings To Bishop Shelton Fabre Fourth Bishop Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux May God Keep You In His Care

Michael and Giezel Stewart Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

Rev. Vanathu Rayappan Associate

Deacon Gerald Rivette

Deacon James Brunet Jr.

St. Bernadette offers various programs and opportunities for growth. For example we have a variety of children’s and youth ministries. Besides religious education classes we also offer children and youth choirs, children’s missions, mother/daughter tea, art attack, vacation Bible school, day camp, children and youth Masses. One principle of the Second Vatican Council was


Congratulations Bishop Shelton J. Fabre

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collegiality (sharing responsibility for the life of the church). St. Bernadette parish was one of the first parishes to use the pastoral council model of involving parishioners in the spiritual well being of the parish. Our pastoral council takes a central role in parish planning. Each year the staff and council hold a one day retreat. The council actively follows up on the goals and objectives at its subsequent meetings. Each meeting the council will use time to pray and discuss different topics from books they read as a council. It can be truly said that we are a progressive planning parish that dreams, examines, reviews, prays over and finally enacts a mission of growth in line with our mission statement. An Evangelization outreach project began in the year 2000. A neighborhood blitz was held to help connect neighbors with each other and the church parish. All families living within the parish boundaries were visited. Different activities were planned for children, teens and adults living in the various

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neighborhoods. As we approached the jubilee year of the founding of St. Bernadette parish, we saw that our church had many needs. We began our “Renewing the House of the Lord” project, after paying off our debt and collecting half the money needed for the renovation. On Jan. 8, 2011, our newly renovated church was rededicated. Following the directives of Vatican II, the parishioners of St. Bernadette are very involved in the mission of the church especially in spiritual growth, evangelization, religious education and the liturgical life of the parish. Ministries are facilitated by laity as well as clergy. We are very conscious of “being church” for over 2,900 families. It is a tough challenge and we are forever seeking ways to make each family feel important and feel they have ownership of the parish. St. Bernadette has grown from 435 Catholic families in 1958 to approximately 2,900 registered families, making it the largest parish in the Diocese of HoumaThibodaux.

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Parishes and Missions

Sacred Heart in Cut Off By REV. WILFREDO G. DECAL Our story begins in the fall of 1899 when the Chapel of the Sacred Heart was built by fishermen on land donated by the Joseph Guidry Sr. family. The parish was formed in 1924 as the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Cote Blanche. A small rectory was built at that time with a garage and boathouse. Construction began on our current church in November 1951, and in 1996 the church was given a “facelift.” A Grotto was built for burning candles and the old candle room was converted into a Marian prayer room. The vestibule was closed off to use as a “cry room” during Masses; the ceiling was replaced and electrical and painting projects really updated the church while keeping its traditional style. The cemetery is located behind the rectory. The Spiritual Life 80 Center was built in 1981, and was added on to later to use for religious education classes. It hosts a variety of parish meetings and functions. Our focus the past few years has been the building and maintenance of our parish buildings. With the help of the generosity of our parishioners, and in addition to regular maintenance and repairs of the church, rectory and the Spiritual Life Center, we were able to install metal roofs on all of our buildings, replace air conditioning units, add siding to the Spiritual Life Center, and are currently in the process of installing generators for both the church and rectory. In addition to the pastor, his associate, and lay parish staff , we currently have one deacon, one candidate for ordination as transitional deacon and five acolytes who serve the parish. The church is the people of God so we aim to involve as many parishioners as possible in the life of the parish in the areas of education/formation, worship/liturgy and service/ social justice. Religious education students average approximately 400 in number, from Kindergarten through 11th grade. We have an Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

Rev. Wilfredo G. Decal Pastor

RCIA group as well as an RCIC group in addition to regular religious education classes. We have a youth group, Sacred Heart CYO, who is very active in the parish, as well as a Ladies Altar Society and Holy Name Society, Catholic Daughters of America and Knights of Columbus. We have Vacation Bible School, and there are Bible Studies offered on Tuesdays (with a men’s group), and on Friday evenings (with Deacon Sam Burregi), which are open to the public. We have numerous liturgical ministers who are actively involved in our communal worship and liturgical celebrations. Annually, we average

Deacon Sam J. Burregi

50–60 baptisms a year, 40–50 confirmations, 10–12 marriages, and 60–70 funerals. We have programs in place to help the poor of our community – Sacred Heart Assistance Referral Program (SHARP), a summer grocery program, and the Jesse Tree which helps to provide gifts to needy children at Christmas time, and ongoing programs to heighten awareness and involvement in the issues of charity, peace and justice. Sacred Heart Church parish is a warm, loving and generous community, and we welcome Bishop Fabre to our diocese. We pray for his guidance as he leads us in the years to come.

Sacred Heart Church, Montegut By REV. THANKACHAN NAMBUSSERIL Sacred Heart Church parish in Montegut welcomes Bishop Shelton J. Fabre as our Fourth Bishop. Sacred Heart Church parish in Montegut was the first church parish in southern Terrebonne Parish established Nov. 9, 1864. Father Jean Denece came from France and serviced the communities of Bayou Grand Caillou, Bayou Petit Caillou (Chauvin), Isle de Jean Charles, Pointe-aux-Chenes, Bourg and Montegut. Sacred Heart’s original church location was in lower Montegut at the Dugas Cemetery; the second church was chartered in 1894 in the town’s main settlement. Lightning struck this church in 1954; the third and current church was built in Romanesque style of architecture in 1956. The beautiful stained glass windows represent the saints and handcarved Stations of the Cross adorn the church. Many years of hurricanes, decline in population, most community businesses facing closure, strict building requirements, high insurance costs, etc., have led to financial stress for the church parish. In 2011, Sacred Heart faced a debt of $245,000 which was cleared in July of that year with a very successful fundraiser and donation solicitations. Today, most of the parish work is done by committed volunteers such as church cleaning angels, housekeepers, groundskeepers, homebound ministers, communion to shut-ins, facility repairmen, religious teachers, RCIA and CRE (coordinator of religious education), music director and the choir. These volunteers are truly talented and serving people coming together to help Sacred Heart remain in positive financial standing. Weekly collections do not afford the parish the luxury of any unnecessary spending. Yet, we do recognize the need for a parish community center. Our prayers and hopes for the future success of such a project are a big concern of our parishioners. We need classrooms

Rev. Thankachan Nambusseril Pastor


for religious education and a place for parish community gatherings and events. The parish has an active Ladies Altar Society, an usher’s group, altar servers, an evangelization committee, liturgy committee, an education committee, youth group, cemetery council, pastoral council, and finance council. Regular meetings are held, sometimes incorporating business with pleasure. To foster fellowship among our parishioners we have occasional fellowship meals. In the past two years, there was an increase in the Mass attendance. We are working together to bring the inactive parishioners closer

to the church. We also want to organize the youth and young adults. We have a prayer group that prays for the sick and the people in need of prayers. To develop the spirituality of our parishioners we will have Bible studies conducted in the parish. To draw young adults back into the life of the parish we are going to start a young adult group. Our current activities are the building of an 80 space addition to our Mausoleum and the planning of the 150th anniversary celebration of Sacred Heart parish. We are looking forward to working with our new Bishop Shelton Fabre.

Parishes and Missions

Holy Rosary Church in Larose By REV. RONILO VILLAMOR Our Lady of the Rosary Church parish in Larose is an exciting place to be these days! We have positive momentum and are poised for more growth and development after years of being in debt and then stagnation as we gained confidence to move forward. Our church community includes Holy Rosary Catholic School (PreK 3–eighth grade), which has also seen tremendous growth in recent years and is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Church and school leaders are currently meeting jointly in preparation for and management of even more growth. We have witnessed a positive turnaround in both church and school and we firmly believe healthy and vibrant church parishes like ours are vital for a healthy and vibrant diocese. Our church community strives 82 to live by the words of our mission statement: “We, the family of Our Lady of the Rosary, by the power of the Holy Spirit, are committed to being witnesses of Christ by proclaiming the good news, by ministering to the needs of God’s people, reaching out to the underprivileged, and lifting the spirit of the hurting. May our actions as a Catholic Community be such that they will know we are Christians by our love.” We allow these words to guide our actions and provide focus whenever we develop programs or initiatives.


Rev. Ronilo Villamor Pastor

Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, Houma wishes to congratulate & welcome Bishop Shelton Fabre as our new shepherd Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

Rev. Rholando Grecia Associate

Deacon Michael Cantrelle

Deacon Davis Doucet

St. Charles the Roch Kateri Circle would like to welcome Bishop Shelton Fabre to the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux

For example, as an entry point for evangelization, we have instituted a program where once a week a family brings Mary into their home. During that week, the family is encouraged to bring family, friends and neighbors into their home. Besides praying the rosary, a Mass will be celebrated if requested. We are also engaging our CCD parents on the nights when they bring their kids to CCD classes through workshops and lectures. Our CCD enrollment this year is 270 and continues to expand. We are striving to make CCD a more positive and rewarding experience. We are trying to figure out ways to enhance our St. Vincent de Paul community store in our effort to minister to the needs and reach out to the underprivileged. Several members of the parish along with our priests are reaching out to former parishioners in hopes they will return to our church community. And finally, we have follow ups by the evangelization team on service clients who may need not only immediate material

assistance but spiritual assistance as well. Our school has experienced unprecedented growth of approximately 60 percent in the last three years. So, during its 50th anniversary celebration, physical space is one of the main topics of discussion as our elementary school continues to provide a Catholic education for our neighboring church parishes of Sacred Heart, St. Joseph, Our Lady of Prompt Succor and of course, the home parish of Our Lady of the Rosary. Of the 325 students, only 135 are from Larose. We are tracking our weekend Mass count every week with a goal of increasing the average attendance by 15 percent over the next four years (from 866 currently to 1,000). In terms of reaching out, we have enhanced our weekly bulletin to a full color production of eight pages and post on our website four to five days before the weekend. Both our church and school are on sound financial footing. The church, after experiencing years of debt,

then coasting along for the last twothree years, has had a remarkable turnaround in weekly collections (25 percent increase) since the beginning of this year. Through their contributions, parishioners are expressing confidence in our leaders to be good stewards of their treasure. Since the beginning of 2013, we have undertaken over $80,000 in maintenance and improvement projects with over $70,000 of the costs contributed through special donations. We instituted an automatic bank draft program and now 18 percent of our weekly collections are attributed to bank drafts. The school likewise has a sound financial footing with an annual giving drive of over $100,000 and several endowments. Tuition, while increasing yearly, is still among the lowest in the diocese. For the first time in 20 years, our church and school leaders are able to talk about expansion and buildings rather than debt and maintenance. These are indeed exciting times to be part of Our Lady of the Rosary Church parish. 83

Congratulations Bishop

Shelton J. Fabre on your


as Bishop of the Diocese of Houma - Thibodaux

from Bishop Michael G. Duca and the people of the Diocese of Shreveport

Parishes and Missions

Holy Savior in Lockport By REV. ROBERT C. ROGERS Our mission statement says it all. “We of Holy Savior Church are a faith community of joyful disciples of the Lord. We are an evangelizing community seeking to spread the Word of God according to Roman Catholic tradition. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we gather as a community to provide support to each other through liturgy, service, instruction and counseling so that all may come to human and Christian maturity and ultimately to eternal life. Our church history began in 1850, in a chapel dedicated to Saints Charles and Andre and served by Pere Charles Menard, the “Apostle of Bayou Lafourche.” As early as 1860 we became Holy Savior parish. Ever conscious of the need for education and instruction, a Catholic school was soon erected, 84 the beginning of the history of a first-class, high achieving system that continues to excel today. The schools were staffed by a group of local religious sisters, of the Community of the Immaculate Conception. Today, the school offers classes through the eighth grade. Our students continue to enjoy quality Catholic education, instructed by a lay faculty


Rev. Robert C. Rogers Pastor

Congratulations Bishop Shelton Fabre We welcome you to the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux and especially at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Church in Chackbay, Louisiana We are praying for you. All for the Greater Glory of God!! Father Robert, staff and parishioners “All For The Greater Glory of God”

Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

of qualified and dedicated teachers and staff. The present church was constructed in 1955 during the leadership of Msgr. Dominic Perino. Its beautiful and priceless stained glass windows enhance the simple architecture. Though very simple in style and motif, the interior of the church lends itself wonderfully in support of the beautiful liturgy of our Masses and sacramental rites. Several groups of parishioners have dedicated their services in keeping our church and grounds as beautiful and clean as possible. The pearl of our Holy Savior parish is the vast numbers of parishioners who perform so many services to the church, from CCD and RCIA instruction and preparation to frequent visits to the sick and homebound; from parish council to fund-raising; from music ministry to sacramental preparation; from Bible studies to rosary groups. Their spirit of ownership toward these responsibilities is balanced with a sincere passion for serving the Lord and our church community in the best manner possible. We are blessed with the only contemplative group of nuns in our diocese, the Dominican Nuns, who established the Monastery of the Heart of Jesus in our town in 1982. Mother Mary Valerie and her women are an unceasing source of prayers and sacrifices for the good of our church parish, and we are very grateful for them. Under their auspices, a chapter of lay Dominicans was begun in 2000 and is very active throughout several church parishes of our diocese. Indeed, if one were to attribute a term that is integrally associated with Holy Savior, it would be the term “cooperative.” The people are always there to serve in any capacity. A current example of this is the “fund-raising” committee to help get the parish out of its deep debt. The committee dug in, recruited everybody and everything they could find. The recent “Annual Steak Dinner and Silent Auction” realized $27,000 profit, almost wiping out the remainder of the original debt. Holy Savior is very proud of its history, its people and its church. And now, we are proud to greet our new bishop, Shelton Fabre, to our diocese. We hope that he understands he is the recipient of our prayers and good wishes and the invitation to consider himself a privileged member of our church community.

St. Genevieve Church and School Welcomes Bishop Shelton J. Fabre to the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux


Parishes and Missions

Maria Immacolata in Houma By REV. CLYDE MAHLER One of the most unique features of Maria Immacolata Church parish is our location. We are located in a very commercial area of the city. The church is surrounded by doctor’s offices, dentists, eye doctors, accounting firms, a medical surgical complex, and of course, Vandebilt Catholic High School and stadium, with residences on the peripheral, yet the church remains the true center of healing and education for our faith community. The church parish of Maria Immacolata recently celebrated 50 years of “Faith and Family” on Sept. 29, 2013. To describe our parish I would begin by saying that our congregation cherishes the opportunity to respond to God by participating in parish and diocesan activities whenever given 86 the opportunity. Our parish has 84 a strong sense of community; we have a very generous heart and a dedicated spirit to give, share and contribute to the common good because we want to make a difference locally and in the world, taking the words of Jesus to heart, “love God and love neighbor,” and “care for one another.” Another feature of our parish is that the church location is a distance from our school and priest’s residence. Consequently, our school is often an overlooked little “jewel” nestled in a parklike setting. We like to say that we are “The Little School with BIG Results.” We pride ourselves in providing the small one’s with a lifetime formation to choose the good. In addition to caring for the future, we are also very involved in the present as we minister weekly to the four out of the six senior and elderly caring facilities located in our parish boundaries. We feel that these people of “experience and wisdom” have given so much that it is now time for the church to reciprocate by being available to them in their need. Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

Rev. Clyde Mahler Pastor

Rev. Joseph Varughese Associate

In the midst of a busy, complicated and estranged world, we are a “happy community” because we are Christ centered. In Christ and through the church, we are encouraged to live our family values that come from knowing the Bible and a desire for a safe refuge now and for eternity. We believe that we are in this together; therefore, getting to know one another is very important to us as a parish and so we have great fellowship. We are a Christian family! To make this come about, our parishioners take collective and personal ownership of the parish very seriously and

Deacon Chris Prestenback

that is easily confirmed by how many participate in the many ministries and activities. We as a parish believe in new possibilities and are willing to share our gifts and talents for the building-up of the “Spirit.” In our parish, we are blessed to have amazing volunteers who generously respond to God’s call to “serve in love.” We are a faith filled and faithful community; our weekend Masses are well attended and our liturgies give worship and glory to God. We have good people. We have holy people. We are the family of Maria Immacolata. Welcome, Bishop Shelton J. Fabre.




the most reverend shelton j. fabre

as the Bisho of Houma-Thibodaux

Guidance In Giving is honored to be working with you as we serve as fundraising counsel during the Continuing The Vision…Ensuring Our Future Capital Campaign to build endowments for seminarian education and Catholic Charities, while also supporting local parish needs.

Parishes and Missions

Prompt Succor in Chackbay By REV. ROBERT-JOEL CRUZ In 1873 the first chapel in Chackbay was established by Father Charles Menard. Prior to building a chapel, services were conducted in private homes. The parish of Our Lady of Prompt Succor was established in Chackbay in April 1892. The first parish hall known as the “gym” was built in 1938 and was used for social activities. The present church was dedicated on June 10, 1951. A new rectory was constructed in 1955 and in 1958 air conditioning was added to the church making it the first air conditioned Catholic church in Lafourche Parish. The Chackbay Catholic Center was built in 1979. Construction of a new canopy in the front of the church was completed in February 2002. Through a fund sponsored by the Chackbay Knights of Columbus 88 Council No. 8743, a monument of the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes was installed in the front entrance of the church in December 2005. A rose garden with a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes was added through the generous donations of parishioners in June 2009 … “All for the Greater Glory of God.” Our Mission Statement is


Señor Obispo Shelton Fabre Felicitaciónes de parte de La comunidad Hispana! Bishop Shelton Fabre Congratulations from the Hispanic Community! Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

Rev. Robert-Joel Cruz Pastor

Welcome Bishop Fabre! From Annunziata Parish Family

“We the people of Our Lady of Prompt Succor Church in Chackbay, invoking the guidance of the Holy Spirit, propose to go and make disciples by using our Godgiven talents to build a worshipping community, learn more about our faith and Scriptures, serve others -- especially in matters of social justice -- and reach out to one another in faith by becoming an example of love to all we come in contact with, beginning with our own families.” With God’s grace we serve the teaching mission of the church, drawing forth its vocations and leadership to build God’s reign. By exercising stewardship of time, talent and treasure, we provide for the mission of the local and universal church by passing on our legacy through our liturgy and community outreach programs. Our Lady of Prompt Succor Church parish serves the community as a place of worship and allows our parishioners to strengthen their faith by celebrating Mass. Our organization has over 30 ministries. To name only a few

and their accomplishments, we have a religious education program which instructs approximately 360 children a year in their Catholic faith. A teen ministry program participates in several church and other civic activities that serve the needy and elderly in the community. Both of these programs allow young individuals to grow in their faith by receiving the sacraments. By becoming faithfilled individuals, these teens can continue to learn more about their faith through youth rallies and other diocesan youth events. We have many volunteers of all ages who serve the church and community in various capacities. The church works closely with people who need spiritual guidance and prayer. The church also works closely with the Knights of Columbus, the Ladies Altar Society, the Chackbay Fire Department, and other church and civic organizations. The Pax Christi Healing Ministry offers a Healing Mass and services regularly. Our Lady of Prompt Succor Church parish in Chackbay

currently has 1,200 families. Our church parish comprises Hwy 304, Hwy 20, most of Hwy 307 and Choctaw Road. Our staff consists of six people. Our pastoral council has nine members, and our finance council has five members. Everyone is welcomed to join us for regular weekend Masses on Saturday at 4 p.m., and Sunday at 7 and 10 a.m., and 5 p.m. We do everything for the Greater Glory of God through the help and assistance of Our Lady of Prompt Succor.


We the St. Bernadette parish family and school offer our prayerful congratulations and support to Bishop Shelton J. Fabre as our Fourth Bishop.

Parishes and Missions

Holy Family in Grand Caillou By REV. JUSTINO ESTOQUE JR. Holy Family Church parish in Grand Caillou was established on Sept. 6, 1952, with Father Marcel Fourcade as the founding pastor. The Eucharistic Missionaries of St. Dominic worked in Holy Family from 1938 until 2004. At one time Holy Family had over 750 families. Today there are probably about 400 families in our parish. A story in the local newspaper stated that almost 50 percent of Dulac residents had moved to the northern region of Terrebonne Parish to avoid the threat of flooding due to hurricanes. Many parishioners return to Holy Family every week to attend Mass with friends and family. Our CCD program currently has 95 students, 15 teachers and nine aides. In order to keep maintenance costs to a minimun, a group of volunteers clean the church 90 weekly and help maintain the church building. Father Michael Finnegan became our pastor in June 1959. The bayou side was bulk-headed and the parking lot was built. Father Arthur Hauth became our pastor in 1966. The guitar was introduced for liturgical music. In 1970 Father Gerard Hayes became our fourth pastor. He was

Rev. Justino Estoque Jr. Pastor

here when the reforms of the Second Vatican Council began to be implemented. Father Adrian Caillouet replaced Father Hayes in 1972. The present church was built and dedicated in 1982. On June 15, 1988, Father Caillouet was killed in an automobile accident.

Deacon Harold Fanguy

Father Roch Naquin became our pastor on Aug. 15, 1988. Following Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Father Naquin received permission from the diocese to build a new rectory. On Nov. 3, 1997, Father Jerome Weber became our pastor. He had the parking lot behind the


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church blacktopped and opened an addition to Holy Family cemetery. Father Etienne LeBlanc was installed in May 2001. He placed new hymnals in church and spearheaded a committee to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the parish. Father Freddie Decal became our pastor on July 1, 2004. He signed a contract to design a multi-purpose building to replace buildings which had been damaged by flooding. On June 24, 2009, Father Ron Yee-Mon became our pastor. He placed glass doors at the church entrance, and converted the rectory breezeway into a prayer garden. Father Justino Estoque Jr. was installed as our 11th pastor on July 3, 2011. A life-sized crib was installed in the front of Holy Family and “Christmas in the Park” was held in December 2012. The blessing of the shrimping boats is held before the opening of the May season. Mother’s Day is made meaningful for our second grade students who receive their first holy Communion and assist in the May crowning. On the second Friday of July, our Native Ameri-

can community hosts the annual Mass in honor of St. Kateri Tekakwitha. Following the Mass a reception is held at the Grand Caillou Recreation Center. On the Sunday closest to All Saints Day, Holy Family hosts a Mass for the families of all parishioners who have died during the past year. The blessing of the graves follows the Mass for the bereaved. On the second Sunday of November, the local Veterans of Foreign Wars host a Mass honoring deceased veterans of the area. The Knights of Columbus host a Memorial Mass for deceased members on the third Sunday of November. Thanksgiving baskets are delivered to the homes of needy people of the area during Thanksgiving week. A new event in the parish is “Christmas in the Park” when parishioners are invited to join together for singing Christmas carols, fellowship and a visit by Santa Claus. At the Christmas Vigil Mass, our young parishioners re-enact the birth of Christ. We welcome Bishop Shelton Fabre to the Diocese of HoumaThibodaux.


Did you know?

When a violent hurricane hit Cheniere Caminada in 1893 approximately 1,500 people died. All through the storm, it is said, the church bell tolled incessantly as its tower swayed in the waves and the church floated on the raging waters. The bell mysteriously journeyed to Westwego where it was found buried in a cemetery in 1918. The bell, made of silver, is now located in a tower in front of Our Lady of the Isle Church in Grand Isle.




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Parishes and Missions

Holy Cross, Morgan City and St. Rosalie, Stephensville By REV. DANNY M. POCHE’ Holy Cross Church parish was established in Morgan City on June 1, 1964. We will be celebrating our 50th anniversary next year. During the past 50 years, Holy Cross parish worked very hard in implementing the changes of Vatican Council II. Under the leadership of Father Wilmer Todd, Holy Cross began the first parish lay ministry program in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. Also under Father Todd’s leadership, the chapel in Stevensville was renamed St. Rosalie in honor of Mrs. Rosalie Crochet who served the mission for many years. Holy Cross parish is in the center of both the seafood and oil related 92 industries. The Morgan City community has come to believe that the two industries can co-exist and share the best of what each has to offer. The people of Morgan City are strong and generous. In the past 20 years they have suffered the effects of Hurricane Andrew and the BP oil spill. It was a painful time and a challenging time for our community. Not only did they survive, but became stronger in the process. As we prepared to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Holy Cross parish it was necessary to bring our facilities up to date. In 2010 we began a program called “Vision 2012” in which we raised over $10.5 million to build and improve our church and school facilities. We have been served by four bishops in the past 50 years including the archbishop of New Orleans and now we welcome our new bishop. We, as a parish family, pray for wisdom and grace for Bishop Fabre and that under his leadership Holy Cross parish may continue to bring Jesus Christ to the people of Morgan City. On behalf of the staff and the parishioners of Holy Cross Church parish, we say, “Welcome Bishop Shelton Fabre.”

Holy Cross, Morgan City Rev. Danny M. Poche’ Pastor

Rev. Noas Kerketta, I.M.S. Associate

Deacon Andrew Dragna

Deacon Vic Bonnaffee III

St. Rosalie, Stephensville

Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

Annunziata Church, Houma By REV. MIKE TRAN The parishioners of Annunziata Church parish would like to extend a warm welcome to you, Bishop Shelton Fabre, from our parish. Annunziata is a very welcoming and open hearted community. The parish just celebrated its 50th anniversary on Aug. 16, 2013. One of the healthiest signs of the community of Annunziata is its multi-cultural dimension. As a reflection of the parish emphasis on ministry to the Hispanic people, a bilingual staff person was brought in to provide pastoral care and work with the Spanish-speaking priest who celebrates Mass each weekend. The parish serves as one of four Centers of Hispanic Ministry in the diocese. We have a very active Hispanic Community here at Annunziata. Father Isaias Galvez, who is from Guatemala, is passionate about keeping the Hispanic community alive and active in our parish. Annunziata has many active groups in its parish. We have an active Knights of Columbus, KC Auxiliary, St. Vincent de Paul Society and Altar Society. They each hold monthly meetings and year round fundraisers that include Easter Egg hunts, pictures with Santa, bake sales, BBQ dinners, and much more. Our youth has always been strongly bonded and on fire for their faith. Our youth group participates in diocesan events such as TEC, CLI, Youth Rally and Steubenville on the Bayou, and also archdiocesan events such as Abbey Fest. Also, we have recently implemented a Junior Youth Game Night for ages five to 12 once a month. Our parish’s youth ministers and Youth Council put on an annual Youth Retreat every year and invite all youth of Annunziata (ages 13-18) to attend. We have begun a Young Adult group within our parish for those over 18. Annunziata hosted its first annual Young Adult


Rev. Mike Tran Pastor

Rev. Joseph Tregre Associate

Retreat in December 2012 and will have its second in January 2014. Our parish has always struggled with debt until late 2011 when the parish debt was paid off under Father Michael Bergeron. The parish debt had always been significant in the history of the parish, but it also created a surprising positive outcome. The people of Annunziata were always able to rally as a community to get things done and to keep their parish alive and healthy. The future of Annunziata looks bright, but the future of Annunziata has always looked bright because of the shining example of the loving family who worships here. God is using the family of Annunziata

Deacon Raymond Bourg Jr.

to build up his kingdom. And the response from the community has always been the same as Mary’s response at the Annunciation: “May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). Through good times and bad, the enthusiasm and determination of the community never wavered. People stood by their parish, and even when families moved, most continued to come back home to their family at Annunziata. Again, it is with much excitement that we welcome you to our diocese and look forward to your upcoming visits here at Annunziata. May our Mother Mary intercede and guide you, as you lead this wonderful Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux.

Parishes and Missions

Our Lady of the Isle, Grand Isle By REV. PETER TAI LE The Catholic community of Our Lady of the Isle in Grand Isle would like to extend its congratulations to Bishop Shelton Fabre, fourth bishop of the Diocese of HoumaThibodaux. Although it belongs to the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, Our Lady of the Isle is very unique in certain ways. Geographically, the church building is located on Grand Isle (island), but its territory extends into two civil parishes, namely both southern tips of Lafourche and Jefferson. It would take about 25 minutes to travel from one end of the church parish to the other. Pastorally, it serves the faithful beyond its physical boundary. History tells us that Our Lady of the Isle began when Our Lady of Lourdes church had been built in 1882 at Cheniere Caminada 94 with Father Gaston de Espinosa as the pastor. The legendary story of the church bell is that it was cast in Cincinnati from 700 pounds of silver including the crested family plate of the pastor, heirlooms of the Baratarians and pirate loot. The church, however, was destroyed by a category four hurricane known as Cheniere Caminada Hurricane. It hit the area on Oct. 2, 1893. The

Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

Rev. Peter Tai Le Pastor

storm killed roughly half of Grand Isle and Cheniere residents, with a storm surge of 16 feet. Around 1916, Miss T. Mercedes Adams donated a piece of land located in the well-protected oak ridge at the center of the island for the construction of a new church.

New Orleans’ Archbishop John W. Shaw presided at the dedication of Our Lady of the Isle Chapel in 1918. The bell of the Cheniere church that was destroyed in 1893 was installed in the new Grand Isle church tower. Of symbolic importance to the people of


Blessed Sacrament Faith Community By REV. VAN CONSTANT The Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament exists to provide for the spiritual needs of traditional Catholics as per the directives of “Summorum Pontificum.” Low Mass is offered daily except for Mondays. A Low Mass and High Mass are offered on Sunday where the faithful travel from as far as New Iberia from the west and as far as Metairie from the east. Sunday Mass attendance ranges from 110 to 150, and the weekly collection is about $1,000. Outside of Mass, the Ultreya group meets Thursday evenings with a weekly attendance of about 45 men. Confirmation classes are offered for home-school families which largely make up the supporters of the chapel. E.D. White, Vandebilt and local public school students have attended classes at Blessed Sacrament. Home-school functions, First Friday and Saturday Devotions, Lenten Devotions and a recently established youth group are hosted at Blessed Sacrament as well. Baptisms and the occasional wedding are performed. These sacraments are recorded at St. Lawrence Church parish in Chacahoula.

Grand Isle

the Barataria region, the bell lay buried in a cemetery for several years to prevent its installment in any other area. Father F.J. Grimaud, former pastor of the Cheniere church and survivor of the 1893 storm, fell to his knees in tearful prayer when the bell rang for the dedication of the new church. For the next 15 years Our Lady of the Isle continued to be administered by visiting priests. In 1933, the parish was formally established. The new church was built in 1961 under the leadership of Father


Rev. Van Constant Priest in Charge

Gerald Masse. Since the hurricane records had been kept from 1877, on average Grand Isle was affected by tropical storms or hurricanes every 2.68 years; direct hits, however, account for an average of every 7.88 years. There had been numerous major hurricanes which hit the island, but the worst one was Hurricane Katrina. It pounded the island for two days and severely damaged the new church, other buildings and camps. Today, though Grand Isle residents are on high alert during hurricane season, which starts from June 1 to November 30, they live as normal as they can. And Our Lady of the Isle faithfully provides pastoral ministry to all of them, islanders, camp

owners, vacationers and friends with Sacred Liturgy and other sacraments. Whenever the local ordinary (new Bishop) makes visits to the island, he will feel right at home because the people whom he serves not only come from the island but also from throughout the diocese, from Baton Rough where the bishop was born and served as a priest, from New Orleans where he served as an auxiliary bishop, and beyond. Our Lady of the Isle may earn a nickname “parish of parishes,” because here in Grand Isle not only the parish serves the faithful locally but also nationally and internationally. It is staffed by a pastor, a secretary and a youth director. Altogether, we welcome Bishop Shelton Fabre.

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Part Three Catholic Schools


Catholic Schools

Deacon Vic Bonnaffee III Principal


Central Catholic High School Central Catholic High School in Morgan City welcomes Bishop Shelton J. Fabre as the Fourth Bishop of the Diocese of HoumaThibodaux. Our community and the friends of Central Catholic support you as bishop and will have you in our prayer intentions at the weekly school Mass each Thursday. At the beginning of the school assembly on Wednesday our intentions to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Novena were for your successful journey as our bishop. Central Catholic High School has an excellent academic program for our students in the honors/AP courses, college prep classes and the learning center. We have had a one on one lap top program for six years and now are using the iPad with ebooks and curriculum apps in almost 80 percent of our course offerings. The use of Apple TV has enhanced our strategy of involving the head, hands and heart in the daily educational program. Central Catholic High School Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

strives to enrich our students’ special interest with numerous clubs, academic teams, athletic teams and special assemblies to offer a comprehensive educational program. Central Catholic High School is proud to have six teachers nominated for the 2013 diocesan Inspirational Teacher at the high school level this year (25 percent of the faculty). Brittany Matte, 2013 winner, is our second diocesan Inspirational Teacher of the Year winner in the three-year existence

of the program. The benefactors of Central Catholic High School are second to none as they are dedicated to the offering of time, talent and treasure to enhance the mission of the school. May you be blessed with years of dedicated service and charity to the people of Houma-Thibodaux and to our Central Catholic High School community. We welcome you as the honorary Number One Eagle and hope you come to visit us soon.

Welcome Bishop Fabre “Together We Will Grow In Faith”


Call Rick at 504-570-0948 or E-mail:

Catholic Schools

David Keife President


James Reiss Principal

Vandebilt Catholic High School Vandebilt Catholic High School in Houma has a rich history in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. As the only Catholic secondary school in Terrebonne Parish, Vandebilt serves the important function as the sole provider of a Catholic, Christian, values-based education for adolescents of the families in this constituency and beyond. The Marianite Sisters of Holy Cross founded Vandebilt Catholic High School in 1870, and the school is continued in the charism of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart. In 1966, Vandebilt Catholic was named in honor of Father August Vandebilt, late pastor of St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, who was an avid supporter of Catholic education. Vandebilt Catholic High School is characterized by an abounding tradition of educational excellence and is widely regarded as a leader in education. The holistic education that Vandebilt provides its students has cultured generations of graduates who have become Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

leaders in the church and in their communities and careers. Vandebilt cultivates a family atmosphere in which administrators, teachers, students and parents work together harmoniously to promote love of neighbor, love of God and good citizenship. The school fosters intellectual growth while challenging students to actualize individual potential. Dedicated lay staff members are committed to and are understanding of their role as ministers in forming students in their faith. Additionally, all Vandebilt religion teachers are diocesan certified to instruct religion classes. Catholic spirituality and Christian values are integrated into the vast curriculum. Faith-building activities are abundantly offered to and practiced by the Vandebilt family. All classes begin with prayer, and each morning before school the Liturgy of the Hours is recited prior to the celebration of Mass. Eucharistic

adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is practiced weekly, and the school family prays the rosary together once a week as well. Service hours are a required part of the religion program to put the Gospel into practice. In response to Jesus’ directive to love one another, students use intellectual gifts to serve others more effectively and generously. The campus ministry program, Sisters in Christ, Men of Christ, and a newly formed mission team provide Vandebilt students with additional options to grow in faith and to follow the call to service. A personal approach to the education of the whole student is stressed at Vandebilt by offering diverse academic, athletic and cocurricular programs to the school’s diversified student population, which consistently exceeds 900. Pupils with various ethnic heritages, religious affiliations, socio-economic conditions, and academic abilities are offered a college-preparatory curriculum


at Vandebilt. High-school experiences for students with diverse interests and talents are enriched through a wide array of elective courses, programs and activities. Vandebilt Catholic High School enjoys a tradition of consistent academic success. Twenty-first century skills are incorporated into the curriculum so that students learn to integrate technology into their educational endeavors. The academic program continues to address the changing needs of students to prepare them for their future college careers. As a pioneer in the implementation of a One-to-One iPad program, Vandebilt is training its students to be interactive learners and active participants in problem resolution. The co-curricular program at Vandebilt is designed to develop talents and skills as well as qualities of scholarship, leadership, service and character. A variety of co-curricular activities are offered, and maximum student participation is encouraged to develop skills beyond the classroom. Vandebilt offers open admissions to students of various intellectual abilities of any race, color, religion, nationality or ethnic origin. Priority is given to families who support Catholic schools, and families who are financially in need can receive tuition assistance. Great care is taken to ensure that the school does not become available only to the social, academic or athletic elite. Vandebilt Catholic High School continues to move forward as a leader in 21st century learning and to prove itself as one of the best college-preparatory schools in Louisiana.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D. and the Catholic faithful of the Archdiocese of Louisville send congratulations and best wishes as The Most Reverend Shelton J. Fabre is installed as the Fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux


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Catholic Schools

David Boudreaux President


Michelle Chiasson Principal

E.D. White Catholic High School Edward Douglas White Catholic High School mcan trace its roots to 1855 when Father Charles Menard opened Mount Carmel Academy for girls, the first Catholic school in what would become the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. In 1861, he took control of Thibodaux College for boys. Mount Carmel, run by the Sisters of Mount Carmel, and Thibodaux College, run by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, merged to form Thibodaux Central Catholic High School in 1965. The following year, Archbishop Philip Hannan of New Orleans, changed the school’s name to Edward Douglas White Catholic High School. As a young boy growing up in Washington, D.C., Archbishop Hannan saw the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Edward Douglas White, attend Mass regularly and knew him to be a devout Catholic. Edward Douglas White’s boyhood home is just north of Thibodaux on LA Hwy 1. Even though there are only two Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

Brothers of the Sacred Heart and no Sisters of Mount Carmel currently in ministry at E.D. White Catholic, the charisms of the founding religious orders permeate the school. The Brothers have created an ongoing program to share their heritage and spirituality with their lay partners and Sister Barbara Nell Laperouse visits the school regularly and offers spirituality talks to the faculty. The mission of E.D. White Catholic High School is to impart the Catholic faith, promote academic excellence and enhance self-esteem. Our school’s mission statement clearly defines who we are, what we do and why we do it. First and foremost, we are committed to bringing our students closer to holiness and oneness with the Lord. We continue to offer daily Mass in our chapel at 7:15 a.m. and offer weekly adoration and confession to students in one particular grade level. Our students pray the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel daily in religion class

to protect them from evil, and we pray the rosary together as a school community during October, which is the Month of the Holy Rosary and Respect for Life month. We have begun a traveling Fatima statue program to encourage prayer within each family. The faith of our school has to be what defines us and sets us apart from all others. Promoting academic excellence is the second part of our mission. As a college prep school, we strive to prepare our students for their transition into college. We are proud to offer three learning tracks which enable us to meet the needs of ALL students: an honors track, college prep track, and skills track to help students with learning differences. Our academic enhancement department currently serves 145 students, who have specific accommodations in and out of the classroom as prescribed by a professional evaluation. The dedicated faculty members who give so much of themselves


to make the learning environment productive for their students do a phenomenal job preparing our students for the very important ACT test. Consistently, our seniors have earned the highest ACT composite score in the tri-parish area and have annually earned over $3 million in college scholarships in addition to TOPS! Our school has implemented a new 1:1 iPad program in an effort to engage students in the learning process and better prepare them for the technology skills needed in today’s world. Finally, our co-curricular programs help to foster self-esteem in our students, the third part of our mission. Our organizations are either service-oriented, leadership-oriented, or specific to certain interests like art, ecology or technology. Over 450 students are involved in our athletic program, which has been very successful on the district and state levels. Our music program, including marching band, concert band and concert choir, has earned recognition on the state and national level. Aside from the many honors that our cocurricular programs have received, they have created a spirit of camaraderie among our students and instilled a strong sense of pride and commitment to our school. At the main entrance of our school, the following quote is displayed and best expresses what is at the heart of E.D. White Catholic High School: “Be it known to all who enter here that Christ is the reason for this school, the unseen but ever present teacher in its classes, the model of its faculty, the inspiration of its students.”

Congratulations and Prayerful Best Wishes

Bishop Shelton J. Fabre on the occasion of your Installation as

Fourth Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux

Bishop George V. Murry, S.J. and the Church in Youngstown


Office of

Youth Ministry

Welcome to the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. We look forward to continuing the growth of the young church under your leadership!


Catholic Schools

Marissa Bagala Principal


St. Mary’s Nativity, Raceland St. Mary’s Nativity School is a family-oriented Catholic elementary school nestled along Bayou Lafourche in Raceland. Our school dates back to 1963, and it has provided 50 years of quality academic and spiritual education. Raceland is a rural area whose residents are a hard-working, middle-class people. St. Mary’s currently has an enrollment of about 250 with single classes of three- year-old nursery through eighth grade. St. Mary’s educates those within the parish as well as those in the neighboring parishes of St. Hilary, St. Louis, and St. Charles Borromeo, which do not have Catholic schools. While incorporating the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, our school challenges all students to reach their potential through academics, enrichment programs and extracurricular activities. Our school instills leadership and responsibility. Religious education and community service fosters Christ-like attitudes. Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

St. Mary’s Catholic Identity resonates in word and action. Our school offers students, staff, parents and community the opportunity to develop an active relationship with the Lord. Most staff members and all religion teachers are certified catechists or are working toward their certification. All staff members attend a voluntary twoday retreat in the summer. This reflective time bonds the school’s staff and renews each member’s relationship with Christ. All students participate in a weekly liturgy and a monthly rosary, and an annual living rosary. Students attend reconciliation and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. During Lent, students prayerfully participate in the Stations of the Cross. Our Caritas Club sponsors a “Find a Verse” weekly contest to encourage Bible reading. Our school has initiated the Come, Lord Jesus! program, which encourages students to read the Word and put it into action. Selections of Scripture

from the upcoming Sunday Mass are studied so that students better understand and appreciate the Sunday eucharistic celebration. They offer prayers of thanksgiving and intercessory prayers. The weekly commentaries to the Word are also placed on our school website to encourage parents and the community in their spiritual journeys. St. Mary’s school administration monitors the school environment and takes appropriate steps to ensure that it is conducive to student learning. Data is collected from students’ performances on standardized tests, classroom work and tests, and teacher, parent and community feedback. This data is consistently used to guide decisionmaking in the academic area. St. Mary’s is currently working with the diocese to implement the Common Core State Standards within our system. Members of the faculty and staff further their knowledge of current educational practices through


professional development classes and workshops. Evidence of community support comes from the parents’ club, the grandparents’ club, the advisory council, and the parish council. All are important to the ongoing success of our school. Despite being a small school, St. Mary’s continues to offer not only an education, not only a prayerful attitude, not only a service commitment, but also many extracurricular activities. Our students are encouraged to show their leadership skills and cooperative work through our various clubs: 4-H, BETA, Caritas, band, choir, drama club, Quiz Bowl, a basketball team for boys and girls, and cheerleaders. St. Mary’s Nativity School is a presence in the community. Three major programs enjoyed by the community are Christmas Under the Oaks; the Christmas pageant where students perform the Nativity Story of Christ; and the Krewe of Kiddies Mardi Gras parade. Through our clubs, classes and organizations, we also give back to the community. St. Mary’s students visit and attend Mass monthly with the residents of Raceland Manor. We collect money and goods for organizations such as the local food bank, the Holy Childhood Association, Chez Hope, Hope for Animals and the St. Louis Infant Center. We honor our veterans with programs for the VFW and the American Legion, including a Veterans’ Day Mass sponsored by BETA. Our faculty, staff, students and parents all strive to fulfill our motto: Believe, Achieve, Succeed with Christ.

The Office of Religious Education,

devoted to the teaching of the faith and the religious formation of children and adults,

extends a warm welcome to Bishop Fabre.

For information on programs contact Dr. Faith Ann Spinella diocesan director or Margaret Vargas administrative assistant at


105 Consulting System & Network Design Remote Managed Services Application Development Data & Voice Communications Hardware & Software Solutions Network & Hardware Administration

Wishing Bishop Fabre a warm welcome and sincere best wishes

100 East 5th Street, Thibodaux Tel 985.448.3805 Fax 985.448.3807

Catholic Schools


Yvonne Weimer Principal

Maria Immacolata, Houma Maria Immacolata Catholic School (MICS) is arguably Houma’s best kept secret. Tucked at the end of Estate Drive, this little school houses roughly 200 students throughout the school day. Despite its humble appearance, however, MICS has crafted a formula that works. For years, this school has combined effective educators, rigorous coursework, and high expectations, resulting in generations of talented, lifelong learners. Under the direction of its principal, Maria Immacolata is committed to developing well-rounded learners through Catholicism, educational technology, and academic excellence. Steeped in Catholic tradition, Maria Immacolata emphasizes a strong faith base within its educational community. Classes Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

are given the opportunity to host a school Mass each week, in which students recite Scripture, sing, and praise the Word of God. In addition to this, students lead morning prayers, followed by a biographical reading of the Saint of the Day. The Saint of the Day readings provide students the opportunity to become more aligned with their faith, while modeling the true workings of Christ. In the spirit of sainthood, students have also been charged with choosing their own classroom saint for the 20132014 school year. Each class will then work to showcase their saint through various activities and visual displays. In addition to its deeply rooted Catholic ideals, Maria Immacolata places a strong focus on educational technology as well. One particular technological highlight includes

interactive whiteboards in each of its pre-kindergarten through 7th grade classrooms. The interactive technology is powered by Mimio products, and works with the teacher’s laptop and projector, creating a completely interactive workspace. Students can then use the provided Mimio stylus or versatile Mimio writing tablet, to project their handwriting on the whiteboard. Additionally, students have the opportunity to use the MimioVote, a polling system that uses wireless handsets to gather input. This technology can be used to review material, and works as an incredible test taking tool as well. Wireless functionality has also been brought to the MICS campus within the past year. This technology allows mobility for teachers, as laptops and other devices no longer


have to be physically attached to an Internet cable. This functionality also enhances the newly purchased iPad lab, which made its debut at Maria Immacolata early last year. This mobile lab allows for students to have the added benefit of an individual iPad to be used for enrichment, research and content reinforcement in all subject areas. Teachers use multi-sensory teaching strategies and guide students into activities that require critical thinking skills and a deeper understanding of concepts as opposed to the traditional teacher-led instruction. Maria Immacolata Catholic School also serves as a flagship for academic excellence. Approximately 99.5 percent of our 2012-2013 graduating class tested either honors or above-average on the entrance exams for Vandebilt Catholic High School. Throughout the years of standardized testing, MICS students have also consistently scored within the 90th percentile and above on the Stanford Achievement Test. In addition to this, numerous students have placed at Literary Rally, Vandebilt Catholic’s annual academic competition. Despite its humble appearance, Maria Immacolata Catholic School continues to produce talented, lifelong learners. Through the incorporation of Catholicism, educational technology and academic excellence – the formula that has always made this school a success – the school is simply getting better. As the years pass and students continue beyond our walls to high school, college and beyond, there is no question that Houma’s best kept secret lives up its mantra, “The Little School with BIG Results!”


Welcome to the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux Bishop Shelton Fabre! 1210 St. Charles St. • Houma, LA 70360 (985) 876-2280 • Toll Free 1-800-969-0068

Catholic Schools

Gerard Rodrigue Jr. Principal

St. Joseph School, Thibodaux Last year St. Joseph Catholic 108 Elementary School, one of the largest elementary schools in our diocese, proudly celebrated 50 years (1962-2012) of providing Thibodaux and the surrounding communities with quality Catholic education. The school is staying true to its mission by modeling service to others while providing a safe, Catholic, Christ-centered educational environment. With Jesus as a role model and this year’s theme, “Make Peace with God,” St. Joseph’s goal is to develop self-discipline in its students by providing a values-oriented curriculum which fosters spiritual, academic, moral and social growth. An “Open Your Heart” program focuses on promoting a safe and respectful place to learn. Each month the school embraces a positive character trait through prayer, instruction, classroom activities and cross curricular exposure that helps to empower students and faculty. The school’s “Paws-i-tive Prints” program recognizes students living out these positive traits for doing something genuinely “from the heart” for others. The school offers many Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

extracurricular activities including a sixth and seventh grade boys’ and girls’ cross country team where runners have excelled, winning individual and team honors. St. Joseph also fields boys’ and girls’ basketball teams supported by spirit from the cheerleading squad. The swim team continues to excel, garnering both individual and team awards – last year the combined girls’/boys’ team were first place winners at the Metro New Orleans Middle School League Championship Meet held at the University of New Orleans pool and this year have already earned first place at their first two meets. Other activities for students include band, choir, art, 4-H, student council, yearbook club and caritas. Angel choirs made up of kindergarten/first graders and second/third graders perform annual winter and spring concerts. The incorporation of technology in instruction is a very high priority at St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School. Teachers have their own laptop computer, and all kindergarten through seventh grade classrooms have been equipped with Promethean Boards and individual learner

response systems (ActiVotes & ActivExpressions) which provide state of the art exciting, interactive teaching and learning opportunities. This school year we have begun incorporating the use of iPads into instruction by utilizing a mobile lab as well as having five mini-iPads in all kindergarten through third grade classrooms. All schools in the diocese have begun a comprehensive process to align curricular offerings and teaching strategies to better equip students with not only the knowledge, but critical thinking, application and communication skills so vital to the 21st century workforce. St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School is fortunate to have an outstanding physical plant. In addition to our regular classrooms, we have an awesome library/ media center, music building, gymnasium and academic enhancement center. The church and school remain committed to upgrading and maintaining the school plant and facilities, enabling the school to provide its students with outstanding educational opportunities in an excellent, safe, learning environment.

Brenda Tanner Principal

St. Francis de Sales, Houma The staff and students of St. Francis de Sales Cathedral School in Houma extend a sincere welcome to you, Bishop Fabre. We look forward to working with you in continuing the mission of making our diocese a great place to worship, serve and live. The cathedral school has a long and rich heritage as the oldest continuously operating Catholic school in Terrebonne Parish. We had our beginnings in 1870 with the arrival of the Marianite Sisters of Holy Cross from New Orleans. Their religious order purchased the bankrupt private Houma Academy building and property to establish a school for girls in the fledgling town of Houma. The new Catholic school, about three blocks from the church, had humble beginnings and struggled to remain open. It was serving an area with a population of just fewer than 500 people, and not all were Catholic. Despite the many obstacles, the Sisters persevered and the school graduated its first student, Rosa Cuneo, in 1879. At the request of the area people and the church parish, additional Sisters arrived in 1890 to begin educating boys in a separate building near St. Francis Church. The current school building, located next to the cathedral, was opened

in January 1951 just in time for the “baby boomers” arriving for first grade. This was also the time the Marianite Sisters were joined in their educational ministry by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart. The Brothers took over the original St. Francis school building to educate boys from seventh through 12th grades. Because the original property encompassed the entire block bounded by Point, Barrow, Aycock and Bond Streets, the boys’ school had ample room to have its own hand ball and tennis courts as well as baseball and football fields. The Youth Center building was added to the school and church complex during the early 1960s. It provided a much needed gym for boys’ high school basketball games, general assemblies and physical education classes. The open first floor design contained team and class changing facilities and a play area. Over time, however, it was closed in to meet the needs of the school and parish, and to remedy the condensation problem in the second floor gym during cold weather. With the opening of Vandebilt Catholic High School in 1965, St. Francis de Sales transitioned to solely an elementary school serving boys and girls from kindergarten through seventh grades. Over

the ensuing years, we’ve added pre-school and developmental kindergarten programs. Under the leadership of an excellent facilities committee, 109 our school building and cathedral grounds have been gradually updated. These renovations have improved our appearance next to the cathedral to make it an inviting place for students who consider it to be their “home away from home.” The cathedral school has continued the “tradition of excellence” established by its founders, the Marianite Sisters of Holy Cross. We remain a familyoriented church parish school currently serving the families of many surrounding church parishes. We also serve families of other faiths who embrace our values and beliefs. St. Francis de Sales offers a strong academic curriculum with a variety of co-curricular activities. Our school emphasizes Catholic faith and values while fostering the love of God and reverence for all life. St. Francis provides a strong Catholic education in a safe and disciplined environment that recognizes and respects the uniqueness of each child. Again, we extend to you a heartwarming “bienvenue” to the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux!

Catholic Schools

Scott Bouzigard Principal


Holy Rosary School, Larose Holy Rosary Catholic School (HRCS) in Larose was established 50 years ago under the leadership and spiritual direction of Father Emile Fossier and Sister Claire Rodrigue, C.I.C. The school services PK3 through eighth grade for the South Lafourche communities from Lockport through Grand Isle, a span of about 70 miles. Through the collective efforts of clergy, administrators, faculty, staff and parents, HRCS provides a curriculum that offers the opportunity for students to develop to his/her fullest potential as a member of the student body and as a member of the Body of Christ. Holy Rosary Catholic School participates in the total mission of the church by proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus as it educates students in a Catholic environment. The spiritual formation of the students of HRCS is the most essential component of the school. Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

All students participate in daily, weekly and monthly prayer and liturgical services. The academic curriculum is also infused on a daily basis to teach the Gospel messages of Jesus. Service programs, clubs and athletics are designed to enrich the moral formation and social development of participating students. Continuous evaluation/ upgrading of the curriculum and teacher training all insure that high academic standards remain a priority for the school. Students’ SAT and ACRE National test scores are at the 90 and 95 percentiles respectively. Every year students achieve local, state or national recognition as they participate in creative arts and academic contests. Historically, HRCS is fortunate to have the financial and spiritual support of its constituents through an active advancement program.

The administration, staff and parents are dedicated and proficient in teaming to provide an excellent Catholic school. Recent upgrades include major renovations to the 50 year-old cafeteria, innovative instructional technology, student chapel, meditation-prayer garden, and a fenced in playground with state-of-the art play equipment. The current academic goal is to obtain two moveable iPad stations with 30 iPads units per station to service all of its students. Within the last three years, the school’s enrollment has jumped from 176 to capacity of 328 with a waiting list for some grades. The school is an arm and mission of the Catholic Church, and believes that no child who wishes to have a Catholic education should be denied, due to a lack of finances or facilities. For nearly three decades, HRCS has issued over a million dollars


in tuition grants to needy families provided by Friends of the Rosary/Sister Claire Scholarship Foundation. Our Lady of the Rosary Church parish, under the direction of Father Ronilo Villamor, and Holy Rosary Catholic School are currently collaborating to determine the needs of both the school and church. In order to provide the necessary facilities to enhance the needs of its current population and address the necessity for growth, school and church leaders are forming a feasibility study for an expansion that would provide facilities for the growth of the church and school. Buildings would include a multi-purpose meeting facility for the church, a building with multiple classrooms and bathroom facilities for early childhood grades and a gymnasium for both the school and church. As our new bishop, we warmly welcome you and anticipate the actions and voice of your leadership to confirm the value and importance of Catholic education. We expect to be viewed and supported as the vital force which transitions the youth of today to becoming the moral civic and spiritual leaders of tomorrow. “Where there is no vision, the people will perish� (Proverbs 29:18). Through your leadership and with the collective vision and dedication of Holy Rosary Catholic School, Our Lady of the Rosary Church parish and the people of the South Lafourche community, HRCS will continue to provide academic excellence within a Catholic setting today and for the next 50 years.

E. D. White Catholic E. D. White Catholic High High School School Welcomes Welcomes Bishop Shelton J. Fabre Bishop Shelton J. Fabre to the to the Dicese of Houma-Thibodaux Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux Best Wishes

Best Wishes

From the E. D. White Catholic Family

From the E. D. White Catholic Family

Bishop Shelton J. Fabre As our new shepherd may our Lord bless you in your service to the 126,000 Catholics in the Tri-Parish area of The Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux.

Welcome! John Wilson, Thomas Wilson and the Staff of Letter Concepts, Inc.

Faithfully Serving The Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux since 2001


Catholic Schools


Elizabeth Scurto Principal

St. Gregory Barbarigo, Houma St. Gregory Barbarigo Catholic School is an educational ministry which strives to ensure, through study, prayer, service and discipline, the Catholic Christian formation and academic success of all its students, in a nurturing and caring environment. As a Catholic school, St. Gregory promotes the development of happy, responsible children who realize how God fits into everyday life and who have a personal commitment to God’s way. Children grow through classroom experiences, liturgical planning and participation in prayer and worship. Students are given opportunities to express creatively their growing relationship to God. St. Gregory School recognizes the Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

importance of the family unit. Through the children, we reach out to strengthen the faith and draw them into the life of St. Gregory School. By fostering the development of good self-images and self-discipline, St. Gregory School reaches out to every aspect of growth: academic, spiritual, emotional, physical and social. The school has a rigorous curriculum that provides a learning environment in which researchbased methodologies are employed to meet the varied learning styles of the students and to challenge them to reach their individual potential. The students are challenged to succeed in a safe, family oriented learning environment.

The technology program includes a new state-of-the-art computer lab, weekly computer classes, Smart Boards in every classroom, a library with an electronic card catalog system and a web-based Accelerated Reader program. Through the use of technology, student learning is enhanced in many ways because of the differentiated learning opportunities available across the curriculum. Plans are being developed and funding sources explored to equip the faculty and eventually the students with iPads. Early childhood classes, enrolling three, four, and five year olds, use the Montessori Method of instruction. The


Montessori classroom provides an environment which nurtures a sense of order and self-discipline. Students play a big role in their own development through purposeful movement, exploration, and discovery of their environment. They are given the freedom to develop physically, intellectually and spiritually. This approach sets high standards for individualizing learning for the students in their early years, providing a very strong foundation for future learning. St. Gregory raises the bar each year in an effort to be better than the previous one. The principal and teachers will be trained this year in the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, which focus on core conceptual understandings and procedures starting in the early grades, thus enabling teachers to take the time needed to teach them well and to give students the opportunity to master them. The goal is to ensure that each year students make progress and graduate from high school prepared to succeed in college and the modern workforce. The faculty and staff of St. Gregory School believe that all students can learn. It is our responsibility to teach them in the way that they learn best. At St. Gregory Barbarigo Catholic School each child is seen as a gift and accepted whole-heartedly because children are truly gifts from God. On our entrance wall are the following words that state what we believe about our Catholic school: “Be it known to all who enter here, that Christ is the reason for this school, the unseen but ever present teacher in its classes, the model of its faculty, the inspiration of its students� (Anonymous).

We welcome Bishop Shelton Fabre to our family. May the Lord bless you and guide you as you shepherd your flock to grow together in faith. 113

Our warmest welcome is extended to Bishop Shelton J. Fabre. We are confident that under your leadership the diocese will continue along its path of growth and success.

God bless you and the people of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux.


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Catholic Schools

Mamie Bergeron Principal

Holy Cross School, Morgan City 114

Holy Cross Elementary School, a ministry of Holy Cross Church parish is located in Morgan City, the western-most parish of our Houma-Thibodaux diocese. Led by Father Danny Poche’, pastor, and Mamie Bergeron, principal, our school is home to 332 students and 248 families. In a safe and caring atmosphere, the 44 member faculty and staff are dedicated to providing a loving environment while instilling values, virtues and faith-formation. At Holy Cross these are perhaps the most important components to each child’s education. Evangelization and faith formation are brought to the students through a multitude of religious activities, led by a devout and faith-filled faculty. The children of Holy Cross Elementary are given the tools that enable them to become sensitive, caring, Christian adults through activities such as daily prayer, administering of the sacraments, individual class Masses, all-school Masses, and projects of service to others. Holy Cross parents are valued and respected. We offer a sincere thank you to them for choosing Holy Cross for their children Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

and for their overwhelming support. Holy Cross is blessed with a community dedicated to Catholic education. Parents, grandparents, alumni and the civic and business communities come together faithfully to contribute professionally, personally and financially to secure the continued presence of Catholic education here in Morgan City. Whenever possible, Holy Cross community members are invited to visit the school and address the classes. The resources of these community members and organizations are also utilized, as our students visit them on local field trips. Academics are strong at Holy Cross. Daily, students are encouraged to use research, higher order thinking skills and analytical reasoning. Innovative and creative techniques promote students to master document literacy and writing skills. Conjecture, discussion and presentation are also promoted. Faculty at Holy Cross are dedicated to encouraging students to expand their horizons, channel their energy, improve their self-esteem and strive to succeed. The environment at Holy Cross is

technology-rich. Students enjoy a 3-1 student–to-computer ratio. In addition, electronic tablets, interactive Promethean Boards, an interactive student response system feature included with the Promethean system, e-books and online enrichment activities offer enhanced technological benefit to the students. Cultural education is an added feature of the children’s education here, through weekly classes in art and music. Test scores place Holy Cross students in the top one-fourth of the nation … testimony to what we believe is the outstanding, wellrounded education children receive here at Holy Cross Elementary. The world of education is challenging and ever-changing. Holy Cross is dedicated to meeting these challenges and to providing the best possible education to the children here. Your presence at Holy Cross Elementary will be a delight to us. We invite you to visit our school and we look forward to seeing you here in Morgan City as you minister to our parish and school.


Did you know?

The Lumen Christi Retreat Center in Schriever opened its doors in 1985 providing opportunities for spiritual growth and strengthening of faith not only to the people of the Diocese of HoumaThibodaux, but beyond as well.

St. Ann Catholic Church in Bourg welcomes Bishop Shelton J. Fabre 115

Welcome Bishop Fabre and may God’s blessing be upon you throughout the coming years.

Holy Savior Church Parish and Cemetery

Catholic Schools

Tricia Thibodaux Principal

Holy Savior School, Lockport Holy Savior Catholic School, a spiritual and educational ministry of Holy Savior Church parish, ministers to nursery three through eighth grade students 116 in Lockport and the surrounding areas of central Lafourche. The school currently includes a state approved curriculum and certified lay teachers. This year’s student enrollment is 238. The school’s educational program challenges each student to achieve academic excellence and live the Gospel message of Jesus. Holy Savior Catholic School first opened its doors and hearts to the community of Lockport in May of 1879. Father Peter Letilly invited the Congregation of the Immaculate Conception to send a few Sisters to Lockport to open a school. The first formal classes began in a little cottage in town. Since the very beginning, the school has been a vital force in shaping, not only the town of Lockport, but also the surrounding communities. During the early part of the 20th century through the early 1970s Holy Savior also consisted of a high school that served students in and around the Lockport area. Due to rising costs and decreasing enrollment, it was necessary to close the high school in 1972. Holy Savior’s theme this school year is “Soaring to New Heights Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

with God” and it permeates throughout the school. We began our new school year by having a prayer service and balloon launch to invite all of our students and parents to soar to new heights with God. To increase the school’s Catholicity, this year we created a prayer room where the teachers and students could quietly pray during the school day. Each class has chosen a class Saint and students, even our three year olds, pray to their Saint every day. Holy Savior has the distinction of being academically outstanding and deeply rooted in its drive to connect students to their Catholic faith. Our teachers use various teaching techniques and integrate technology with the use of interactive Promethean Boards to develop a student’s critical thinking skills and increase student engagement. With the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, the school’s focus this year is on the demands of preparing our students for college and career readiness. Holy Savior School students have a wide variety of extracurricular activities to choose from. Students who enjoy sports can join the school’s cross country, softball, basketball or volleyball teams. We offer cheerleading for girls in sixth through eighth grade. Band and

music are offered to kindergarten through eighth grade students. This year Holy Savior has created a choir for those students who want to sing at Mass and other school assemblies. We also offer students the opportunity to join the Caritas, 4-H, Beta, and student council clubs at school. Holy Savior proclaims the Gospel message of Jesus through weekly school Masses, the living rosary, the living Way of the Cross, May Crowning of the Blessed Mother, and the traveling vocation crucifix. This year we have incorporated an Our Lady of Fatima traveling statue to encourage our families to pray for peace by praying the rosary. Holy Savior’s mission statement is: Excellence in Academics + a God-Loving Environment = Success. This statement truly identifies who we are, the Eagles. It defines our students, staff and our school family, because we strive to create students who excel in their core curriculum and are prepared to enter high school. Holy Savior goes above and beyond creating an environment that is rooted in our rich Catholic faith. All of these things combined make Holy Savior Catholic School such a great success.

Chris Knobloch Principal

St. Genevieve in Thibodaux St. Genevieve Catholic School’s students and staff would like to take this opportunity to welcome Bishop Fabre to the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. We are anxious to have the bishop visit our parish and most especially, our school. We think Bishop Fabre will love our school! The traditions that promote our faith and nurture our children are evident when you walk through our doors. Our students know that they are loved and greet visitors in a warm and caring way. Last spring, a team of educators visited St. Genevieve School in Thibodaux. The team noted that the school’s strategic plan focuses on faith formation for students, faculty and parents. They stated that Christ is the center of this school and students appreciate the deep spirituality that is cultivated here. The team emphasized that faculty members see their role as religion teachers as paramount and are committed to nurturing the

spiritual growth of their students. The team recognized a sense of calmness and peace among the students, faculty and administration that promotes a caring, nurturing atmosphere. They stated that students commented that they are well known by faculty and feel safe in this holy environment that is so filled with tradition in the Catholic faith. Further stated by the team is that there is an “understanding” that things are done here for a reason; policies and procedures are accepted and understood by students and faculty. They also felt that communication among stakeholders is a strong bond. Comments from our student commission members during their interview with the team included: “We are called to be the example.” “We are taught what it means to be “table people” – to serve others and not finish first.”

“Our teachers challenge us to be the best we can be, but to be ourselves.” “Our teachers are always preparing us for the next level – academically and spiritually.” We are particularly proud that our faculty prays together every morning and the community sees us as “prayer warriors.” We are often asked to pray for students, graduates and people in our community, long after they have left our school. Our students feel as though they are a part of a big family and feel at home at our school. They appreciate the rich traditions and practices that define our school. St. Genevieve students are recognized as leaders, children of faith and individuals who are responsible, accepting and loving. They distinguish themselves and make us proud when they leave our school. St. Genevieve Catholic School is a good place to be.


Catholic Schools

Joan LeBouef Principal

St. Bernadette in Houma 118

St. Bernadette Catholic School, established over 50 years ago, is the pride of the quiet Broadmoor neighborhood community in Houma. The school was administered by the Dominican Sisters from its start in 1962 until 1987 when the first lay principal was hired. The tradition of academic and spiritual excellence continues with an enrollment of 420 students in grades PreK-3 through seventh grade. St. Bernadette School (SBS) offers a variety of progressive programs that promote academic excellence, spiritual growth and service to the community in a safe, disciplined and nurturing environment. Dedicated faculty and staff seek to make successful learners of students resulting from high expectations, discovery learning, authentic assessment and the premise that all children can learn. A specialized program in language arts is offered to dyslexic students. The program allows for both individual and group remediation. SBS enhances curriculum with several enrichment classes for all students in grades PreK-4 through Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

seventh grade. These include physical education, Spanish, computer, library and music. The music curriculum, which features a piano lab, teaches music appreciation and vocal techniques to provide a high quality program for our school. Active participation in the school-wide Accelerated Reader program helps to spread the joy of reading while enhancing comprehension skills. In a continuous quest to raise standards and meet the needs of the school community a three-year old program was added in 2012, the first formal program of its type in the diocese. The program is approved by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. St. Bernadette School is fully committed to the spiritual formation of its children. In addition to daily religion classes traditional events such as the annual live Nativity, Seder Meal and living rosary all help to shape the Catholic identity of our school. Kindergarteners through seventh graders actively participate in weekly school liturgies. Students take ownership in their faith development by singing in our

school choir and fulfilling the role of different ministries for liturgies. Classes are scheduled monthly for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the parish chapel. Fifth through seventh graders are required to fulfill a number of annual service hours. In teaching the Gospel message St. Bernadette School offers students the opportunity to participate in many serviceoriented community projects throughout the school year which help to instill a spirit of dedication to serve the needs of others. The spiritual formation of our children is enhanced as we partner with the local food bank, the Louis Infant Center and the Kiwanis Club. SBS families also address the needs of our local community by adopting shut-ins for Christmas. Extracurricular activities that help to develop the whole child include an award-winning 4-H club, junior Beta club, library helpers, student jobs, school choir and guitar lessons. Participation in the National Geography Bee, DUKE University talent identification program, social studies fair, literary rally,


DARE and many other activities help to provide an exceptional educational experience for our students. With very generous support SBS has been able to continue to enhance technology within the school. All classrooms from PreK through seventh grade are equipped with SMART Boards. There is wireless Internet connectivity throughout the campus which is providing the opportunity to begin implementation of the use of iPads for instruction. The St. Bernadette family still lives the vision of the founding sisters. One needs only to walk the halls to experience the charisma of the Dominican community. Our children flourish in a spirit where Gospel values are infused into their school experience and where they know God’s love and can rejoice in the gifts of his spirit.

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Part Four Organizations, Institutions


Pontifical Mission Societies The Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) have existed in our diocese since it was established in 1977. According to Vatican II, the PMS whose central administration is in Rome must be given a central place in missionary cooperation. This one institution with four distinct branches has in common a primary and principal goal; to promote a spirit of universal mission among the People of God. Very Rev. Andrew Small, O.M.I., is the national director at the National Office in New York. From the conception of our diocese to now there have been three diocesan directors. The directors, having been associated with the missions in one capacity or another, brought to the people of our diocese their own unique experiences. The people in our diocese hear the urgency of their appeal and continue to respond 122 generously to the needs of our brothers and sisters in the poorer mission countries. The Society for the Propagation of the Faith is the most active of the four Pontifical Societies. This society receives its financial support from faithful, monthly donors, request for prayers through the Societies Memorial and Perpetual Memberships, and special designated gifts, Lenten and Christmas Appeals with the “General Fund” primarily from World Mission Sunday. Missionaries from various countries bring the missions to the people of our diocese through the Missionary Cooperation Plan. Beginning the Sunday after Easter to mid-September a small limited number of mission societies make “in person” appeals in our 40 churches. The Society of Missionary Childhood Association (MCA) the organization of “Children Helping Children,” was created to work with and for the poorest of the world’s children in the missions. MCA in this diocese receives its funds from the children of the diocese in our Catholic School and Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

our catechetical program. Father Robert continues personal visits to the schools thanking the children for their assistance and keeping them informed of how much their peers in the mission countries are in need of their prayers and of their financial assistance assuring them that no amount is too small. The Society of St. Peter the Apostle is “basically essential” to the church since it is the hope of the future of the church. Its income is derived primarily from the “Summer Appeal” via the Propagation of the Faith and its annual participation in the Missionary Cooperation Plan. In 1916 the Missionary Union of Priests and Religious was established. In fact, the success of the efforts of the other three

mission societies is linked to the vitality of the Missionary Union, because it is through this work that the missionary spirit – a spirit of prayer and generous sacrifice – is developed and nurtured. In addition some clergy and parishioners are taking it upon themselves to promote mission awareness by voluntarily setting up and assisting mission stations in countries such as Mexico, Guatemala, Haiti and also in Nicaragua. “Jesus is ‘the missionary of the Father’; each Christian is his witness. Let his voice proclaim the Gospel through us as we bring the good news of salvation to the ends of the earth” (To the Ends of the Earth, No. 75). All for the Greater Glory of God!

Cursillo Movement Cursillo, a powerful evangelizing movement within the Catholic Church, focuses on helping Catholics fulfill their baptismal responsibility to go forth as apostles and proclaim the Gospel by providing them with the necessary tools as well as the training to use those tools. The purpose of the Cursillo is to help a person to encounter self, encounter Christ and encounter others; to present to the candidates all that is fundamental for them to live their Christian life. The diocese has hosted about 115 weekends. When the Lumen Christi Retreat Center was built, we began having our weekends there. After the weekend experience, “tools of perseverance” are used to help participants remain focused on building a more Christian community. n Group reunion or small friendship groups of four or five people meet weekly to share and support each other in their daily

work, their faith and their family lives. They share their piety, apostolic actions and how they have grown in the Lord through prayers, study and reaching out to others. n The Ultreya is a larger weekly coming together of people who have made a weekend to share and witness how the Lord is working in their lives. At the present time the movement is on the down size. We’re working to build it up again. Father Roch Naquin, retired priest in our diocese, is the bishop’s representative to the Cursillo Movement. The diocesan team of spiritual advisors consists of Father Wilmer Todd, retired priest of the diocese, Father Carl Collins, pastor of St. Bernadette Church parish in Houma; Father Dean Danos, pastor of St. Genevieve Church parish in Thibodaux; and Deacon Michael Cantrelle. We welcome you, Bishop Shelton Fabre, to our diocese.

St. Charles the Roch Kateri Circle As a result of the diocesan Lay Ministry program in 2007, Indian Ways & Catholic Ways, St. Charles the Roch Kateri Circle was formed. The first members, who numbered about 28, met for the first time on Sept. 22, 2007, at the St. Charles Borromeo church meeting room. The circle was named “St. Charles the Roch Kateri Circle” and Father Roch Naquin was named as the spiritual director and remains in that position today. Currently, there are about 30 members (24 adults, four children ranging in age from three to six, and two teenagers) registered with the Tekakwitha Conference Office in Great Falls, MT. Some members attend the Tekakwitha Conference every year and bring back what they have learned to other members and the community. We begin every meeting with a smudging ceremony followed by the Saint Kateri Prayer; prayers are for the needs of all God’s

people. A potluck meal is enjoyed by all who attend, followed by the Kateri chaplet. We also study the life of Saint Kateri and books about Indian ways and culture by Father Patrick J. Twohy, which help Native Americans to become more informed about the sacraments, leadership and family. St. Charles the Roch Kateri Circle began celebrating a Native American Mass on Nov. 17, 2006. The Mass is now celebrated the Friday after Thanksgiving Day (National Native American Heritage Day). It has been held annually since 2006 with the bishop of the diocese presiding over the ceremony. In 2009, the diocese hosted a Native American Spirituality Workshop for the Holy Family, St. Charles the Roch Kateri Circles and anyone interested in attending. Guest speaker was Rev. Raymond Bucko, of the Society of Jesus religious order. He spoke

to participants about the Native American culture, religious symbols, native identity and inculturation. In September 2013, a second workshop was held with guest speaker Rev. John Hatcher, S.J. His talks further enhanced our understanding of what Father Raymond Bucko introduced on Native American leadership and inculturation. Members of the Kateri Circle are involved in service to the church and to the community. They are teachers, extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist, lectors, commentators, greeters, ushers, church cleaners, DREs, pastoral council members, finance committee members, yard maintenance workers and they perform any other tasks that are needed. Kateri Circle meetings are held on the fourth Saturday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Point-auxChenes.


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1125 Audubon Avenue • Thibodaux, LA 70301

(985) 448-1030



Society of St. Vincent de Paul The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an International Catholic Organization of lay persons, both men and women, that was founded in 1833 by Frederic Ozanam under the patronage of St. Vincent de Paul. It seeks in a spirit of charity and justice and by face to face involvement of its members to help those who are suffering or in need. It serves persons in need regardless of creed, opinion, color, caste or origin. Its members are called Vencentians. Vencentians seek to enhance their personal spirituality by helping the poor and needy. The Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux has a diocesan council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. The council consists of seven conferences from seven church parishes in the diocese. There are 39 church parishes in the Diocese of HoumaThibodaux. Our goal would be to have a conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in each of the 39 124 parishes in the diocese. We would welcome all those parishes that do not have a conference to join us in unity and solidarity to serve the poor and needy in our diocese. One of our special works is a Thrift Store located at 107 Point Street in Houma. Our store celebrated its 50th anniversary of service at that same location in September of this year. The store’s only funding is through individuals and companies who donate useable goods, such as furniture, appliances, household items or clothing, or who purchase items from the store. Donations and purchases enable us to help others in the community. Since the only income we receive is from the resale of donated items, your generosity is crucial to our existence and all proceeds from sales go directly to the poor and needy. The thrift store also works with the American Red Cross to provide clothing and household items to fire victims. Cases are also referred to us by church parishes and other social service agencies. A little known fact is that after Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, St. Vincent de Paul spent $236,000 on home repairs coordinated through TRAC Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

(Terrebonne Readiness Action Committee). We have also helped after other major hurricanes in our area. Another one of our special works is the Tri-Parish Pharmacy which is located at 7385 Main Street in Houma. The pharmacy began operation Sept. 25, 2001, and is currently open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 to 11 a.m. It is staffed completely by volunteers including screeners, pharmacists, pharmacy techs and those who help as needed. Since it opened in 2001, the pharmacy has provided 127,327 free prescriptions to over 5,000 clients at a retail value of $8,504,231.50. The Thrift Store pays all pharmacy expenses so that 100 percent of every donation can be

used to purchase vital medicine that is provided at no charge to clients who do not have prescription insurance, Medicare, Medicaid or veteran’s benefits and cannot afford to purchase their medicine. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul has also provided disaster relief for many victims in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. We have had several hurricanes in recent years after which we provided appliances, building materials, ramps, decks, food, clothing, clean-up materials and blankets. Most of those helped were unmet-needs victims, which are those that have exhausted all of their insurance, FEMA, Red Cross, etc. They had to depend on other non-profit or church organizations to get back in their homes.

Knights of Columbus Please be assured that the more than 4,000 members of the Knights of Columbus in the HoumaThibodaux diocese welcome you with all our hearts. The Knights of Columbus has been serving the Houma-Thibodaux area for over 100 years and we vow to continue to promote our principles of charity, unity, fraternalism and patriotism into the distant future. In the recent years, the members of local councils of the Knights of Columbus have donated time, money and spiritual support to Steubenville on the Bayou; the diocesan Seminarian Fund; local pro-life crisis pregnancy centers; the Special Olympics; and our own local parishes as well as many other worthy charities. We have been sponsoring youth activities such as soccer challenges; free throw contest; essay contest and a drug and alcohol poster awareness contest for the diocesan youth. One of our favorite programs is the Catholic Youth Leadership Award that is given at the local council, area and state levels. At a time, when so many terrible things

are said about our youth in the news today; we in the K of C would like to put a spot light on the good works and academic excellence of the youth in our diocese. The members of the Knights of Columbus have dedicated ourselves to Our Lady; and to that end councils in this area have promoted the Knights of Columbus “Silver Rose” program where a sliver rose travels throughout North America visiting local churches to promote pro-life efforts and finishes its journey at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Member of the Knights of Columbus in the 4th Degree are always willing and ready to serve as honor guards at certain Masses in our diocese. We do not do this as a way to promote ourselves—but as a way to show a special reverence and dedication to the Eucharist. The Knights of Columbus has been referred to as the “… right arm of the church.” In that spirit, we declare ourselves as your obedient servants and pledge our solidarity both to you and to the priests of our diocese.

Catholic Daughters of the Americas Under the patronage of the Blessed Mother, the Catholic Daughters of the Americas are united by their faith in Jesus Christ, in their devotion to the church and the Holy See. The Catholic Daughters of the Americas is one of the oldest and largest organizations of Catholic women in the Americas. Here in the Diocese of HoumaThibodaux the nine courts welcome Bishop Shelton Fabre to our area. We look forward to working with you for the good of the church. The mother court of the diocese is Court Cardinal Gibbons No. 177; followed by Court Anna Maria No. 993, Thibodaux; Court Massabielle No. 1134, Morgan City; Court Mary Pamela No. 1400, Raceland; Court Our Lady of Perpetual Help No. 1848, Houma; Court Pope Pius X No. 1883, Cut Off; Court Pere Denece No. 1891, Montegut; Court Bridget of Sweden No. 2461, Schriever; and Court Genevieve of Paris No. 2496, Thibodaux. Catholic Daughters donate to charities, administer scholarship programs and strive “to be helping hands where there is pain, poverty, sorrow or sickness.” The CDA motto is “Unity and Charity.” The organization was formed over 100 years ago and today numbers 75,000 dues-paying members in 1,250 courts (local chapters) in 45 states across the country, and in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. Catholic Daughter women enjoy each other’s company at meetings

and work hard for their parishes and communities. Deeply spiritual, together they share faith, love of God and a distinctly feminine spirituality alluded to by Pope John Paul II when he spoke of the necessity of “feminine genius” in today’s world. The program includes concerns of today’s church and society as well as issues that affect the

well-being of women and children. The Legislative Program encourages interested members to learn about laws that may influence their faith and to contact their state representatives to make their personal positions known through Operation Morning Star (The Catholic Daughters of the Americas does not endorse political candidates).

Peter Claver Auxiliary Court No. 145

The Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary Court No. 145 was organized on Jan. 26, 1969, with a group of 12 ladies. Presently the organization has 29 members. There are two remaining charter members in the organization. What a blessing! The Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary Court No. 145 is an organization whose purposes are to promote ideas of Claverism, render services to God and his holy church. The auxiliary promotes closer Christian relationship amongst its members. They faithfully observe friendship, unity and Christian charity. During our 44 years we have tried to and continue to live up to our motto; service through involvement in religious, civic and social activities within our church and community.

The Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary Court No. 145 presents a scholarship called the “Madeline Jackson Scholarship” to a qualifying high school graduate. Lady Madeline Jackson served as the court’s grand lady for 15 dedicated years. The Knights of Peter Claver 125 Ladies Auxiliary Court No. 145 also ancitipates to one day reinstate a Junior-Daughter court. The Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary Court No. 145 continuously invites any lady 18 years of age in good standing with the Catholic Church to inquire or apply for membership. Please see the Grand Lady or any member if you are interested. The Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary Court No. 145 continues today to be of service to God and our community.

HOLY ROSARY CATHOLIC SCHOOL Sends its heartfelt WELCOME and prayers to our new Bishop Shelton Fabre


Our Lady Star of the Sea In a humble beginning in 1970, a rosary group met weekly in neighborhood homes. The flood crisis of 1973 posed a serious threat to the area. During this crucial period when many were praying, the rosary group invoked fervent appeals to God through the intercession of Our Lady Star of the Sea. Their supplications were answered. The group’s efforts would be centered on fostering devotions to our Blessed Lady. On Aug. 22, 1979, Feast of the Queenship of Mary, (the late) Bishop Warren L. Boudreaux, First Bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux officially named the rosary group, “The Confraternity of Our Lady Star of the Sea.” The bishop made the decree public on Sept. 8, 1979. Pope John Paul II officially gave his apostolic blessing upon all members of the Confraternity. The Confraternity made the decision to place the entire area 126 under the protection of Our Lady Star of the Sea. They had a life size statue of Our Lady Star of the Sea carved from Carrera marble by the artist Salvi Giorgio of Carrera, Italy. Morgan City Mayor C.R. Brownell gave his full support and helped in many ways in assisting the group with the state highway right of way. Larry Bergeron aided the group by taking the job of preparing the foundation and pillar on which the statue would be placed. On July 27, 1975, the statue of Our Lady Star of the Sea was erected in Morgan City. Archbishop Philip M. Hannan of New Orleans dedicated the statue and placed the entire area under the protection of Our Lady Star of the Sea. On May 17, 1978, Bishop Boudreaux gave his permission to strike and distribute a medal in honor of Our Lady Star of the Sea. This was another step in furthering the efforts to promote dedication to Our Lady. One of the purposes of the Confraternity is to increase greater dedication to Mary under the title of Our Lady Star of the Sea. Devotion to the most Holy Rosary will be the powerful instrument Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

used by all members to accomplish this. Each year in the spring, the group along with many others in the community, join in prayer for nine days to petition Our Lady for her protection during the coming hurricane and flood season. Again in the fall prayers are offered by the faithful in thanksgiving for her protection from the perils of nature. Confraternity membership extends to many parts of the world throughout the United States. The areas of the world which have memberships are Canada, the Philippines, India, Finland, Nigeria and Ghana in West Africa.

The Confraternity is open to all practicing Catholics who are willing to follow the constitution that is outlined in the membership program. Our Lady Star of the Sea is patroness to seamen and those who make their living by the sea. All can pray to Our Lady when they sail the stormy seas of life. If you realize that in the rushing tide of this world you are bobbing about amid storms and tempests rather than walking on land … turn to the light of Our Lady Star of the Sea. Don’t get lost in the storms of life. Call on Mary!

Magnificat Magnificat is an international ministry to Catholic women, originally founded in New Orleans in 1981. It was established in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux as the Bayou River Chapter in 1991, and now has chapters throughout the world. The Magnificat ministry is appropriately dedicated to the Blessed Mother, and is inspired by the understanding that women are the “heart” of the home, and want to be in the heart of the church. Under the influence of the Holy Spirit, and loyal to the teachings of the Catholic Church, women can do much to build holy families and communities to nurture and reflect Christ’s love. Magnificat has promoted a community of faith-filled women through its prayer breakfasts which help provide opportunities to build bridges of understanding between various elements of the Christian community. We have shared the Gospel and explored different areas of Catholic spirituality, devotions and new faith experiences. Since its organization, the local Magnificat ministry has held over 60 prayer breakfasts, each one featuring a speaker who gave a

personal testimony of how God worked in his or her life. In addition to the breakfasts, Magnificat has offered retreats, teachings and workshops for women, co-sponsored the “True Love Rally” and helped bring the governor’s Program on Abstinence to our Tri-Parish area schools. In his Apostolic Letter on the Dignity and Vocation of Women, Pope John Paul II said that “many times in the Old Testament, in order to intervene in the history of his people, God addressed himself to women.” Providing the opportunity to hear God speak through the personal witness of many internationally known speakers has been one of the significant benefits of the Magnificat ministry, in addition to promoting and sharing the journey of faith and personal witness of many local women. The women of Magnificat join with the Diocese of HoumaThibodaux to welcome Bishop Shelton Fabre and pray that our Holy Mother Mary will bless and protect our diocese as we continue to “Proclaim the greatness of the Lord.”

Heart of Jesus Dominican Laity When Mother Mary Henry, O.P, established the Monastery of the Heart of Jesus in Lockport, her ultimate dream was to see the Dominican vocation extended to a laity chapter. In 2000, a small group of inquirers gathered in response to her invitation. Today, we number 24 active and professed Lay Dominicans in addition to 13 prayer partners and numerous inquirers. We perceive our calling to the laity as a real God-given, Maryblessed, and Dominican-called vocation to preach the word of God. Our members come from several church parishes, but we are united in very active participation in evangelism through multiple missions throughout the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. We share with our pastors in numerous and welcomed duties, from eucharistic visitations to the sick and homebound to leadership in the CCD education of our children and in RCIA to the adults yearning to share our faith. We embrace our privilege of close association with our Dominican nuns who have supported us these 13 years with their love and prayers. At our monthly meetings, we try to address the four pillars of the Dominican charism: prayer, study, preaching and community. A topic of some pertinent area of instruction is presented to the group for study and ultimately to be shared with

family and acquaintances. In this, we treasure our association with our province of St. Martin de Porres, particularly the Dominican Chapter in New Orleans who led us through our first year. We also acknowledge the sacrifices of Annette Bourgeois who for two years attended that chapter’s meetings before our chapter, the

Heart of Jesus Dominican Laity of Lockport, began. We ask you, Bishop Shelton Fabre, to include our chapter and our Dominican nuns, in your prayers and intentions. We extend an open invitation to you to visit us and to pray and preach with us at every opportunity your busy schedule allows.

Come, Lord Jesus! Come, Lord Jesus! groups would like to extend a warm welcome to you, Bishop Fabre! Come, Lord Jesus! is a Bible study and so much more! It is a program that establishes small faith communities which foster discipleship and a strong Catholic spiritual intimacy among its members and with Jesus Christ. One’s knowledge and love of Jesus continue to grow through active participation in the group. Divinely inspired and uniquely designed, Come, Lord Jesus! is based on Acts 2:42 which states, “They devoted themselves to the teaching of the Apostles, and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers.” This format offers a powerful and effective method of bringing active Bible study into the lives of

Catholics as it links the truth of Scripture with Sacred Tradition. It creates an atmosphere of prayer and helps to develop an awareness of the divine presence as well as nurtures an ardent desire for God. Come, Lord Jesus! is a program that was developed in the Diocese 127 of Lafayette, Louisiana, in the late 1960s by Father Conley Bertrand, a parish priest. Using the four elements of prayer, Scripture, Eucharist, and Christian community this program is a perfect model for the New Evangelization. Members grow in knowledge of the teachings of the Catholic Church through the study of the Catechism, learn to witness their faith, gain a deeper appreciation of the Sunday liturgy and are inspired to live out the Gospel message.

ANAWIM COMMUNITY - WOMEN’S VOCATION GROUP Our prayers are with you Bishop Shelton Fabre. May the Lord bless the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux with the abundance of men and women answering their vocation call to the priesthood or religious life.


Creator God, Life is your gift to me, Through Baptism, you invite me to share the gift of my life in service to others. Be with me as I choose each day to show Your presence in our world. Give me the courage and generosity to respond to Your love, to Your call. I pray especially for those who serve You as priests, brothers, sisters, deacons and lay ministers. Keep them close to you. Open the minds and hearts of many other men and women that they may accept Your challenge to build the Kingdom. Amen. ~Roseann Kasayka, OSF


St. Joseph Manor, Thibodaux

St. Joseph Manor is a retirement community in Thibodaux that offers both independent and assisted living. The Manor opened in May 1995. It is a private, nonprofit corporation licensed by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, which operates independently under the umbrella of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. The Manor was Msgr. Francis J. Amedee’s vision. The Manor currently has 62 residents living in 20 studio apartments, 32 onebedroom apartments and four twobedroom apartments. Residents must 62 years or older and meet certain medical criteria. The Manor employs a staff of 31 – 18 full-time and 13 part-time employees. Some of the base services for residents include three meals a day in the dining room, 24 hour front desk monitoring, an emergency call system, video surveillance, weekly housekeeping and flat linen services, laundry facilities, weekly 128 transportation to public facilities and medical appointments, and a wellness center with exercise equipment, blood pressure checks and a barber/beauty shop. The Manor provides residents numerous opportunities for social interaction such as birthday parties, bingo, fitness classes, and excursions around town. The facility has a multipurpose room with a large screen television and a library. Residents also have the opportunity to attend daily Mass, celebrated by Msgr. Donald Ledet who resides at the Manor, in the on-site chapel and participate in adoration and a rosary group. Furthermore, St. Joseph Manor is expanding it’s services. The Board of Directors has announced that plans are being finalized for the development of Cardinal Place, a new residential development that will serve independent residents 55 and older who are interested in maintenance free living. It was the Board’s vision to have a place where people in the ThibodauxHouma area, who wanted to live independently, could do so in modern apartment homes. There is nothing like Cardinal Place in the

Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

region and this will fill a true need in the area. Cardinal Place will be located on Cardinal Drive and will include one and two-bedroom apartments, all with balconies or patios in a two or three-story building with elevators and covered parking. The first phase of Cardinal Place will include 24 apartments. St. Joseph Manor’s caring, dedicated staff fosters the Gospel message of ‘love of God and love of neighbor’ by providing a caring Christian community where all residents are treated with the

greatest respect of their dignity, individuality, and their right to privacy. The administrator and staff firmly believe that life is a precious gift from God at every stage from birth to natural death and they promote quality of life for all residents. Members of the board of directors are Msgr. Amedee, executive director; Jerald Block, president; Carol Gaudet, vice-president; Francis Thibodeaux, secretary/ treasurer; Dr. Maria Cruse, Marty Edlefsen and Bill Hochstetler.

Holy Family Kateri Circle In 1992, Dr. Marian Schwab called Pierre and Mary Solet to ask them to attend the annual Kateri Tekakwitha Conference in Orono, ME. After they returned from this conference, the first Kateri Circle in Louisiana was formed with Father Roch Naquin and Dr. Marian Schwab’s guidance. However, it wasn’t until after the 1993 Tekakwitha Conference in Seattle, WA, that we, the Holy Family Kateri Circle, officially became a Kateri Circle through the Tekakwitha Conference Office and our relationship with the Tekakwitha Conference and Black and Indian Missions Office began. Our charter members are Father Roch Naquin, Pierre and Mary Solet, Peter and Kathy Verdin and Theresa Dardar. After a few meetings in the church’s rectory, we decided to meet in different members’ homes and have the members bring their favorite dish to the meeting. After several years, we began meeting on the two different bayous especially since there were more members. The meetings were then held one month in Pointe-aux- Chenes and one month in Grand Caillou/Dulac. After the 1993 Tekakwitha Conference in Seattle, WA, we decided to have a Kateri Mass at Holy Family Church. The first annual Kateri Tekakwitha

liturgical celebration was held at Holy Family Church in Dulac Friday, July 8, 1994. The Kateri Mass was followed with a reception in Fourcade Hall next door to the church. There were 125 people in attendance at the celebration that evening. Father Roch was the only priest in attendance. Since the first annual Kateri liturgical celebration, the attendance has increased considerably. This year was our 20th year of celebrating this event at Holy Family. We celebrate the feast of St. Kateri Tekakwitha every year in July on the Friday before her feast day or on her feast day if it falls on a Friday. Msgr. Paul Lenz, past director of the Black and Indian Missions Office, Father Wayne Paysse, current director, and Sister Kateri Mitchell, director of the Tekakwitha Conference in Montana have attended the Kateri Tekakwitha Liturgical Celebration in the past. Most of our members attend the Tekakwitha Conference every year and bring back what we learn to our community. We meet monthly and have fundraisers during the year to assist members in attending the Tekakwitha Conference and to support our church parish. We are the only the Kateri Circle to have a Kateri Tekakwitha Liturgical Celebration in Louisiana.

Catholic Charismatic Renewal The Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) began February 1967 at Duquesne University. Some college students on retreat prayed, “God, give us an experience of the graces we received at baptism and confirmation.” The Lord answered their prayer! They received what is known as “Baptism in the Holy Spirit.” Their lives were transformed! This experience of the Holy Spirit has spread like fire! The CCR is now present in more than 200 countries. It has touched over 120,000,000 Catholic lives. The fire of the Holy Spirit spread to the Houma-Thibodaux diocese in the early 1970s. Since then, the diocesan Charismatic Renewal continues to bring the grace of Pentecost to the church through “Life in the Spirit Seminars” (LSS), prayer meetings, healing services and teachings. We seek to bring people into a personal relationship with Jesus, hunger for holiness and

sacramental life, and openness to the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We are currently hosting a monthly prayer meeting at Lumen Christi from 6:30-8:30 p.m. These nights include praise, worship, gifts of the Holy Spirit, adoration and personal prayer ministry. All are invited! The diocesan team promotes LSS in home settings through the program “As By A New Pentecost.” People are experiencing the love of the Holy Spirit in small community settings. Many are being touched by God! Days of renewal and LSS in church parishes are available and adapted to meet individual parish needs in evangelization. Kerry Bueche, lay Catholic evangelist, currently hosts a Bible Study, Tuesday mornings from 9:30-11:30 a.m. and Nights of Teaching/Ministry, Tuesday nights at 7 p.m., both at St. Anthony of Padua Church parish in Bayou

Welcome Bishop Fabre

Thomassie Construction, Inc.

Black. Our Lady of Prompt Succor Adoration Chapel, Upper Little Caillou, hosts a prayer meeting, Thursday nights, 6:30-8:30 p.m., rosary, praise, worship, gifts of the Holy Spirit, adoration and prayer ministry. Marian Servants of the Word, Thibodaux, offer teachings, spiritual direction and a Charismatic Mass on the second Sunday of the month at 9:30 a.m. at St. John the Evangelist Church in Thibodaux. Our Lady of Prompt Succor Church parish in Chackbay hosts healing Masses. All are fruits of the Spirit through the CCR in our diocese! For information on diocesan programs or current prayer groups, contact Denise Beyer, liaison/coordinator CCR/H-T, at or (985) 868-3294.

We celebrate your appointment as our new spiritual leader. We welcome you into our homes and hearts.

general contracting ~ project manager

104 Saint Peter Road Thibodaux, LA 70301

(985) 446-8033

Office of Building and Construction



Marian Servants of the Word Marian Servants of the Word is an association that practices a Rule of Life aimed at members’ growth in holiness, obedience and service. The spirituality of the Marian Servants entails devotion to the Holy Spirit and an openness to the manifestation gifts of the Spirit; devotion to Mary, the Mother of God, the model of their spirituality and apostolic ministry;

and loyalty to the Holy Father and the Magisterium of the Church. Servants foster the spiritual works of mercy. One focus, reflected in the local group’s name, is that on the Word of God in Scripture. A method the community promotes is praying with Scripture and following the Rules of Discernment of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Certified spiritual directors, besides accompanying others on their faith journeys, also are available to lead members and non-members in various forms of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises—which encourages praying with God’s Word. Marian Servants’ Rule of Life encourages praying the Divine Office morning and evening, daily Scripture meditation, praying the rosary, attendance at daily Mass whenever possible, receiving the sacrament of reconciliation monthly, and interceding before the Blessed Sacrament for the whole world. Members staff their House of Prayer at 506 Cardinal Drive in

Thibodaux from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. weekdays. Morning prayer, the rosary, and the Divine Mercy chaplet are recited at specified times during the day. Anyone is invited to join staffers in their chapel. A Holy Spirit Mass is celebrated by chaplain Father Michael Bergeron on the second Sunday of each month at St. John the Evangelist Church in Thibodaux, sponsored by the Marian Servants. Prayer ministry follows the Mass. The local association was founded by Dr. Bonnie Bourg, now director emerita, in 1996; current director is Claire Domangue Joller of Houma, and associate, Sally Sobert of Thibodaux. Louisiana native Diane Brown founded the original community, Marian Servants of Divine Providence in Clearwater, FL, in the 1980s. Twelve communities have grown in the United States since then. Membership is open to diocesan Catholics who commit to the Rule of Life for a year at a time.


Kaycee Ladies Auxiliaries In the Diocese of HoumaThibodaux there are a number of Kaycee Ladies Auxiliaries, whose purpose is to assist the Knights of Columbus Councils in promoting good fellowship through religious, community and social activities. Some of these activities which are sponsored by the knights and supported by the ladies are: Pro-Life Mass, vocation Masses, monthly rosaries, retreats, youth sports events and activities, Columbus Day banquets, youth essay contest, benefit dinners, “Keep Christ in Christmas” promotion and many others. The president of the individual auxiliaries may present a “Sister of the Month” and a “Sister of the Year” award to a member who has been outstanding in helping her auxiliary. In addition to this, the auxiliaries have the opportunity to join the Louisiana Ladies Auxiliary Association (LLAA). This association is organized to assist Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

in promoting the welfare of the Knights of Columbus – to unite, enhance spiritual growth and sociability among members and to engage in charitable and civic endeavors; (for example: funds for seminarians, scholarships, aid to needy families, donations to the military, etc.) and to organize in faith, friendship and service The LLAA has four annual meetings which are hosted by different auxiliaries throughout the state. In addition to all the projects, there are many activities in which the members are encouraged to participate. An annual bake taste contest, card tournament and bowling tournament are a few of the social events that provide entertainment and fellowship among the members. Also every year a nun, seminarian and deacon of the year are chosen from the entries sent in by the member auxiliaries. An eighth grade boy and girl, nominated by individual

auxiliaries, are recognized for all their accomplishments. All of these winners are presented at the installation of officers Mass and banquet, along with the Auxiliary of the Year and Lady of the Year. The auxiliaries of this diocese are very helpful to the Knights of Columbus and at the end of their installation ceremony, the president is reminded “May the activities of this auxiliary under your leadership be such that will enhance the brilliance of this flame and do nothing that might cast any shadows or reflections on the Knights of Columbus.”

Catholic Committee on Scouting Scouting is an effective way to help Catholic youths to do their duty to God and to their country. Scouting builds character and teaches devotion to God in an environment that provides wholesome fun under the guidance of strong adult role models. The Scouting programs provide a wonderful channel to involve youth in the life of Catholic Church parishes. Young people experience Scouting as a growth into personal maturity and social responsibility. They learn to assume their role in life with a high degree of commitment and to care for others who are less fortunate. They develop a strong desire to build a culture of goodwill, respect for the environment and acceptance of duties. The National Catholic Committee on Scouting速 is a church committee of concerned Catholic lay people and clergy who see as their mission the constructive use of the program of the Boy Scouts of America as a viable form of youth ministry with the Catholic youth of our nation. Within the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, we have our own Catholic Committee on Scouting (CCS), made up mostly of Scouting volunteers, which meets bi-monthly in order to bring the Catholic aspect of Scouting to Scouting as a whole. The Catholic Committee on Scouting for the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux has sponsored a diocesan-wide Scout Sunday program for the past three years as well as retreats, Good Friday pilgrimages, and Cub Scout days of reflection. Through these events and with the help of parents, leaders, counselors and clergy, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers are able to work toward age appropriate religious emblems. Religious emblems can take as few as two to three months for the younger Scouts to complete to as long as 12-18 months for the older Scouts to complete. The emblems program helps the Scout to mature in his or her Catholic faith while growing closer to Jesus through various readings and activities. These emblems are given out during the Diocesan Scout Mass held annually, usually at the end of April to midMay. Either the bishop or the CCS Chaplain, Very Rev. Joshua Rodrigue, S.T.L., has presided during the annual emblems Mass.

St. John The Evangelist Church joyfully welcomes Bishop Shelton Fabre as shepherd of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux 131

Welcome and best wishes to Bishop Shelton Fabre our new spiritual shepherd 1297 St. Charles Street, Suite H Houma, LA 70360



Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary Court No. 338 The Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary Father John A. McShane Court No. 338 is affiliated with St. Lucy’s Catholic Church parish and was organized in June 1995 with the initiation of eight ladies from the parish. KPC Father John McShane Council No. 338 was already established. After establishing our local court we transferred over Ladies of St. Lucy’s church who were members of St. Luke Court in Thibodaux, to increase our membership to 12. Court and Council 338 then proceeded to establish a Junior Knight Branch and Junior Daughter Court that flourished until that group of young people finished high school. The Junior Knight Branch ceased and to this date the Knights have not reestablished the Junior Knights for 338. The Knights and Ladies of 338 are members of District II in the State of Louisiana. The Knights, Ladies and Junior Daughters are active

Legion of Mary Peace and welcome to the Diocese of HoumaThibodaux. The Legion of Mary – Our Mother of Perpetual Help Presidium – had its beginning in 1963 at St. Gregory 132 Barbarigo Church parish. At present, we are four active members strong and we have an auxiliary membership list of 40 men and women who undertake to give the legion the assistance of their prayers. Our active group meets every Tuesday at 10 a.m. to pray the rosary seeking our blessed Mother’s help in pursuing the work of evangelization. Each week we do home visitations of any kind. We visit two assisted-living homes in Houma – the Terrebonne House and the Homestead. We pray the rosary with each group. These nursing home visits are very rewarding on both sides of the spectrum. Sometimes saying “goodbye” is very hard to do. Bringing holy Communion to the sick or shut-ins is truly very rewarding work. True friends are made. We have reaped benefits untold. We have gone into St. Gregory Barbarigo Elementary School reaching out to the fourth and seventh grades, passing out rosaries and teaching them how to pray the rosary. Praying for confirmation candidates was our way of supporting them on their journey to the Holy Spirit. In the month of August, we gave to each student at the school a miraculous medal in celebration of her assumption. My group is always ready to recite the rosary at wakes or funerals. At one time we prepared sandwiches for the family gathering after the funeral. Transporting those in need to Mass, CCD, doctor’s appointments, shopping for groceries, etc., has been part of our work with the Legion of Mary. We look forward to meeting you and we pray for your success in shepherding the flock of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

in the church through ministries of lectors, eucharistic ministers, ushers, altar servers, serving meals to sick and shut ins on a monthly basis and choir. We also serve on the pastoral council and finance committee. Through active fundraisers our court has donated funds to the church’s building fund, purchased new folding chairs for the McShane Center and established the Lady Rita Hutchinson Scholarship Fund (in memory of one of our deceased Ladies who was an educator in the Terrebonne Parish School system) in the amount of $500 which is awarded to a Junior Daughter graduating from high school. Our court also hosts an annual food drive in November to donate to the Food Bank. In December of each year we plan a Christmas dinner/dance for members of our court and invite our Brother Knights. Our Court also sends delegates to attend the Louisiana State Conference as well as National Conventions annually. Court No. 338 currently has a membership of 34 Ladies who with the grace of the Holy Spirit express the beliefs and traditions of our patron St. Peter Claver through a passion for righteousness and consciousness of duty to God, our church family and the parish of Terrebonne. Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary – Father John A. McShane Court No. 338

Anawim Women’s Vocations Group Anawim, a women’s vocation group in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, consists of Catholic women who are concerned about vocations to the priesthood, as well as vocations of men and women religious. The group addresses this situation by actively joining together in prayer and in service to today’s religious community. Anawim (formerly known as the Theresians), was founded in 1967 by the late Bishop Gerard L. Frey of Lafayette, who at the time was serving as pastor of St. Francis de Sales Church parish in Houma. The group received its charter in January 1967. The original purpose of the organization was to encourage, promote and support religious vocations to the Sisterhood. In keeping with the expanding

Knights of Peter Claver Father J.P. Van Baast Assembly No. 23 was chartered in 1976 in Napoleonville in the diocese of Baton Rouge, with a membership of 14. Since then, we have increased our membership to 29 Sir Knights. We are Knights that span from six civil parishes, St. John, Assumption, St. James, Lafourche, Terrebonne and Ascension. During our years of meritorious service, we have grown together to exhibit our presence in each of the areas we represent. Our act of charity and love for community consists of preparing food baskets for needy families during the Christmas season, sponsoring the youth in our areas with monetary assistance to attend both local and national annual conventions and to give both financial and physical assistance to the youth annual state picnic. Every year the assembly presents a scholarship in the amount of $500 to a needy student who wishes to attend college; we also assist families in destitute situations. Spiritually, our assembly currently has one priest, two permanent deacons and one Papal Medal recipient as members. In our dedication to our faith and love of God, we remain faithful to Christ Our Lord through Catholic Action. Over the years Father J.P. Van Baast Assembly No. 23 has remained dedicated to its commitment as worker of Catholic Action through love of church, family and community. Each year we make our presence at homes of the elderly, visit the sick and shut ins and have a Mass once a year where we remember our deceased Sir Knights and their families. Even though our assembly spans over two dioceses, (Diocese of Baton Rouge and Diocese of HoumaThibodaux), we remain committed to our service to God and our fellow man.

roles of the laity since Vatican Council II, the group’s updated declaration of purpose states: “We are to foster appreciation, encourage, promote and support the vocation of the Christian women in all facets of life; in the religious life and in the lay state, both married and single.” Vocations to the priesthood, permanent diaconate and religious Brotherhood also share in the group’s prayers. Members promise to pray one hour a week for vocations; and when called upon the group assists with projects that promote vocation awareness. The group gathers together before the Blessed Sacrament at the Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales to pray a holy hour each month, except during the summer. Members receive a schedule of dates and times of the Holy Hours. The Anawim community is privileged to sponsor a Spring Banquet each year which affords members the opportunity to honor priests and religious brothers and sisters who are celebrating silver and golden jubilees in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. At this event the members present a burse to the bishop for the seminarians. Any woman wishing to join us in prayer is welcome. Contact Evelyn Ruckstuhl at (985)868-5625 for information. 133

St. Louis Catholic Church welcomes Bishop Shelton J. Fabre and offers prayers for his ministry

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Part Five Diocesan Offices


Diocesan Offices

Diocesan Departments The diocesan Pastoral Center for the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, where the central operations of the diocese take place, is located on Highway 311 in Schriever. It houses many of the services of the diocese, including most of the Department of Administration Ministries, the Department of Formation Ministries, the Department of Clergy and Religious, and the Conference Office. Catholic Charities Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, which comprises most of the Department of Social Ministries, is housed in the original Chancery building at 1220 Aycock Street in Houma. The Cemeteries Office and the Archives and Historical Research Center are both housed in Thibodaux. Lumen Christi Retreat Center is housed behind the Pastoral Center in Schriever. 136

Department of Clergy and Religious Very Rev. Jay L. Baker, V.G. is coordinator of the Department of Baker Clergy and Religious. As department coordinator he oversees the Office of Vocations and Seminarians. Additionally in consultation with the bishop he deals in all matters concerning clergy and religious serving in the diocese.

Department of Formation Ministries Louis G. Aguirre is coordinator for the Department of Formation MinisAguirre tries and director of the Office of Communications. In his capacity as department coordinator, Aguirre supervises the directors of all offices within this department. Those offices include: Bayou Catholic, Campus Ministry, Catholic Schools, Child and Youth Protection, Communications, Grants, Hispanic Ministry, Family Ministries, New Evangelization, Pastoral Services, Religious Education, Worship, Young Adult Ministry and Youth Ministry. Aguirre is also the editor and general manager of the Bayou Catholic, a monthly Catholic magazine distributed to every church in the diocese and many businesses.

Department of Administration Ministries Glenn J. Landry Jr., CPA, CDFM, CGMA, is coordinator for Landry the Department of Administration Ministries and director of the Office of Finance and Accounting. In his capacity as coordinator Landry supervises the directors of offices in this department. Those offices include: Accounting, Business and Finance, Building and Construction, Cemeteries, Computer Operations, Human Resources/Employee Benefits, Legal Services, Property, Casualty and Liability Insurance, and Stewardship and Development.

Department of Social Ministries Deacon Jim Swiler is the coordinator for the Department of Social Ministries, which includes Swiler Archives and Historical Research Center, Catholic Campaign for Human Development, Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Charities, Conference Office, Diocesan Disaster Services and Lumen Christi Retreat Center.

The families of

St. Lawrence the Martyr parish and St. James Mission Chapel congratulate and welcome

Bishop Shelton J. Fabre

to the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

Deacon Brent Bourgeois

Glenn G. Blair

Father Wilmer Todd

Jill A. Little-Walker, R.N.

Rev. Tim Lopez


Executive Director


Administrator Director of Nursing




Our Philosophy on Hospice Care Includes:

• Allowing the patient to continue seeing their physicians. • Providing the medications, supplies (diapers, nutritional supplements) and all medical equipment. • Providing care for those who suffer from: Heart, Liver, and Kidney Disease, Dementia, Cancer, and other chronic illnesses. • Providing Crisis Care for patients and their caregivers who experience symptoms that are related to the patient’s disease process. • Providing hospice care for patients while at home, in assisted livings, nursing homes and hospitals. • Our services are paid by Medicare, Medicaid, Private Insurance, or our indigent program. • We continue medications and nutritional supplements while on our service. • Our patients are allowed to be admitted to a hospital for symptom management. • We use RN’s and LPN’s for our nursing care, along with CNA’s, Social Workers, Chaplains, and Volunteers. • We provide bereavement for no less than a year following a patient’s passing. • Along with our Medical Director, we work with the patient’s physician to provide the best continuity of care for the patient.

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Diocesan Offices

Catholic Charities offers 20 programs By ROB GORMAN Welcome, Bishop Fabre. You are the president of the Board of Directors for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux (CCHT), which administers 20 charity and justice programs. We are certified under the national Standards for Excellence. CCHT is recognized as a leader in social services and a respected voice for social justice. The mission of CCHT is “Providing compassionate service to people in need through fidelity to the Gospel.” Our vision is “To provide compassionate service to people in need, promote Catholic Social Teaching, advocate for those whose voice is not heard, organize people 138 who feel powerless to improve their lives, and call the entire church, and all people of good will, to establish a more just society.” The US Catholic Bishops asked in their 1998 pastoral Everyday Christianity, A Reflection on Lay Discipleship for Justice in a New Millennium: How do we connect worship on Sunday to work on Monday? How is the Gospel proclaimed not only in the pulpits of our parishes, but also in the everyday lives of Catholic people? How does the church gathered on the Sabbath act as the people of God scattered and active every day of the week? How can we best carry the values of our faith into family life, the market place and the public square? How do we love our neighbor, pursue peace and seek justice in everyday choices and commitments? At Catholic Charities, these are the questions we are working to answer as we try to connect each of our programs to the parishes of our diocese. We believe that the parish is where the church lives and that our parishes can become communities that are the salt of the earth and the light of the world Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013























(Matthew 5). Our job is to help parishioners know that each of us has something to give and that we can make a difference in the lives of our neighbors, both here and throughout the world. This is illustrated through a story from our Foster Grandparent Program. While going through orientation, Ms. Ella expressed the fear that

with her lack of a high school education she did not think she would be a good Foster Grandparent. She was encouraged to give the process a chance because “everyone has something to give.” After orientation she was placed at Pointe-auxChenes Elementary School. During one of our site visits the school principal stated that she needed to share something with the


Foster Grandparent staff. She said that Ms. Ella was assigned to Johnny, a kindergartener. Johnny was very withdrawn and didn’t speak. Ms. Ella mentored him for six months, but Johnny still refused to speak. On an early rainy spring morning Ms. Ella was talking to Johnny but his eyes were fixed on the window. After quite some time Johnny looked at Ms. Ella and said “Momo, look! It’s raining outside!” Well that brought tears to Ms. Ella’s eyes and to the teacher’s eyes. The teacher ran to the office to tell the principal. During that same visit Ms. Ella related the story to our staff as well. She went on to say that she had been praying for God to give her a sign that what she was doing in the Foster Grandparent Program was making a difference. When God answered her prayer she almost fainted. As Ms. Ella embraced the Foster Grandparent staff she began to cry. When she was able to speak again she said, “Now I know I have something to give.” Catholic Charities administers the following programs:

Adoptions, Maternity and Reunion Counseling; Assisi Bridge House and Independent Living; Catholic Campaign for Human Development; Catholic Community Center; Catholic Housing Services; Catholic Relief Services; C.E.N.T.S Micro Enterprise (Coastal Entrepreneurs’ Net To Success); Diocesan Disaster Services; Matthew 25, Individual and Family Assistance, Project Self-Help; St. Christopher Safe Automobile; Foster Grandparents; Good Samaritan Food Banks; Parish Social Ministry; St. Lucy Child Development Center and Prison Ministry. We look forward to working with you Bishop Fabre to help everyone know that they have something to give. Catholic Charities Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux staff includes Robert D. Gorman, executive director; Germaine Jackson, director for social services; Jennifer Gaudet, associate director, individual and family assistance; Tim Sullivan, associate director, parish social ministry.

Assisi Bridge House staff includes Brother John Olsen, C.F.X., associate director; Monique V. Albarado and Billy Degeyter, counselors; Donna Hebert, secretary; and Walter McIntyre, night manager. Paula Dawson-Ringo is associate director for Catholic Housing Services. Van Johnson is associate director, and Allice Williams is administrative assistant for the Foster Grandparent Program. Melodia Benoit and Reynold Pitre are managers of the Good Samaritan Food Banks. Susan Terrebonne and Kristen Callais are managers of the Catholic Community Center. Brooks Lirette is program manager for the C.E.N.T.S. Micro Enterprise Program. Danielle Davis is center manager of St. Lucy Child Development Center. Deacon Brent Bergeron is a prison minister for Prison Ministry. Wanda Dugas is office manager; and Dia Blanchard and Mary Gautreaux are receptionists.

The parish staff of

Our Lady of the Rosary, Larose

would like to welcome Bishop Shelton J. Fabre to the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux


Diocesan Offices

Office of Tribunal

The Office of Tribunal of the Diocese of HoumaThibodaux began operation in June 1977, with Msgr. John Newfield as Cortez the judicial vicar and one full-time secretary/notary. Msgr. William Koninx soon became the judicial vicar and took over the much needed DeLa Cruz improvements and organization of the Tribunal Office. In 1983, the Holy Father promulgated the revised Code of Canon Law replacing the old Code of Canon Law Songe that was published in 1917.  140 The years that followed were years of great progress and efficiency in the operation of the Tribunal Office. The incorporation of computers and other automated office equipment closed the gap in the backlog of cases tremendously. During this period, Msgr. Albert Bergeron became the judicial vicar of the diocese and he continued the improvements that Msgr. Koninx started. At that time, the Tribunal Office was operating under the Interdiocesan Tribunal System wherein a diocese in the province takes a

neighboring diocese as its Appeal Court. The Tribunal of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux became the Court of Second Instance for the Diocese of Baton Rouge and viceversa. By 1991, there were four courts (a.k.a. “turnus,” sing.; “turni,” plu.) handling all matrimonial cases in the Tribunal. The year 1991 also ushered a change in the tribunal system in the Province of New Orleans. At the request of Archbishop Schulte, the Apostolic Signatura abolished the Interdiocesan Tribunal System and replaced it with the Metropolitan System, making the Archdiocese of New Orleans the Court of Second Instance – Appeal Court of all dioceses in the Province of New Orleans which includes the Dioceses of Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Houma-Thibodaux, Lake Charles, Alexandria and Shreveport. During this time, the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, one of the Curial offices in the Vatican that supervises the administration of Tribunals in the whole world, requested all bishops to apply for an indult (permission) if they had non-degreed personnel in their Tribunal. Bishop Warren L. Boudreaux complied with the request and the diocese received the indult for all judges and defenders of the bond on Sept. 16, 1992. However, the granting of the indult by the Vatican carried with it a condition, i.e., that Bishop Boudreaux would send a priest to

Sacred Heart Parish, Cut Off is delighted to join with all the people of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux in welcoming Bishop Shelton Fabre Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

study and obtain a degree in Canon Law. In July 1992, in compliance with the request of the Apostolic Signatura, Bishop Boudreaux appointed Father Vicente DeLa Cruz, associate pastor at St. Genevieve Church parish in Thibodaux, for studies of Canon Law at St. Paul University, Ottawa, Canada, the only Pontifical University in North America. In 1994 Father DeLa Cruz obtained his ecclesiastical licentiate in Canon Law from St. Paul University and his master’s in Canon law from Ottawa University. Upon his return to the diocese that same year, Father DeLa Cruz was appointed judicial vicar of the diocese and director of the Tribunal by the newly installed Bishop. At the beginning of his term, Very Rev. DeLa Cruz, J.V., requested the Apostolic Signatura to renew the original indults given to officials of the Tribunal in order that they continue to administer justice in the diocese. The Apostolic Signatura responded by renewing the said indults “for an indefinite period of time” and appointing the defenders of the bond as promoters of justice in the diocese as well. Very Rev. DeLa Cruz, J.V., also started a program to train lay advocates to assist priests, deacons and religious with the preparation and presentation of petitions involving invalid marriages. In 1999, Very Rev. DeLa Cruz, J.V., was elected president of


We welcome you with every best wish and blessing. St. Andrew Catholic Church Amelia, LA

the Conference of Chancery & Tribunal Officials of the Provinces of New Orleans and Mobile (CCTO), the oldest regional conference of the Canon Law Society of America (CLSA) in the country. That year our diocese hosted the 48th annual convention of the Conference of the Chancery and Tribunal Officials of the Provinces of New Orleans and Mobile. Approximately 100 participants came to this convention. Ten years later in 2009, Very Rev. DeLa Cruz, J.V., was again elected president of the CCTO and the diocese hosted the 58th conference of the CCTO with 80 people from the two provinces in attendance. The last five years of the last century were difficult for the Tribunals of the province. The change in the tribunal system, plus the lack of degreed personnel slowed the processing of cases involving invalid marriages. Overwhelmed by the backlog of cases and the delays in the processing of judged cases, the judicial vicars of the six dioceses in the province petitioned their

respective bishops to do something to resolve the growing problem. The bishops of the province discussed the problem and in 2001, Archbishop Schulte decided to divide the Metropolitan Tribunal of New Orleans into two sections, the Court of First Instance to handle local cases and the Court of Second Instance – Appeal Court, to handle cases from the six dioceses. A new judicial vicar of the archdiocese was appointed to head the Court of First Instance and an adjutant judicial vicar was appointed to head the Appeal Court. Currently, there are two judges and one defender of the bond functioning in the Matrimonial Court of First Instance in the Tribunal of our Diocese, viz. Very Rev. DeLa Cruz and Very Rev. Jay Baker, V.G., and Very Rev. Danny Poche, V.F., respectively.  In 2012, Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans and head of the Metropolitan Tribunal of New Orleans, appointed the Very Rev. Peter O. Akpoghiran, J.C.D., as the new judicial vicar of New Orleans and the Court of Second Instance

returning the metropolitan system to its previous set-up. The Tribunal Office staff includes Very Rev. Vicente DeLa Cruz, judicial vicar; Veronica Songe, assessor/assistant director; and Angela Cortez, secretary.



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Diocesan Offices

Office of Seminarians “The formation of future priests ... is considered by the church one of the most demanding and important tasks for the future Smith evangelization of humanity” (Blessed John Paul II, I Will Give You Shepherds, No. 2) Every priest is ordained with a passion for Christ, Toups a deep love for the church, and a zeal for the priesthood. However, attention to the spiritual life can easily be lost in the midst of the many demands on a priest’s time. This results in a weakened priesthood, leaving the laity hungry for spiritual leadership. The church 142 proposes that priests should be formed so as to live in “intimate and unceasing communion” with the Lord. In other words, when a priest falls in love with God, and stays in love with God, this determines everything in his life. No one questions the beauty of the priesthood. However, considering the contemporary challenges facing the priesthood, as well as Blessed John Paul II’s exhortation that a renewed priesthood is essential for the “future evangelization of humanity,” the question facing the laity is not, “Do you want the priesthood?” but rather, “What kind of priest do you want?” What kind of priest do you want hearing your confession? What kind of priest do you want anointing your aging parents? What kind of priest do you want forming the souls of your grandchildren? What kind of priest do you want? The Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux desires that spiritual formation be at the heart of all priestly formation (Program for Priestly Formation, No. 115). Our desire is that our seminarians fall in love with God Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

and stay in love with God, so that they learn to live in “intimate and unceasing communion” with the Lord. The church desires priests who have fallen in love with God. Don’t we all? The Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux is blessed to have 16 men in the seminary studying to be priests. In their third year of Theology at Notre Dame Seminary are: Alex Gaudet, 26, Christ the Redeemer, Thibodaux; Stephen Lefort, 26, Sacred Heart, Cut Off; Jacob Lipari, 34, Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales, Houma.

Cody Chatagnier, 30, St. Anthony of Padua, Bayou Black, has completed his second year of Theology at Notre Dame Seminary and is on special assignment in the diocese. In their first year of Theology at Notre Dame Seminary are: JeanMarie Nsambu, 40, St Genevieve, Thibodaux (native of Uganda, Africa); Christopher Dehart, 28, Annunziata, Houma, (native of Dularge); Brice Higginbotham, 23, St. Thomas Aquinas, Thibodaux (native of Church Point); John David Matherne, 24, St. Mary’s Nativity, Raceland; Paul Birdsall, 24, Sacred Heart, Cut Off. Studying at St Joseph Seminary College in their junior year are: Brett Lapeyrouse, 21, St. Joseph, Chauvin; Luke Robicheaux, 20, St. Thomas Aquinas, Thibodaux (native of Sacred Heart, Morgan City); Patrick Riviere, 21, St. Thomas Aquinas, Thibodaux; John

Casey, 21, Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales, Houma. In their sophomore year are Daniel Duplantis, 21, St. Louis, Bayou Blue; Cody Murphy, 20, Holy Rosary, Larose; and freshman Nick Lecompte, 19, Annunziata, Houma. Many people ask, “How are we doing?” “How do we compare to other dioceses?” The best way for us to assess how we’re doing is to take the number of seminarians and divide that into the number of parishes. That gives you a seminarian to parish ratio. We have 39 parishes in our diocese. Ten years ago we had four seminarians. That gave us a 1:10 ratio and that was in the bottom 10 percent in the country. As of today, we have a 1:3 ratio! That’s in the top 10 percent in the country! And, it gets better. If we continue to move forward in our Vocations Office initiatives, chances are we’ll have 20 seminarians fairly soon. That would give us a 1:2 ratio and would put us in the top five percent in the country! What’s more exciting than the number of seminarians is the quality of our seminarians. Father Pedro Arrupe, S.J., once said: “Nothing is more practical than finding God, than falling in love
in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.” Our men love God and want to stay in love so that they can help you do the same. Let’s keep praying for our seminarians! The Office of Seminarians staff includes Father Mark Toups, director; and Cathy Smith, administrative assistant.

Office of the Chancellor

Canon 482 of the Code of Canon Law states, “In every curia a chancellor is to be appointed whose principal function is to take Chauvin care that the acts of the curia are gathered, arranged and safeguarded in the archive of the curia” Canon 469 identifies the curia as, “The diocesan Clement curia consists of those institutions or persons which assist the bishop in the governance of the whole diocese, especially in guiding pastoral action, Swiler in caring for the administration of the diocese, and in exercising

judicial power.” The word “chancellor” comes from the Latin “cancellarius.” In ancient Rome the cancellarius was the doorkeeper who stood at the latticework of the chancel, which separated the magistrate in the law courts of the people. As the curia of the bishops began to develop, the need grew for repeated use of authentic documents and written testimony. The role of the chancellor continued to increase and the Third Provincial Council of Milan in 1573 designated the chancellor as notary and custodian of the archives. One of its decrees ordered that the curial documents to be preserved in the episcopal archives be placed under the care and supervision of the chancellor. This and other local legislation and custom gradually produced the general law setting up the office of chancellor. While the Code of Canon Law directs that the archives are to

be maintained in a “systematic “fashion” the term “chronological” has been removed in the revised code. Such a system would be imprudent. To determine which acts of the curia should be preserved is no easy task, especially when the expanded notion of the curia is defined by the revised code. The archives of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux is ever expanding in growth to ensure that the proper historical picture of the diocese is maintained. A detailed story of the role of the archives is included in this publication. Ultimately the duty of the Office of the Chancellor is to assist the bishop, as requested in carrying out the mission of the diocese in the curia and throughout the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. The Office of the Chancellor staff includes Deacon Jim Swiler, chancellor; Rhona Clement, administrative assistant; and Mary Chauvin, clerical support. 143

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Diocesan Offices

Communications Bayou Catholic


Office of Communications Office of Radio and Television Office of Public Relations and Public Information Diocesan Website and Electronic News



The Diocese of Houma‑Thibodaux has a solid and vast network of communications that seeks to inform, educate, evangelize and unify the People of God. This diocesan effort follows in the spirit of Pope John Paul II’s Redemptoris 144 Missio, which states that “the means of social communication have become so important as to be for many the chief means of information and education, of guidance and inspiration in their behavior” (No. 37). STRUCTURE As part of the Department of Formation Ministries, diocesan communications are carried out through: 1. Bayou Catholic monthly magazine; 2. Office of Communications; 3. Office of Radio and Television; 4. Office of Public Relations and Public Information; and 5. Diocesan Website and Electronic News. 1. Bayou Catholic Now in its 34th year of operation, Bayou Catholic is delivered to all parishes, schools and many other Catholic entities, as well as merchants throughout the area. This award‑winning magazine is published monthly. It is recognized nationally for its quality of writing, photography, design and advertising content. This year, the magazine received eight state and national awards, including the coveted “General Excellence,” which designates it as the best Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013



diocesan magazine in the United States and Canada. The diocesan newspaper’s editor has been invited by five diocesan bishops to give of his expertise in helping them strengthen their individual diocesan publications. With a circulation of 14,000, Bayou Catholic averages 80 pages per month and many issues contain special sections which range in topics from pastoral letters to parish anniversaries to marriage, to sports. Editorial content consists of a mix of local, national and international news items; local and syndicated columns; photographs and other art work; feature material. The magazine is published by the H-T Publishing Company, which has also published Bishop Warren L. Boudreaux’s Memoirs of a Cajun Bishop, and a 25th anniversary pictorial book with a historical account of every church in the diocese. 2. Office of Communications The Office of Communications has been operating since the establishment of the diocese. It provides an umbrella for all information disseminated through the print and electronic media. Its chief function is to serve as a clearinghouse for diocesan internal communications and official statements, particularly as they relate to the secular media. The director actively participates in


Schobel Hebert

the Louisiana Catholic Conference of Bishops and for over 25 years in the Catholic News Service/ Catholic Press Association Liaison Committee. Major activities have included the issuance of statements and letters by the bishops of the province; statements, announcements and appointments by the diocesan bishop; and the handling of important events, such as Bishop Boudreaux’s golden jubilee and retirement, the press conference for the announcement Michael of Bishop‑designate Jarrell’s appointment as the second bishop of the diocese and his ordination and installation, as well as the press conference for the announcement of Bishop Sam G. Jacobs’ appointment. Most recently the office has been busy with the announcement and installation of Bishop Shelton J. Fabre’s appointment as the Fourth Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux. 3. Office of Radio and Television The diocese has been on the ground floor of the growing field of cable telecommunications through the efforts of its former diocesan bishop, who from the onset defined the use of the television medium as a priority. Bishop Jacobs continued this effort and provided a monthly education and general discussion radio “dialogue.” He also provided a daily meditational


2-minute television segment entitled “Proclaim the Good News.” Additionally, Bishop Jacobs had a 30-minute program entitled “Revival” which ran twice monthly. The office has expanded to provide television programming in each of the five cable systems of the diocese. Each week, these systems air educational and inspirational diocesan programs. Among these is “Spotlight on the Diocese of Houma‑Thibodaux,” a monthly program hosted by Louis G. Aguirre which provides half‑hour features on topics of interest around the diocese. A major development has been the expansion of programming on Channel 10, which provides approximately three hours of daily programming in both Houma and Thibodaux. In addition to local programs, the channel airs material from national Catholic entities. Additionally, diocesan programming is aired by the three other cable systems and via UHF to all points within the diocese and beyond. Significant achievements in the past have been the airing of priestly ordinations; a documentary on the life of Bishop Boudreaux; the airing of his golden jubilee celebration; the airing of Bishop Jarrell’s ordination and installation; live coverage of Bishop Boudreaux’s Mass of Christian Burial; the installation of Bishop Jacobs, and special features on the diocese. Most recently the installation of Bishop Fabre ran live on national, state and local channels. 4. Office of Public Relations and Public Information Primary function of this office is to compile information for an annual Catholic Directory and to coordinate with other diocesan entities in promoting their good works. The Catholic Directory has been published yearly since the establishment of the diocese in 1977. It provides detailed information on all offices, parishes, schools and institutions within the diocese. The office has worked closely with other offices, particularly in the designing, printing and distribution of brochures, posters and in the placement of advertisements in newspapers, radio, television and billboards for offices. 5. Diocesan Website and Electronic News The diocesan website, provides the latest information on every aspect of the diocese, including parishes, schools, organizations, institutions and offices. Those who visit the website can access diocesan television programs, including past shows, as well as the latest and archived issues of Bayou Catholic. The latest addition to the Communications Office is HTeNews,, which provides weekly news of interest to Catholics, including world, national and local information. The Office of Communications staff includes Louis G. Aguirre, director; Pat Keese, administrative assistant; and Jeanette Labat, website manager. Bayou Catholic staff includes Aguirre, editor and general manager; Lawrence Chatagnier, managing editor; Peggy Adams, advertising manager; Janet Marcel, staff writer; Keese, administrative assistant/circulation; and Lisa Schobel Hebert, graphic designer.




Diocesan Offices

Office of the Bishop Through the Holy Spirit who has been given to them, bishops are the successors of the apostles by divine institution; they are Avila constituted pastors within the church so that they are teachers of doctrine, priests of sacred worship and ministers of governance” (Canon 375 of the Code of Canon Law). The routine schedule of the diocesan bishop consists of office appointments and meetings, as well as afternoon, evening and weekend meetings outside the office. He meets periodically with pastoral center directors and staff. He attends diocesan or departmental meetings such as the priests’ council, finance council, cemetery trust, H-T Publishing Company, diocesan pastoral council, Catholic Charities Board 146 of Directors and Archives Board of Directors. In the course of a year, the bishop will administer confirmation at 35 to 40 parishes. He will ordain deacons and priests, officiate at

diocesan celebrations such as the Rite of Election, various cultural Masses, Youth Rally Mass, diocesan Scout Mass, Chrism Mass, Easter Vigil, Christmas Masses, priests’ retreats, Catholic school Masses and graduation ceremonies. He is often present for special diocesan organization events such as

banquets, meetings or Masses. On a state level, he attends many meetings such as those involved with Notre Dame and St. Joseph Seminaries; the New Orleans Pastoral Council; the Louisiana Interchurch Conference, which promotes ecumenism; and the Louisiana Catholic Conference, which deals with such topics as Catholic Charities and social concerns, education and state laws. Meetings on a national level can include the spring and fall meetings of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. The fall (or November) meeting is held in Baltimore, MD. These meetings usually last five days and the bishop may speak out or vote on topics that affect local Catholics. He may be invited to attend other conferences on special subjects. Every five years the bishops of a region are obligated to make their ad limina visit to Rome. The bishop submits a “report” of diocese’s activities for the past five years to the Holy See. Jeanine Avila is administrative secretary to the bishop.

Office of Ecumenism

The ministerial collaboration between the diocesan Offices of Ecumenism and Worship has proven to be a LeCompte valuable alliance in furthering Christ’s precious gift of unity for his church, as well as the Lord’s desire to recover the unity of all Christians as a call of the Holy Spirit. Consequently, the Office of Ecumenism supports the church’s mission – to always pray and work to maintain, reinforce and perfect the unity that Christ wills, “that they may all be one. As you Father are in me and I am in you, may they also be one in us … so that the

Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

world may know that you have sent me” (John 17:21). Moreover, our diocesan ecumenical initiatives realize that this objective – the reconciliation of all Christians in the unity of the one and only church of Jesus Christ – transcends human powers and gifts. This is why Christians, of whatever denomination, place all their hope in Jesus’ great prayer, from St. John’s Gospel, Chapter 17, for the eventual reality of oneness and unity for his church. The diocesan Office of Ecumenism supports its active participation in the annual assembly of the Louisiana Interchurch Conference (LIC) which represents many diverse state-wide churches. The LIC strives to proclaim in word and

deed to the people, churches and institutions of Louisiana, that faith which we hold in common will grow toward greater unity in Christ Jesus, particularly in our common witness and outreach. The Office of Ecumenism also supports active involvement and participation with various ministerial groups of prayer throughout the diocese. These collaborations come together for mutual support and fellowship through emergency committees for hurricane relief and recover; and through BISCO (Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organizing) meetings for social concern. Father Glenn LeCompte is director of the Office of Ecumenism.

Finance and Accounting The mission of the Office of Finance and Accounting, “to be of service to the parishes, schools and agencies of the Diocese of HoumaThibodaux through Duthu proper planning, monitoring and safeguarding of the gifts of treasure entrusted to us by the people of the diocese,” is at the heart of the many administrative functions of this department. The office is responsible for budget monitoring, proper reporting and recording of financial transactions, centralized payroll and benefits payment and reporting of all diocesan offices, parishes and schools, as well as implementation of sound administrative and financial policies and procedures. The daily duties of the office include distribution of mail, processing of bank deposits, payment of bills, banking transactions with locations, record retention and greeting visitors. The office also operates a central finance program whereby excess funds of all locations are pooled and invested to maximize return while preserving value. The central finance program in turn provides a rate of return on the managed assets. Central finance will also make loans to locations when funds are needed. Interest is collected on amounts loaned. The loan interest collected is included with investment earnings and used to pay returns to locations with deposits in the program. This program is essentially a bank that facilitates savings and loan transactions for each location. Additionally, the office administers a centralized property, casualty, liability, flood and workers compensation, student accident, special events and volunteer insurance program. One focus of the insurance program is safety recommendations, risk management and loss prevention. Through a centralized approach to accounting practices, finance, in-



vesting, payroll, employee benefits and insurance, the administration team is able to efficiently serve the needs of all diocesan offices, parishes, schools and cemeteries. The Office of Finance and Accounting staff includes Glenn J. Landry Jr., business




manager/director; April LeBouef, comptroller; Janet B. Eschete, assistant to the comptroller; Meridy Liner, data processing assistant; Deanna Fanguy, payroll/ benefits specialist; Giezel M. Stewart, administrative assistant; and Susette Duthu, receptionist.

Permanent Diaconate With the help of the Archdiocese of New Orleans’ Diaconate Office, the Houma-Thibodaux Permanent Diaconate program began. Authement Before this, men had been trained and ordained for our area by traveling to New Orleans two and sometimes three times a week. With the approval of Bishop Sam G. Clement Jacobs, and the availability of the facilities and staff at Lumen Christi Retreat Center, the Permanent Diaconate program began locally. Classes are held on one weekend a month, consisting of Friday night, all day Saturday and ending on Sunday after lunch. Teachers from our diocese as well as the Archdiocese of New Orleans and the Diocese of Baton Rouge provide instruction. The program uses the guidelines and curriculum from the Archdiocese of New Orleans. In the diocese’s first class, nine men were ordained permanent deacons for our diocese on Dec. 11, 2010.

A class is in progress at this time with six men waiting to complete formation. 147 The Permanent Diaconate is an opportunity for those men that are already serving as lay ministers to go deeper and permanently into service. The Permanent Diaconate is an opportunity for these men to serve their bishop, in obedience and in joy and to become a part of that ordained brotherhood of giving and serving. The ministry of charity and love continues through these chosen men. Bishop Fabre, there are many good and holy men in this diocese and there are many areas of service that would welcome these men and also their wives to provide the many gifts that are theirs to give. We would ask that this diaconate formation continue under your leadership. The Permanent Diaconate welcomes you here and all of the permanent deacons of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux offer you their obedience and desire to serve. The Office of Permanent Diaconate staff includes Deacon Douglas Authement, director; and Rhona Clement, administrative assistant.

Diocesan Offices

Office of Vocations

The diocesan Office of Vocations is here to increase awareness of the gift of priestly and religious vocations as well as the need to pray for those vocations. We are also here to aid young people in discerning and pursuing their vocation. The Office of Vocations hosts weekly Crippen discernment programs, monthly events, and retreats for men and women. We coordinate Vocations Awareness Week, are present at youth functions and schools, make regular parish visits, send out newsletters throughout the year, provide vocational resources, engage the culture through social media, and are Gernon currently working on a new Vocations App. Visit for more information. Below are three of our programs we would like to highlight. Ignite & Amp: Formation, Fraternity, Freedom As young men mature and begin to consider and discern the particular way Rodrigue GOD may be inviting them to love here on earth – i.e. marriage, priesthood, re148 ligious life – many of them find this discernment and pursuit less than easy. Convinced that good formation fosters good discernment, our Ignite & Amp mentorbased formation programs are designed to include human and spiritual formation, like-minded fraternity and intentional mentoring. Over the years, these programs have brought clarity, understanding and freedom to the men who have invested in them, aiding them in the discernment and pursuit of their vocations. Both Ignite and Amp host weekly meetings throughout the fall and spring semesters and offer weekend retreats. Ignite is open to high school junior and senior men. Amp is open to young adult men. This fall we are re-structuring a bit and moving out to the Catholic high schools. In October, we began hosting weekly Ignite meetings at Vandebilt, E.D. White, and Central Catholic high schools. We will still hold our weekly Ignite meeting at the Borromeo House (the old St Francis de Sales Convent) in Houma for any other 11th and 12th grade high school men who are interested. For now, our Ignite & Amp Meetings will be combined and held on Thursday nights at the Borromeo House in Houma. Visit & for more information. Menard Day: Identity and Mission of the Priest Menard Day is named after Father Charles Menard, affectionately called ‘The Apostle of Bayou Lafourche’, a diocesan priest who lived from 1817-1896. He founded 13 of our 39 Church parishes in the Houma-Thibodaux diocese. Menard Days are informational Saturday mornings for men interested in learning about the identity and Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

mission of the ordained priest. The mornings include breakfast, talks given by different priests, Q & A and fraternity. Menard Days are open to high school junior and senior men as well as young adult men. Our Menard Days last year were beneficial and valuable to the men who attended. We look forward to starting them up again this month. Look for the black and white postcard in your parish for details. Visit htmenardday for more information. Vianney: Discerning Priesthood After men have had the opportunity to receive a number of months of formation and fraternity through Ignite or Amp, they are offered more tools to specifically discern diocesan priesthood if they are interested. At the beginning of April, we begin a program called Vianney, named after Saint Jean Vianney, patron saint of parish priests. This program, which runs for a number of weeks during April and May, is designed for men who would like to more deeply and specifically discern diocesan priesthood. Visit for more information. The Vocations Office staff includes Very Rev. Joshua Rodrigue, S.T.L., director; Roch Gernon, program director; and Kellie Crippen, administrative assistant.

Holy Cross Catholic Church welcomes you Bishop Shelton Fabre

Office of Family Ministries

The Office of Family Ministries provides ministry and services to a broad range of ages and family types. Our office not only includes family ministries, but we also include Respect Life ministries to promote the value of all human life from natural conception Diedrich to natural death. Families need a strong foundation to survive and flourish, especially in today’s world. We assist with the development and support of that family foundation through various programs offered throughout the year including: sacramental marriage preparation, Klingman marriage enrichment, counseling services, Pro-Life activities, assistance with grief and loss issues, support and development programs, and trainings. Through our sacramental marriage preparation classes and FOCCUS trainings, we assist engaged couples in understanding the sacrament of Ohmer marriage and the skills needed to navigate through the marital journey. During marriage prep, we teach about communication, compromise, commitment, problem solving, Natural Family Planning, the importance of belonging and participating in your church parish, and living out your Ruckstuhl marriage in faith. We train married couples to assist with our Marriage Preparation program and we provide training for FOCCUS facilitators too. The FOCCUS instrument is a premarital tool used during the marriage preparation process to assist engaged couples in open communication, understanding and study of their individual relationship. During times of crisis, we assist with various outreach programs and ministries including: counseling services for individuals, couples and families needing assistance with relationship concerns, grief and loss, parenting and other issues. We also provide support following natural and man-made disasters in our area and work with our Catholic schools when needed. We help our church parishes in the development of support groups and provide information and presentations when needed for bereavement ministry and separated/divorced ministry. We understand the stressors placed on marriage and family. With the increasing numbers of divorce, the need for support is very important. We offer several programs to support and enrich marriages with our: Diocesan Wedding Anniversary Celebration, Married Couples Mini Conference, and Married and Engaged Couples Date Nights.

Having two licensed therapists on staff in our office, allows us to provide presentations and workshops to various groups throughout our diocese on numerous topics including: the stages of grief, coping with crisis, stress management and improvement of communication skills. We understand and respect the ever changing face of “family� and we strive to strengthen marriage and family life, personal development and to heal the brokenhearted, while providing mutual support for those who minister with families in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. The Office of Family Ministries staff includes Catherine Klingman, director; Nancy Diedrich, counselor; Michelle Ohmer, program specialist; and Evelyn Ruckstuhl, administrative assistant.


Diocesan Offices

Office of Human Resources

“To promote the Catholic social teaching of dignity of work and the rights of workers to all employees of the Diocese of Fanguy Houma-Thibodaux” is the mission of the diocesan Office of Human Resources and Employee Benefits, which works under the umbrella of Administration Hernandez Ministries. This office is responsible for all employee benefit programs, including administration of a self-funded health, dental and Robertson prescription drug insurance programs, 403 B Tax Deferred Annuity plan, 150 comprehensive wellness program, group long-term disability, long-term care, group term life insurance programs, along with optional supplemental policies. The Human Resources Office works as a resource to pastors,

principals, administrators and diocesan directors in the areas of personnel by assisting with personnel policy, time and attendance administration, worker’s compensation program, Family and Medical Leave Administration, continuation of health coverage program and other personnel issues upon request. The office strives to achieve its mission by being of service to all employees of the diocese, its parishes, schools and institutions. This is done by educating employees on their employment rights, all benefit programs and policies, and assisting employees through the complexity of the healthcare maze. The members of the office receive continuous education to ensure that the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, its parishes, schools and institutions are in full compliance with federal and state laws pertaining to employment and benefits. Currently the diocese employs approximately 1,100 employees of which 815 are full-time and benefit eligible. All new hires attend an orientation program conducted through this office which allows new employees the opportunity

to meet with someone from the office to complete all necessary personnel paperwork and to have an understanding of personnel policy and benefits. The office assists the coordinator for Administration Ministries with diocesan celebrations as well as those at the Pastoral Center. Some of the celebrations at the Pastoral Center include monthly birthday Mass, Staff Appreciation Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas activities and luncheons, and diocesan anniversary celebrations. Working with priests, active and retired, is also an important role of the office through constant communication and assistance when necessary in regard to their health care needs. It is the goal of the office to evolve and grow as the needs of the employees of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, its parishes, schools and institutions continue to evolve and grow. The Office of Human Resources and Employee Benefits staff includes Melissa R. Robertson, director; Deanna Fanguy, payroll/ benefits specialist; and Kristen Hernandez, administrative assistant.

Office of Youth Ministry

For over 30 years the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux has placed a strong emphasis on the Catholic formation and Christian Babin leadership of the young church and the adults that walk with them. The Office of Youth Ministry also sees itself as an advocate for today’s teens in a world that often DiSalvo times overlooks the worth and contribution of this culture. Over the years, this passion to

Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

serve the young people is evident in the events that strengthen their relationship with Jesus Christ. Teens Encounter Christ LeBouef (TEC), Catholic high school retreats, confirmation retreats, and aNew experiences are opportunities that have offered “grace” moments to the teens. It is not enough that we assist in the development of a relationship with Jesus. If we are to truly see the fruits of the Spirit in action our goal is to give the teens a better sense of the larger church and the role they play in the church. We empower them with

the skills and resources to ensure success in being that same Jesus they encountered to others. Teens are introduced to the larger church through two major events – Junior High Faith Experience for sixth through eighth grade students/teens and diocesan youth rally for eighth through 12th grade students/teens. Combined, these two events serve over 2,000 teens every year. These two events also offer the adults the opportunity for fellowship and spiritual growth at a night dedicated just to them. Every other year teens attend NCYC which allows them to see 25,000 other teens excited to be Catholic. Perhaps one of the most fruitful ministries offered by the


Lumen Christi Retreat Center

In its mission statement, the Lumen Christi Retreat Center is described as an institution which is committed to continuing the universal mission of Chiasson Jesus Christ through a ministry of hospitality, spiritual retreats, preaching and renewal programs. HoumaThibodaux’ founding bishop, (the late) Warren L. Boudreaux, likewise the founder of Lumen Christi, envisioned the retreat center as a “source of spiritual life and strength.” Indeed, Lumen Christi, in its 28-year history has offered opportunities for spiritual growth and strengthening of faith not only to the people of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, but beyond it as well. Many groups inside and outside of the diocese have used Lumen Christi as a venue for their particular spiritual development programs. Nestled in a peaceful and rustic setting with a touch of the Louisiana wilderness, retreatants find a quiet place to ponder their relationship with God and the deepest questions of their lives. Besides being strengthened in their faith, those who have come through the doors of Lumen Christi have been reawakened in a faith that has grown dull or else they have experienced divine healing and comfort in the midst of the hurts, disappointments and tragedies of life. In addition to the facility being made available to “outside groups,” Lumen Christi provides its own spiritual enrichment programs. The retreat center hosts two monthly programs, one on first Friday and another on the third Friday of the month, the latter program being entitled, “Morning of Prayer and Song.” These programs incorporate a variety of spiritual exercises including, praying the Liturgy of the Hours, a spiritual presentation by Lumen Christi’s spiritual director, praying of the rosary, eucharistic adoration, offering of the sacrament of penance and reconciliation, and celebration




of the Eucharist. Also, Lumen Christi has been a regular venue for priests’ continuing education programs. Besides these monthly programs, Lumen Christi’s spiritual director usually provides three full weekend retreats per year as well as periodic individual days of prayer. The spiritual director also directs retreats upon request of outside groups who desire to use Lumen Christi, and he also provides spiritual direction for individual directees. In addition, Mass is celebrated on Tuesdays and Fridays at 12:10 p.m. during Ordinary Time, as well as on Holy Days of Obligation. During Lent, Mass is celebrated at the same time Tuesday through Friday. Lumen Christi’s mission statement mentions “hospitality” as a means by which the center fulfills its mission. The hardworking staff makes it their priority to make those who come to Lumen Christi feel welcome and does its best to accommodate retreatants. Our staff strives to provide a nourishing and tasty food service, a


clean and comfortable environment and ensures that the facilities are maintained. Lumen Christi is overseen by the chancellor of the diocese. In addition to the primarily adult programs which take place at the Father Menard Building, numerous retreats for youth are provided at the Father Souby Building. Most of these retreats are directed by the diocesan Office of Youth Ministry and include not only parish confirmation retreats, but periodic offerings of Teens Encounter Christ. Bishop Boudreaux’ dream of having a facility to provide for the spiritual enrichment of the people 151 of the diocese and beyond is being realized at Lumen Christi every day! The Lumen Christi Retreat Center staff includes Deacon Jim Swiler, center director; Father Glenn LeCompte, spiritual director; Aimee B. Hebert, administrator; Barbara Chiasson, food service/ housekeeping manager; Sherry Tivet and Dolores Johnson, food service/housekeeping.

Youth Ministry

Office of Youth Ministry is Christian Leadership Institute (CLI) which is a week empowering teens and placing them into areas of the diocese that are in need of disciples. This event has uplifted not just the individuals that attend, but communities in need and the parish ministry programs. As the ministry year comes to an end, our Diocesan Leadership Awards Banquet honors two teens from our church parishes and schools that have shown



exceptional Catholic identity and leadership. We hold true to the teachings of the Catholic Church and the guidance of the USCCB document, Renewing the Vision and we look forward to continuing the rewarding ministry with the guidance of the new leadership in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. The Office of Youth Ministry staff includes Michael DiSalvo, director; Rachel LeBouef, assistant director; and Angelle Babin, administrative assistant.

Diocesan Offices

Office of Cemeteries The Office of Cemeteries is here to serve the bishop, pastors and parishioners of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. Our main focuses are the financial wellbeing of the parish cemeteries and the upkeep of the records for mausoleum crypt ownerships. Cooke We run parallel accounting with the parish cemeteries as a checks and balances strategy. On a monthly basis, each cemetery is required to send in the previous months’ financial statement. At this point, the cemeteries’ computer generated financial statement is checked against the records in our office. If all of the values on the cemetery’s statement Dempster match our values, the statement is stamped and filed as completed. We keep each cemetery’s financial statements for a minimum of five years. Each cemetery is also required to send in a sales report each time a mausoleum crypt is sold. The information on this sheet is then transposed to our lists to ensure that Kliebert each crypt in our diocese has an accurate ownership record. These records are 152 kept indefinitely. Each cemetery has a “savings” account with the diocese known as surplus funds. These funds are for the cemetery, but are kept in an interest bearing account that the diocese manages. Each month, the cemetery receives interest on their account, which our office records. The Office of Cemeteries is involved each time a pastor wants to spend more than $5,000 on any item or service. In such instances a formal request is sent in to our office and the cemetery must wait for the approval of the director before making the purchase. The most common request from any parish is the installation or repair to the cemetery’s roads, walkways, drainage, water lines, building of tombs and vaults, and mausoleums. All of these expenses are justified and are needed for the good of the parish and their parishioners. There is also a Cemeteries Board that meets two to three times a year to discuss such purchases to ensure that every decision is made with the most consideration. Our office also maintains a list of approved contractors that meet the requirements set by our insurance carrier. Each approved contractor is required to send our office a copy of their insurance coverage, which is checked and filed. We are continuously receiving each contractor’s insurance coverage and expiration date to be sure no underinsured contractor is operating in our cemeteries. Our office also monitors the money invested in the Cemetery Trust fund, which is currently being held with Capital One Bank. The money deposited in this fund is for the Perpetual Care of every mausoleum Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

in our diocese and the tombs and vaults that pay to be under Perpetual Care. We also have a Cemetery Trust Board that oversees the investment of the funds deposited by each cemetery. The cemeteries also receive interest from these funds. The Office of Cemeteries has and maintains a rules and regulations booklet for cemeteries in our diocese. We also provide policy manuals for cemeteries which includes forms for transactions, and we keep track of state law as it applies to cemeteries. In addition, our office directly manages the affairs of St. Joseph Diocesan Cemetery. Both offices are housed at 949 Menard Street in Thibodaux. Because of the interconnection of the two offices, we are able to help each other and have developed a working knowledge of how a cemetery operates. St. Joseph Cemetery houses the diocesan maintenance crew. This crew cleans, repairs and maintains mausoleums and tombs under Perpetual Care. The Cemeteries Office staff includes George Cooke, director; Kayla Kliebert, administrative assistant; Tana Faye Dempster, assistant administrator, St. Joseph Diocesan Cemetery.

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Office of Catholic Schools

Catholic schools were already well established in the area when the Diocese of Houma– Thibodaux was created in 1977. We Fertitta have been blessed with Catholic education in our area for 159 years. The first schools were established by religious sisters and brothers who came to the area to Marcel teach the children in Lafourche, Terrebonne and St. Mary parishes. Today there are 13 schools in the diocese, 10 elementary schools and three diocesan Troxclair high schools with an enrollment of 5,680 students in grades PK-12. Seven schools participate in the Louisiana Student Scholarships for Academic Excellence Program which has helped to maintain our enrollment over the past three years. The schools employ 389 teachers and administrators, and 188 support staff. Ninety-nine percent of the teachers are certified and the other one percent is pursuing certification. In the spring of 2010 our system became the first in the state to receive diocesan accreditation through AdvancED, the parent organization of SACS/ CASI. This ensures that our schools meet the high quality standards set by this national accreditation agency. The schools offer a balanced curriculum and a variety of programs to develop well-rounded students who are spiritually and academically prepared to move to the next level. A variety of curricular and extracurricular activities enhance student learning. Our students score in the top 25 percent of the nation on the Stanford Achievement test and our ACT scores are above the state

and national averages. Ninety-nine percent of our seniors graduate and eighty-nine percent of graduates attend college. Each year diocesan graduates receive millions of dollars in scholarships. Over the years many graduates have been named National Merit Scholars and Presidential Scholars. Our ACRE scores are well above the national average. Technology is an integral part of the system. All schools have active websites and use Edline to communicate with parents and students. Teachers utilize electronic grade books for reporting student progress. The three high schools have established a one to one iPAD initiative. All schools have wireless Internet access. Schools are continually working to improve and increase technology for the teachers and students. Teachers are currently working to align the curriculum to ensure that what is taught each year builds on the knowledge of the previous year. This ensures that there are no gaps in learning from year to year or repeated teaching of skills that have already been mastered. With the help of the recently hired curriculum specialist, teachers are reinforcing teaching strategies that enhance classroom instruction and student involvement in learning. The Catholic Schools Office establishes policies, procedures and guidelines for consistency and the smooth operations of all the schools, both diocesan and parochial. The office also procures grant funding, plans professional development activities, assists schools in writing and implementing strategic plans, and ensures that all schools are compliant with non-public state and federal regulations. It is the primary mission of our schools to assist students in developing a personal relationship with Christ. This is the main focus in every aspect of our programs, school life and activities. Our students are the present and future of our Catholic Church. Thus, it is our duty as Catholic schools to ensure that our students are prepared spiritually, morally and

academically to take on these roles. Our Catholic schools in the Diocese of Houma–Thibodaux are essential in building the future of our church throughout the diocese. It is through prayer, living our faith, and encouraging our young people to do the same that our schools will not only survive but flourish now and for generations to come. The Catholic Schools Office staff includes Marian Fertitta, superintendent; Suzanne Troxclair, curriculum specialist; and Janet Marcel, administrative assistant.

Young Adult Ministry The Office of Young Adult Ministry in the Diocese of HoumaThibodaux has a heart for leading young adults into Semar deeper devotion and love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Young adults will have the opportunity to know Christ and connect to the life of the church and to one another by attending our monthly gatherings which are the First Friday of every month from 6-10 p.m. On these days we have a eucharistic holy hour, followed by the Mass, a talk, and then a social. We also offer Home Enthronements to the Sacred Heart, a yearly prayer festival, evangelization though social media, and embarking upon the new evangelization of our culture. Father Mitchel Semar is director of the Office of Young Adult Ministry.


Diocesan Offices

Continuing Education of the Clergy The aim of the Priests’ Continuing Education Program (PCEP) is to provide continuing professional education and formation Havis for priests working in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. The four categories of priestly education and formation, which build upon and supplement a priest’s basic LeCompte seminary education, are: academic, spiritual, human formation and pastoral. The program is meant to address the needs of priests in their ministry so as to help them perform that ministry better. Many a priest has repeated the proverbial saying, “They didn’t teach us everything in 154 the seminary!” The PCEP is meant to supply what wasn’t taught, what needs to be further learned, and to provide priests with education on issues that have arisen since they completed their seminary studies. Topics and speakers for the PCEP are discussed and surfaced by a Priests’ Continuing Education Committee, whose members are chosen from among priests working in the diocese. In addition, there is a permanent deacon on the committee, whose task is not only to contribute to the discussions of the committee, but to provide the perspective of an outside observer. Also, an education specialist occupies a seat on the committee, who also participates in the work of the committee, but furthermore provides the expertise of an education professional. Appointments to the committee are made by the director of Continuing Education of the Clergy in consultation with the committee members and with the approval of the diocesan bishop or his equivalent. Currently, the program sponsors six regular programs per year: 1) two study days (spring and fall), Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

2) two days of prayer (Advent and Easter), 3) a priest sanctification workshop and 4) an annual retreat. In odd numbered years, all priests must attend the retreat provided by the Office of Continuing Education of the Clergy. This retreat is usually held at a location that can accommodate all the priests, since our own retreat center, Lumen Christi, does not have the capacity to do so. In even numbered years all priests must still make a retreat, but they have the option to attend the one provided by the diocese or to make one elsewhere. Our Fall Study Day this year was dedicated to the Louisiana Priests’ Convention. In the spring of 2014 a workshop on the RCIA process will be offered for priests and in the fall of the same year, a workshop on the use of social media in ministry is planned. Attendance at priests’ continuing education workshops is required by diocesan policy and

is expected by the diocesan bishop. Priests who find themselves with an obstacle to attendance at these workshops are to consult with the diocesan bishop. In addition to our regular programs, priests may apply for a sabbatical of six months after every seven years of their service in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. Also, priests are allowed to receive from parish funds $500 per year to attend legitimate priest continuing education programs over and above those sponsored by the diocese. The PCEP strives to help priests maintain and sharpen the gifts they have in order that they might be ever more effective ministers and leaders for the people of our diocese. The Office of Continuing Education of the Clergy staff includes Father Glenn LeCompte, director; and Maria Havis, secretary.

Office of RCIA

The diocesan Office of RCIA welcomes Bishop Shelton J. Fabre. On the First Sunday in Lent 2004, Bishop Sam Lillie Brunet G. Jacobs on behalf of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, welcomed 27 catechumens along with 70 candidates who were preparing for Full Communion into the Catholic Deacon Church, at the Rite Stephen Brunet of Election at St. Joseph Co-Cathedral in Thibodaux. In 2013 at the Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales in Houma, Bishop Jacobs welcomed 37 catechumens along with 42 candidates at the Rite of Election. In the past 10 years our diocese has seen an average of 32 catechumens and 48 candidates per year.

The Office of RCIA, under the leadership of the Office of Worship, conducts an annual workshop for the coordinators and team members of their respective parishes. The Office of RCIA has been able to provide these teams with presenters from around the country who bring their expertise and love of the RCIA process to our diocese. We are also considering adding a “Day of Prayer and Reflection” for parish teams to spend time together and share Christ’s love. The Office of RCIA continues to develop strategies that provide assistance with participating parishes. Inviting the faithful in ways that encourages others to grow in a deeper relationship with Our Lord and learn more about the Catholic faith is the foundation. Additionally, faith brochures, explanations of the RCIA process, parish session DVDs, books and other reading materials are available as well.


Archives and Research Center

As Historical Research Center Archivist, it is with utmost importance to oversee that the sacramental records are housed Allemand and recorded in a manner relative to Canon Law. The Archive has gone through positive changes that are beneficial to both church parishes and Duet interested individuals searching for ancestral background. Of importance, the Diocese of HoumaThibodaux was formed in 1977 from Swiler a division of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Of the 39 church parishes within our jurisdiction, the Archive stores more than half of the original church registers. Historically, our records date back to the late 1700s and due to the aging factor; all sacramental volumes prior to 1950 are microfilmed and permanently stored in the archival facility. Records prior to 1900 are listed in Rev. Donald Hebert’s 12-volume set and typed on cards. Documents of baptisms, marriages and funerals from the 1900s forward are being entered into the computer, followed by a print-out and computer backup. Although the computer serves as an easy access to stored data, it does not replace a mandatory hand-written register. The most important service of the center is the issuance of sacramental certificates. There are a variety of ways to purchase documents. One can phone, mail, fax, email or visit the facility. There is also a web depicting related subject-matter offered by the Archive to interested parties. Recently, a valuable asset was introduced to the public. Family tree lineages are now offered by

reliable volunteers for a minimal fee, and the library room is opened to anyone interested in furthering their research. The historical establishment is one of a very few within the United States where an individual can actually visit and wait for records to be processed. In addition to the religious documents, other related material such as vital records, surname literature, various genealogical club quarterlies, newspaper obituaries, census and cemetery records and indices to neighboring diocesan archives are available. A grant was received from the

Lorio Foundation to rebind, repair and de-acidify our sacramental registers. Although the project took over three years to complete, the ending results were remarkable. Over 300 books have been refurbished. The preservation of the historical documents was definitely needed and deeply appreciated. The facility now houses a pictorial history. Photos of confirmations and weddings of yesteryear were collected from individuals within our diocesan church parishes and put on display for a period of time. Each portrait was scanned, printed, indexed by surname and transferred to a compact disc. The pictures are now housed in the archival vault for future

generations to enjoy. Our volunteer support has increased. The pleasant atmosphere attracts reliable and dedicated individuals to the facility. Each person is assigned a designated project, and “the assembly line” works great. In summary, the Historical Research Center has become more “user-friendly.” The sacramental books prior to 1950 have been collected and restored, a website has been created, over 30,000 entries have been added to our computer data base, there are now a variety of ways to request documents, a pictorial history was collected, genealogical services are available and volunteer workers are coming forward to lend a helping hand. Although much has been accomplished in the last few years at the facility, there are still many goals yet to be achieved. The Archives and Historical Research Center staff includes 155 Deacon Jim Swiler, archivist; Kevin Allemand, administrator; and Mary J. Duet, administrative assistant.



The diocesan website is also utilized for sharing information in regards to upcoming workshops, liturgical rites and links to useful websites. We are in the process of developing a FAQ page on the RCIA website in order to answer some common questions that arise in regards to the RCIA process. As we prepare for the upcoming First Sunday in Lent 2014, we look forward with great anticipation and hope for the growth of our diocese and working with Bishop Fabre in building up the kingdom of God. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) staff includes Deacon Stephen Brunet and Lillie Brunet, directors.

Diocesan Offices

Computer Operations, Technology Ever-changing ... open-minded ... innovative ... challenging ... educational ... service-oriented – these are just Becnel some of the words that can be used to describe the diocesan Office of Computer Operations and Technology. With the constant Fangue evolution of technology and the growing needs of the diocese, we have to be ready to rise to the challenge of embracing the latest and greatest. And, of course, be willing to find the means of how we can utilize these components and implement them into our 156 ministries when necessary. The Computer Operations and Technology office is responsible for a wide variety of programs within the parish locations, elementary and secondary schools, diocesan satellite offices and the diocesan Pastoral Center. We run centralized applications at our parishes that are used for day to day operations. These applications include an accounting package and a census, religious education, ministry scheduling, contribution and sacramental record keeping package that really eases the burden of support for both parties because it builds in a natural support circle between one another at locations. The office is also responsible for supporting the diocesan computer maintenance program which involves total service of the software and hardware of the machine. At least one computer from each location is enrolled, but most parishes do enroll several units in the program to receive the convenient services of the technology office. Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

The computer maintenance program covers anything from a simple phone call to our office about an email problem to something as complex as the motherboard going out. We take the call and do our best to get it fixed in a timely manner. Supporting the 13 diocesan schools is another big role that the office takes on year-round, including the school network. In partnership with the Archdiocese of New Orleans, the diocese and our office provides a school-wide network that supplies internet access and firewall filtering and censoring to the network that makes every day functionality possible. Some of the major projects the

diocesan schools have embarked on within the last two years include a successfully implemented oneto-one iPad initiative in all three high schools and a WAN wireless network at all diocesan schools, making every campus a completely wireless-capable environment, and five locations with upgraded fiber wiring to expand the bandwidth and speeds of those internet environments. There has never been a more exciting time to be involved with technology. The Office of Computer Operations and Technology staff includes Holly T. Becnel, director; and Lacey Fangue, administrative assistant.

Hispanic Ministry From humble beginnings, when a handful of Cuban refugee families began to settle in the Morgan City area in the early Galvez 1960s, Hispanic Ministry now serves thousands of Catholics in five centers throughout the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. It is estimated that there are Santiago 12,000 Hispanics living in the diocese, the majority of who are Catholic. Currently one priest and two religious sisters staff the office, assisted Serrano by hundreds of lay leaders and volunteers. The office provides sacramental preparations and celebrations, faith formation sessions, youth

groups, home visits, social assistance, annulment assistance, visits to hospitals and the sick, two annual retreats, an annual family day, popular devotions such as Our Lady of Guadalupe celebrations, a traveling Virgin program, RCIA, a Hispanic Pastoral Council, assistance with Alcoholics Anonymous in Spanish and much more. The five Hispanic Centers and Mass schedules for each, follow: Houma: Annunziata Church, 7 p.m. every Saturday; Cut Off: Sacred Heart Church, 1 p.m. every Sunday; Thibodaux: Christ the Redeemer Church, 6 p.m. every Sunday; Morgan City: Sacred Heart Church, 3 pm. every Sunday; and, Amelia: St. Andrew Church, 12:30 p.m. every first, third and fifth Sunday of the month. The Office of Hispanic Ministry staff includes Father Isaias O. Galvez, director; and Sisters Eufemia Santiago and Silvia Serrano, M.C.S.H., coordinators.

Office of Building, Construction The Office of Building and Construction exists mainly to be of service to the Church Parishes and Agencies, of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux: “Working in harmony with pastors, parish building committees and diocesan facility managers, this office strives to Boudreaux facilitate the integration of diocesan building policies with the parish and/ or diocesan agency’s building addition and/or existing building maintenance/ renovation process. The Building and Construction Office’s primary goal is to promote responsible stewardship of the financial resources available for construction and also to encourage Danos utilizing the talent of local designers and contractors, whenever possible.” The office provides advice and assistance to parishes, schools and diocesan agencies relative to new building construction, major repair to existing buildings and environmental projects. This advice and assistance Toups is based upon established diocesan guidelines, for building construction projects. From the perspective of a diocesan office, which has overseen numerous new building projects, renovations and major maintenance/repair to existing buildings, our parishes receive advice based upon current and proven construction methodology. In our recent past, high winds and flood waters, associated with Hurricanes Katrina/Rita, Gustav/Ike caused extensive damage to both church parish and diocesan buildings. Flood waters, from Hurricanes Rita and Ike, inundated church parish buildings in southern Terrebonne Parish and high winds from Katrina and Gustav ripped roofs off of buildings, throughout our diocese. Post Katrina and Rita and after consultation with Bishop Jacobs, it was determined that churches, located in parishes below the Intracoastal Waterway, should be equipped with roofing material capable of withstanding the 150 mph plus winds generated by hurricanes. Equipped with financial assistance, received from dioceses throughout the country, thanks to an appeal made by Bishop Jacobs, the office was able to contract for the installation of “standing-seam metal” roofs on all churches located in the southern portions of Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes, and Grand Isle. Retrofitted with standing-seam metal roofs, these churches will be better able to withstand the damaging winds generated by future hurricanes. Also, being proactive and in anticipation of possible future storm related flooding, in southern Terrebonne Parish, several modifications were incorporated into the water damage repairs of church parish buildings flooded during Hurricanes Rita and Ike. In lieu of carpet and vinyl tile floor finishes, ceramic tile and decorative painted floor systems were installed. In

lieu of regular sheetrock, water-resistant sheetrock was installed, elevated four inches above the floors. A removable wood baseboard was then installed. Should flooding occur, in the future, the baseboards can be removed and the walls dried-out immediately. The Office of Building and Construction will continue to be open to the utilization of cost effective and innovative ways to maintain our existing buildings and construct new buildings in the future. The Office of Building and Construction staff includes Jimmie Danos, director; Tommy Toups and Don Boudreaux, Pastoral Center maintenance.


We would like to extend our warmest welcome and blessings to

Bishop Shelton Fabre 985-446-1703

Diocesan Offices

Offices of Pastoral Services and Child and Youth Protection

The Office of Pastoral Services was created by the late Bishop Warren L. Boudreaux almost 30 years ago. While various Blanchard ministries have passed through this office, one constant has been and still remains, providing support to help develop and strengthen parish leadership. Dardar Formation for parish pastoral councils is provided through presentations, retreats and an annual meeting between parish pastoral councils Kees and the diocesan 158 bishop. In 2007, the Office of Pastoral Services became responsible for helping each parish to develop a five year pastoral plan. While parish pastoral councils are the main developer of the plan, it is done so after listening to and discerning the needs and concerns of the parishioners. The bishop makes a formal visit to the parish; at which point the Pastoral Plan is presented to him and then to the parishioners. Supporting ethnic ministries of the diocese by working with leaders and leadership structures is also a part of the day to day workings of the Office of Pastoral Services. In 2008, the Office of Pastoral Services took on the additional responsibility of the Safe Environment program. The protection of our children is and continues to be a vital mission of this office. To ensure the safety of our children and young people, all adults whether volunteers and/ or staff who work with minors undergo a formal diocesan process which includes, among other things, a criminal history check and annual Safe Environment

Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

training. Also, in our continued commitment to support healing for our people, information regarding the Diocesan Outreach Line is published monthly in the Bayou Catholic magazine in the three languages in which Masses are celebrated in the diocese. We work closely with other diocesan personnel to ensure that all aspects of Safe Environment are upheld to the standards of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). To maintain compliance with the USCCB, all dioceses have internal audits every three years. The Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux has maintained a compliant status since the inception of the Safe Environment program in 2003. Providing a safe environment for the children of our diocese is a prime concern of the office and the diocese. The children are treasures of our families and of our church. They are gifts from God that we

are called to protect and we must enable them to develop into their full potential, as God sees in them. As a diocese we are committed to providing a healthy, loving and an up-building environment for the children that we, along with their parents, are forming into the future adults of our church and society. Our office staff is dedicated to working out its mission in a style characterized by commitment to the Gospel – striving to build the Christian community, promote Christian service, empower Christian leaders and protecting our children. The Office of Pastoral Services and Child and Youth Protection staff includes Susan Blanchard, director and Safe Environment coordinator; Mary Kees, administrative assistant; and Theresa Dardar, diocesan coordinator for Native American activities.

Conference Office

The staff of the Conference Office welcomes you to our diocese and looks forward to working with you in our ministries! Adams We are excited to have you here and hope, through the events sponsored by our office, to offer you an opportunity minister to your people in a different and personal way. Betanof Our office sponsors events for men, women and youth in our diocese throughout the year, with the purpose of offering them a chance at praising Lapeyrouse God, learning more about Jesus and giving them time to build a

community of their peers amongst our beautiful Catholic faith. Each year in Lent, we host both a Man of God Rodrigue Conference which has ministered to an average of 175 men per year and a Woman of God Conference which sees an average of 225 women in attendance. In Swiler the summer, we hold our men’s and women’s retreats with about 100 people present at each. Throughout the year, we will host evening gatherings for both men and women separately, giving the people an opportunity to come together between the larger events. We also are given the opportunity to co-sponsor with the


Office of Religious Education

The Office of Religious Education in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux serves all dimensions of the Catholic faith in the lives of its people Spinella from knowledge of the faith, to the lived reality of that faith, and on to a mature liturgical life, moral living, prayer, belonging to a community Vargas and possessing a missionary spirit. The teaching mission of this office begins with the guidelines for the institution of the sacraments in all parishes and in each individual’s life, the instruction of the smallest child to adult faith formation programs to the fulfillment of ongoing formation of adults. We also strive to form catechists who love God and live out the faith courageously in their lives. As Pope Francis has said, “Being a catechist isn’t a job or a title; it’s a vocation, an approach to life.” This office places a special emphasis on a two year program for the confirmation of its 11th grade students striving to provide for these students a strong commitment to the Gospel message and a longing for the life of a dedicated Christian. Confirmation retreats are designed to aid students to meet Jesus in an intimate manner so that in forming a strong relationship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit they will grow in love and grace throughout their lives. Overseeing the religious education programs in each parish while striving to maintain quality instruction is another responsibility of this office. The personnel in this office aid the pastor in the accomplishment of the duties of directors and coordinators of religious education, in updating catechists in religious instruction, and in maintaining safe environment guidelines. Besides the instruction of youth the Office of Religious Education concerns itself with adults in the diocese. A well planned adult faith

formation program has always been in place. Over time the program has changed to meet the needs of working adults. Today adults are able to complete a basic and a master catechist program. Prior to the adult faith formation program as we know it today numerous adults participated in the Loyola Institute for Ministry Extension Program (LIMEX) and received either a master’s degree or certification. Always seeking new ways of meeting the needs of people of all ages, the Office of Religious Education instituted a lunchtime speakers’ series entitled “Food for the Journey.” It is a means of meeting the spiritual needs of working or older adults who find it difficult to complete an adult program at night. This program is

always held at a restaurant where a meal is provided and a speaker discusses a current topic. During the past year the theme of the whole church was a “Year of Faith,” therefore; the Food for the Journey sessions was committed to the Documents of Vatican II. Adults can always find a means of living out their faith through the words of gifted speakers at Food for the Journey or during the adult faith formation program. The Office of Religious Education agrees with Pope Francis who requests that we come to know God, conform our lives to the Gospel and “Keep the fire of friendship with the Lord alive.” The Office of Religious Education staff includes Dr. Faith Ann Spinella, director; and Margaret Vargas, administrative assistant.

Conference Office (Cont.)

Office of Family Ministries a oneday Couples Conference every other year. These conferences usually see an average of 125 couples in attendance. The largest conference we host, in co-sponsorship with Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, is our annual Steubenville on the Bayou Catholic Youth Conference. Our “Bayou Conference” is one of 20 Franciscan Youth Conferences held in North America each summer. In 2013, the conferences ministered to over 52,000 youth, 2,700 of which were at the Bayou Conference. With the support of our diocesan parish youth ministers and pastors, we average 800 participants from our own diocese, while the rest of the attendees travel from near and far to be a part of the experience. Next year’s conference will be held on June 27-29, 2014, at the HoumaTerrebonne Civic Center. Along with our annual conferences, our office also assists with various other ministries that the diocese offers to its people. One of these ministries is ADORE. Held four times a year, our ADORE Worship Nights are currently held at the Houma Municipal Auditorium and bring

approximately 250-300 attendees. These worship nights feature a full worship band, “More Than Sunday,” a teaching and time before the Blessed Sacrament. These nights are free and open to all. They offer an opportunity to those looking for a “big praise and worship experience.” Another ministry we assist with is the diocesan Mall Ministry. This annual ministry gives our diocese an opportunity to be present to the everyday public by meeting them literally where they are. By hosting a “store space” in the mall during the two busiest months of the year, November and December, we are able to offer information about our Catholic faith and upcoming diocesan events. Bishop Fabre, we are truly blessed and excited to have you here and we in the Conference Office look forward to working with you! The Conference Office staff includes Deacon Jim Swiler, conference coordinator; Shawn Lapeyrouse, conference director; Jessica Rodrigue, assistant conference director; Angela Adams, secretary; and Michelle Betanof, program coordinator.


Diocesan Offices

Office of Worship By REV. GLENN LECOMPTE I think of the function of the Office of Worship similar to the way I think of that of Havis the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions (FDLC) to which I am a delegate on behalf of the Diocese of HoumaThibodaux. The FDLC was originally LeCompte founded in the late 1960s to assist the Bishops of the United States in the implementation of the revised liturgy as called for by the Second Vatican Council. As director of the Office of Worship I see it as my duty to assist the bishop of Houma-Thibodaux in fostering a dignified and prayerful 160 celebration of the sacraments in the diocese. The primary goal of the office is to facilitate the full, conscious, active participation of the faithful in the liturgical rites so that they may give expression to the faith in the depths of their hearts and do so in conjunction with their brothers and sisters in the faith. This very general description of the work of the director of the Worship Office is carried out in specific tasks. First, the director must communicate to clergy and parish liturgy preparers directives from the Vatican Secretariat for Divine Worship or the corresponding United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ body, the Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship, or from the diocesan bishop himself. Secondly, the director acts as an advisor to and informant of the diocesan bishop to provide him with information he needs concerning the liturgy. Third, the preparation and coordination of diocesan liturgies is a duty of the office director. Among these liturgies are the culturally African-American Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

liturgy celebrated near the national holiday associated with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, as well as a Mass in November offered in honor of St. Martin de Porres. The Office also prepares the Rite of Election, the Chrism Mass, diaconate and priesthood ordinations, the priesthood ordination anniversary Mass, the Mass in Honor of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, the Acadians’ Patronal Mass (August 15), the Blue Mass, the Red Mass, the Memorial Mass for deceased priests and the Native American Month Mass on the day after Thanksgiving every year. Preparation of these Masses includes the recruiting of ministers, planning the execution of the liturgy and producing worship aids for the assembly. As a diocesan office director, it is my belief that I have a duty to serve the people of the Diocese of HoumaThibodaux regarding matters pertaining to liturgy. To that end, the Office of Worship is available to provide educational programs

for the development of liturgy and liturgical ministry in the diocese. These educational programs are of two types: 1) programs requested by the parishes, e. g. training for lectors or extraordinary ministers of holy Communion. During the last five years the Office has sponsored its own workshops for lectors, extraordinary ministers, music ministers, and this year, parish liturgy committees or preparers. I also serve the people of the diocese by providing consultation for either parish staff members or members of the faithful who simply need questions answered. With the help of an administrative assistant, I look forward to the continuation of the Worship Office’s opportunities to serve both the bishop of Houma-Thibodaux and the faithful of the diocese. The Office of Worship staff includes Father Glenn LeCompte, director; and Maria Havis, secretary.

New Evangelization Many Catholics are probably not familiar with the diocesan Office of the New Evangelization or even the term “New Maclean Evangelization.” Actually, Catholics have always been called to evangelize. Since the earliest days of the church, Jesus addressed his disciples: “Full authority has been given to me both in heaven and on earth; go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to carry out everything I have commanded you. And know that I am with you always, until the end of the world!” (Matthew 28:19-20 [NAB]). To emphasize this command of Jesus, as recent as 1992, the Catholic Bishops developed a

national plan and strategy for Catholic evangelization in the United States titled, Go and Make Disciples. It guided all Catholics to obtain a vision, goals and strategies to evangelize their individual parishes. In that document the Catholic Bishops referenced Pope Paul VI’s Apostolic Exhortation titled Evangelii Nuntiandi (“On Evangelization in the Modern World”) where he stated: “Evangelizing means bringing the Good News into all the strata of humanity, and through its influence transforming humanity from within and making it new: “Now I am making the whole of creation new.” But there is no new humanity if there are not first of all new persons renewed by baptism and by lives lived according to the Gospel. The purpose of evangelization is therefore precisely this interior change, and if it


Office of Stewardship and Development and the Catholic Foundation

The diocesan Office of Stewardship and Development and the Catholic Foundation of South Louisiana Becker would like to welcome you to the Diocese of HoumaThibodaux in what is a very exciting time. Presently, the Catholic Foundation, with assistance from Liner the diocese and all church parishes, is conducting the Continuing the Vision … Ensuring Our Future capital campaign. The campaign’s goal is $10 million with funds being designated for a seminarian education endowment, a Catholic Charities endowment and individual parish needs. The Catholic Foundation was established in 2012 and the campaign is the first major effort for the foundation. This type of diocesan-wide campaign is being done for only the second time in diocesan history with the first being over 30 years ago. While not conducting such a large scale campaign effort, the Office of Stewardship and Development oversees a number of efforts with the most recognizable being the Annual Bishop’s Appeal. The office is already looking forward to working with you as we will begin your first appeal in March of 2014 with proceeds assisting areas such priest retirement, youth ministry, family ministry, religious education, new evangelization and possibly others. Additionally, the office will work with parishes on an individual basis for stewardship efforts that encourage parishioners to make commitments in the areas of prayer, ministry and finance. In a somewhat similar manner, the office will assist parishes with offertory needs by advising them on methods to increase the weekly

offertory in parishes. Furthermore, the office meets with all 13 catholic schools in the diocese on a regular basis to assist and advise on each school’s Annual Fund Drive. These meetings will also cover areas such as strategic planning and marketing of the school. Last but not least, the office has overseen two pilgrimages to Rome. The first was in 2012 as part of Bishop Jacobs’ Ad Limina visit and based on the success of that trip, a second trip was taken in January of this year and a third will take place in January 2014. The trips

have not only been enjoyed by everyone who has attended, but it has also allowed the office to build relationships with more parishioners. Bishop Fabre, now that you have a taste of gumbo that is the Office of Stewardship and Development along with the Catholic Foundation of South Louisiana, we look forward to working with you and improving our efforts of strengthening the diocese and our parishes. The Office of Stewardship and Development staff includes Jeremy Becker, director; and Meridy Liner, ABA data entry specialist.


New Evangelization (Cont.)

had to be expressed in one sentence the best way of stating it would be to say that the church evangelizes when she seeks to convert, solely through the divine power of the message she proclaims, both the personal and collective consciences of people, the activities in which they engage, and the lives and concrete milieu which are theirs” (EN, 18). Pope John Paul II was the first to repeatedly speak of the new evangelization. In one of his major encyclicals, Redemptoris Missio (“The Mission of the Redeemer”), Pope John Paul II declared: “I sense that the moment has come to commit all of the church’s energies to a new evangelization and to the mission ad gentes (to the nations). No believer in Christ, no institution of the church, can avoid this supreme duty: to proclaim

Christ to all peoples” (RM, 3). We evangelize not through programs but through the power of the Holy Spirit. As Catholics, we seek to be “baptized in the Holy Spirit.” If allowed, the Holy Spirit will lead us and direct us into a more personal relationship with Jesus. Once one’s relationship with Jesus deepens, and we get to better know him personally, one is compelled to spread the “Good News.” We become “Good News People.” The Office of the New Evangelization is here to serve all parishes, schools and ministries in the diocese to reach their particular vision, goals and/or strategies directed toward evangelization. We ask all to contact the office with evangelization questions or needs. Paul Maclean is director of the Office of the New Evangelization.

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Part Six History 1699-2013

Diocesan History

s p o h s i B

Bishop Warren L. Boudreaux Founding Bishop


Bishop Michael Jarrell Second Bishop

Bishop Sam G. Jacobs Third Bishop

Bishop Shelton Fabre, Fourth Bishop

Diocese of

Houma-Thibodaux 1699-2013

The Diocese of HoumaThibodaux’s colorful history dates far beyond 1977 when it was officially established. The first record of exploration in the area was in 1699, when the French explorer and colonizer Bienville explored Bayou Lafourche, visiting the Washa Indian Villages. The Houma-Thibodaux-Morgan City area was settled by peoples of many various cultures over the centuries. The Houmas Indians moved into the Lafourche country, black slaves were imported in large numbers in Louisiana by the Company of the West (Indies), and Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

the Chitimacha Indians moved in the Lafourche country. German families from the Rhineland and Switzerland settled the German Coast (St. Charles and St. John the Baptist Parishes) and some migrated to the Lafourche country. The Germans were followed, as settlers in this land, by the large group of Acadians who were expelled from their home in Acadia (Nova Scotia). Spanish immigrants, many from the Canary Islands, came to Louisiana in the 1770s, some settling in the Lafourche country. In the 1800s, Anglo-Saxon

immigrants from east of the Mississippi came in increasing numbers to the Lafourche, St. Mary and Terrebonne area. With the 1820s there came a great influx of slaves to sugar plantations in the Lafourche-Terrebonne area. During a 30-year period, 1880 to 1910, Italian families from southern Italy and Sicily came to Louisiana to work on the sugar cane plantations. In the 1970s, Vietnamese refugees settled in the area surrounding Morgan City, Houma and Thibodaux. As all of these ethnic


groups settled along the bayous, they established churches and found livelihoods in the sugar cane, seafood and oilfield industries. Father Charles M. Menard was appointed vicar of St. Joseph’s parish in 1842. This was the beginning of the extensive missionary work to be done by “Pere Menard,” who came to be known as “The Apostle of Bayou Lafourche.” He would found the majority of church parishes which comprise the diocese today. Pere Menard led his faithful through the Yellow Fever Epidemic, the Civil War which came to Thibodaux, a hurricane and tidal wave that destroyed Last Island leaving many casualties from Lafourche and Terrebonne, and the fierce hurricane of 1893 which destroyed the community known as Cheniere Caminada. The Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux was established by Pope Paul VI in March, 1977, and the Most Reverend Warren L. Boudreaux, Bishop of Beaumont, TX, was named the first Ordinary. He was installed on June 5, 1977. The diocese was formed with 36 church parishes and 14 Catholic schools already in place. The Clarion Herald, the archdiocesan newspaper of New Orleans, published the first issue of its HoumaThibodaux edition the year the diocese was established. During that eventful year, Central Catholic High School in Morgan City became a diocesan high school, and the Chancery building at 1220 Aycock St. in Houma was dedicated by Bishop Boudreaux, followed by an open house. The Diocesan Clergy Council was formed in 1978. On Aug. 7, 1978, Pope Paul VI, who had established the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux just a little over a year earlier, died. Pope John Paul I was installed as pontiff on Sept. 3, and died after only one month in office. Pope John Paul II was elected pontiff. He was the first non-Italian pope since 1593. Locally, the Mission of Sacred Heart in Stephensville, LA, became a part of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux in 1979. The mission name has since been changed to St. Rosalie in honor of longtime caretaker, Mrs. Rosalie Crochet. The year 1980 was filled with firsts. The first diocesan school board was established, the first issue of the Bayou Catholic was published and the first

On Our Cover Giving final blessings at Bishop Warren L. Boudreaux’s Installation Mass are, from left Archbishop Jean Jadot, Apostolic Delegate to the United States; Bishop Boudreaux; and Archbishop Philip M. Hannan of New Orleans. Photo by Frank Methe Clarion Herald

annual Bishop’s Stewardship Appeal was announced by Bishop Boudreaux. A Vietnamese parish, Thanh Gia (Holy Family) was established in 1981 in Amelia. A new monastery of Dominican cloistered nuns was established in the diocese, also in 1981. Bishop Boudreaux officiated groundbreaking ceremonies for the Archives Building on the Nicholls State University campus during 1982. The Historical Research Center was dedicated by Bishop Boudreaux in 1983. A new parish was established in Thibodaux in 1983, with the name Christ the Redeemer. A retreat center was opened in the diocese in 1985. Local artists donated more than 100 paintings and other works of art to be displayed in the retreat center. A dedication ceremony for the Lumen Christi Retreat Center was held on June 2, 1985. Hurricane Juan inflicted massive damage from flooding in many areas of the diocese in 1985. An addition to the Lumen Christi Retreat Center was dedicated on Jan. 18, 1986, the Father Souby Building (a youth retreat facility). In that same year, Bishop Boudreaux issued a policy to rid the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux of all gambling and fairs as a means of church support. St. Lucy parish in Houma and St. Luke parish in Thibodaux were reestablished. The former TBW Building, located on Hwy. 311 in Schriever, adjacent to Lumen Christi Retreat Center, was purchased in 1986 for the new Chancery



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Diocesan History

1699-2013 office. The following year the Chancery was opened and dedicated by Bishop Boudreaux. The open house coincided with Bishop Boudreaux’s 25th anniversary as a bishop and the 10th anniversary of the diocese. The Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux began broadcasting locallyoriginated shows and programs from the Catholic Television Network of America (CTNA) in 1987. A new church, administration offices and a rectory were blessed for Christ the Redeemer in Thibodaux in 1987. The next year, the new Maria Immacolata Church and administration building was blessed and dedicated. The LaSalette Fathers left the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux after more than 50 years of service due to a lack of priest personnel in their order during 1988. Bishop Boudreaux celebrated 166 his 30th anniversary as bishop, 50th anniversary as priest and the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, its 15th anniversary in the year 1992. In August of 1992, Hurricane Andrew hit the area causing damage primarily to the Morgan City area and lower Terrebonne Parish. On Dec. 29, 1992, Bishop Boudreaux officially announced the acceptance of his retirement and the appointment of the bishopdesignate Michael Jarrell. With the beginning of 1993 came news of two diocesan school closures, Sacred Heart Elementary School in Morgan City and St. Hilary Elementary School in Mathews. Bishop Michael Jarrell was ordained and installed bishop of the Houma-Thibodaux diocese at ceremonies on March 4, 1993, at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral. That year, Bishop Jarrell appointed diocesan officials and created a Bishop’s Cabinet. In 1994, Bishop Jarrell restated and clarified the ban on fairs and fundraisers for church support in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. The year 1995 brought some Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

progress and some sadness to the diocese. The outlook for Catholic schools in the diocese was considered in a long-range strategic plan, Bishop Boudreaux released his autobiography entitled Memoirs of a Cajun Bishop, while Father Robert Melancon was accused of improper behavior with a minor. Bishop Jarrell visited parishes most affected by the accusation. In 1996, two parishes, Christ the Redeemer and St. John the Evangelist parishes in Thibodaux, were the first to be linked as part of the pastoral staffing plan of the diocese. Bishop Jarrell released his pastoral on Catholic schools that same year. The diocese bid farewell to the last two Mt. Carmel sisters serving in the diocese in 1997. This order had existed in Thibodaux since before the Civil War, staffing the girls’ school and St. Joseph Hospital. On October 6, 1997, the diocese mourned the passing of Bishop Boudreaux who died at the age of 79. His body was waked at the four corners of the diocese as he had willed. This same year the Bishop’s Stewardship Appeal took on a new name and look. It was renamed the Annual Bishop’s Appeal. In 1998, St. Patrick in Gibson and St. Lawrence in Chacahoula merged into one parish. It was the first and only merge of its kind in the diocese to date. The two parishes took on the name of St. Lawrence. Also in 1998, RENEW 2000 began in the diocese as small sharing groups which met seasonally until Pentecost 2000; however, the meeting of small Christian communities carries on to the present. At the beginning of 2000, the Bayou Catholic newspaper took on a new look with a fresh layout, more color and a larger variety of columnists and features. Also, that year, Msgr. James B. Songy’s book Questions and Answers for Catholics was released. Also, that year, Internet users were able to access the new diocesan website online. In June of 2000, 4,000 faithful turned out for a festive, ecumenical celebration of music, song,

drama and speech at the HoumaTerrebonne Civic Center to celebrate Pentecost 2000. The entire year of 2002 was filled with celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the diocese with its theme “One Faith, Many Cultures.” In spring 2002, the Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales in Houma underwent a major restoration, which was completed in time for the diocesan 25th anniversary Mass in June. In April of the 25th anniversary year, the book Celebrating Faith Along the Bayous, a pictorial and historical book on the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, was released. On Sept. 26, 2002, Tropical Storm Isidore dumped 12 inches of rain on Aycock Street in Houma damaging St. Lucy Church and Child Development Center. Hurricane Lili flooded the areas of Grand Caillou, Montegut, Golden Meadow and Pointe-auxChenes when it made landfall on Oct. 3, 2002. In response to the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux set up a Child Protection Contact Line on Nov. 4, 2002. At a press conference at the Pastoral Center on Nov. 8, 2002, it was announced that Bishop Michael Jarrell, the Second Bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, had been appointed as the Sixth Bishop of the Diocese of Lafayette. Twenty-six Papal Awards and 158 Bishop’s Medals were presented by Bishop Michael Jarrell to outstanding lay men and women of the Diocese of HoumaThibodaux at the Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales on Nov. 24, 2002. A draft of the diocesan policy for the Protection of Children and Young People was submitted for review to all parishioners of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux on Dec. 5, 2002. Bishop Michael Jarrell was installed as the Sixth Bishop of the Diocese of Lafayette on Dec. 18, 2002, at St. John the Evangelist Cathedral in Lafayette. Msgr. Joseph N. Latino was elected as diocesan administrator on Dec. 19, 2002. As administrator, he was charged with


the responsibility of overseeing the operations of the diocese until a new bishop could be elected. On Jan. 11, 2003, at a press conference at the St. Francis de Sales rectory, the announcement was made that Msgr. Latino had been appointed the 10th Bishop of the Diocese of Jackson, MS. Msgr. James Songy was appointed apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, effective Jan. 20, 2003. Msgr. Songy replaced bishop-designate Latino. Also in January 2003, Vandebilt Catholic High School in Houma announced that they were moving to the president-principal model of administration for the school year 2003-2004. At a press conference at the diocesan Pastoral Center on Aug. 1, 2003, it was announced that Bishop Sam G. Jacobs of the Diocese of Alexandria had been appointed as the Third Bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. Capacity crowds were in attendance at both St. Joseph CoCathedral in Thibodaux and the Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales for the evening prayer service and installation Mass for Bishop Jacobs on Oct. 9 and 10, 2003. Msgr. James B. Songy was appointed vicar general of the diocese in October 2003. Bishop Jacobs decreed the enactment of a revised “Policy for the Protection of Children and Young People,” which became effective Oct. 24, 2003. In November 2003, all diocesan employees and volunteers who work with or have contact with children and young adults in the church parishes, schools and institutions of the diocese attended educational training workshops concerning safe environments for young people. Father Jay L. Baker was appointed vicar general of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux effective Dec. 15, 2003. He replaced Msgr. James B. Songy who was serving in that capacity since October. On Dec. 12, 2003, at a press conference at the St. Joseph CoCathedral rectory in Thibodaux, the appointment of Father Oscar A. Solis as Titular Bishop of Urci and Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles, CA, was announced. He

Bishop Warren L. Boudreaux at the 1989 Youth Rally

was the first Filipino-American to be ordained a bishop in the United States. A special liturgy was celebrated at St. Lucy Church in Houma in May 2004 upon the completion of extensive renovations that the church underwent following flooding from Tropical Storm Isidore in September 2002. In September 2004, church parishes across the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux were getting ready for “The Diocesan Census of 2005.” Every parish of the diocese conducted a census in the spring of 2005. Also in September 2004, the Eucharistic Missionaries of St. Dominic ended their service to Holy Family Church parish in Grand Caillou, where they had been serving for the past 65 years. Over 150,000 people died in the Indian Ocean Tsunami disaster on Dec. 26, 2004. A special collection was taken up in the diocese for the Tsunami victims. Over $155,000 was sent to Catholic Relief Services, the largest amount ever collected for a disaster from the diocese, as of that date.

Following the completion of an audit by the Gavin Group, Inc., it was announced in January 2005 that the Diocese of HoumaThibodaux was fully compliant with all articles of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. Six soldiers of the Houma-based Black Sheep Company of the National Guard were killed in Iraq January 2005. The six men were honored at a prayer service at the Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales the same month. The diocesan Office of Hispanic Ministry was formed in February 2005, with Father Nelson Restrepo named as its first director. The Knights of Peter Claver Father John Grooten Council No. 126 was recognized during a Mass at Sacred Heart Church in Morgan City in February 2005 for its faithful presence in Morgan City for over 50 years. Pope John Paul II died April 2, 2005, at the age of 84. His funeral was celebrated April 8, at St. Peter’s Square. The faithful of the diocese mourned the death of Pope John Paul II through prayers,



Diocesan History


Bishop Michael Jarrell at a Blessing of the Fleet in Morgan City

prayer services and Masses. Hundreds of people gathered to remember the late pope at a memorial Mass celebrated by Bishop Jacobs at the Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger 168 of Germany was chosen as the successor to John Paul II on April 19, 2005, and took the name Benedict XVI. Bishop Jacobs issued a pastoral letter on “The Year of the Eucharist” in April 2005. In May 2005, the Bayou Confirmation committee presented the new confirmation program to confirmation coordinators, catechists and pastors from throughout the diocese. Confirmation students of the diocese will now have more complete confirmation training through their 11th grade year. In honor of the Year of the Eucharist a special eucharistic procession was held in Houma on the feast of Corpus Christi on May 29, 2005. In August 2005, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Medaille celebrated 150 years of dedicated service. Locally, four Sisters of St. Joseph of Medaille minister to the people of the diocese in the areas of healthcare and social ministries. On Aug. 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated Southeast Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

Coast. Floodwaters left thousands homeless in New Orleans. People of the diocese provided much needed comfort and support to those affected by the storm. Emergency shelters were set up throughout the diocese to care for evacuees locally. Catholic schools of the diocese welcomed hundreds of students who were displaced by the hurricane. Hurricane Rita made landfall along the Louisiana/Texas border on Sept. 24, 2005. Thousands of residents along lower Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes within the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux were forced to flee the floodwaters to shelters at area high schools and recreation centers. Hurricane Rita’s floodwaters devastated thousands of homes in the southern portion of the diocese. A Mass marking the closing of the Year of the Eucharist was celebrated on Oct. 23, 2005, at the Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales. The diocese launched a conference ministry in November 2005. The vision for this ministry is to host events, conferences and gatherings that will provide solid teachings, testimonies, praise and worship, music and fellowship with other Catholics in the same age or peer group. St. Joseph Co-Cathedral in Thibodaux underwent a major restoration during 2005. The

project, which took over five months, was completed just in time for Christmas Masses. As of January 2006, the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux had received $5,903,387 in response to the needs of the area after the unprecedented back-to-back hurricanes that devastated much of the Gulf South. The first Women of God Conference was held Feb. 3-5, 2006, at Vandebilt Catholic High School in Houma. In March 2006, the Franciscans of St. John the Baptist Province, who had been serving the people of Houma at Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Church parish since 1986 and St. Lucy Church parish since 1997, returned the care of the parishes to the bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. A Sesquicentennial Jubilee Mass marking 150 years of Catholic education in Thibodaux was celebrated in March 2006 at E.D. White Catholic High School in Thibodaux. The first Steubenville on the Bayou youth conference was held on the campus of Nicholls State University in Thibodaux in June 2006. The event attracted 2,500 youth and adults. In June 2006, E.D. White Catholic High School in Thibodaux announced that it was moving to the president-principal model of administration effective for the 2006-2007 school year. Bishop Jacobs delivered a pastoral letter in March 2007 in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of the Diocese of Houma Thibodaux. The pastoral, entitled “Be Renewed to Renew” set the tone for the vision and spiritual renewal strived for in the diocese. In March 2007, the first of the yearlong celebrations in conjunction with the 30th anniversary, the Diocesan Leadership Conference, was held on the campus of Nicholls State University in Thibodaux. Approximately 400 diocesan employees and parish leaders attended the event. Msgr. Raymond East, a nationally recognized speaker serving as the executive director of the Office of Black Catholics and vicar for evangelization for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., was the keynote speaker of the


conference, which featured workshops, prayer, food and fellowship. Every diocesan office set up a booth at the conference to provide parish leaders with information about the services provided by the office. Other diocesan events which took place during the 30th anniversary year included an Evening Prayer Service at St. Joseph Co-Cathedral in Thibodaux on Monday, June 4, and a diocesan Anniversary Mass on Tuesday, June 5 at the Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales in Houma with music provided by a special diocesan multi-ethnic choir. An Open House at the Pastoral Center and Lumen Christi Retreat Center in Schriever was held in October, and a eucharistic procession from St. Luke Catholic Church to St. Joseph Co-Cathedral in Thibodaux marked the closing of the diocesan 30th anniversary year. In September 2007 the diocesan Office of Religious Education implemented its new Adult Faith Formation Program. Bishop Jacobs issues a pastoral letter entitled “A Time to Pray for Wisdom, Love and Guidance” concerning the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” which had been issued by the USCCB. Bishop Jacobs designated 2008 as the “Year of the Family” in the diocese. The Sisters of Mount Carmel celebrated 175 years of ministry in Louisiana in 2008. Also, in 2008 the diocese launched a revitalized, more interactive website. Pope Benedict XVI made his first trip as pope to the United States in April 2008. The first diocesan wellness celebration and health fair was held at the Pastoral Center in May 2008. Hurricane Gustav made landfall near Cocodrie Sept. 1, 2008, causing widespread damage to the coastal areas. Two weeks after Hurricane Gustav made landfall, Hurricane Ike brushed the coastline and flooded hundreds of homes in low lying areas of the diocese. Bishop Jacobs declared 2009 as the “Year of the Word” in the diocese. The first Junior High Faith Experience sponsored by the diocesan Office of Youth Ministry

was held in January 2009 at St. Hilary Church parish in Mathews. Approximately 340 youth and adults were in attendance. The groundbreaking for the expansion of the Pastoral Center building project was held February 2009. The addition will include a meeting facility with a maximum capacity of about 400 people and administrative offices that will house approximately 10-12 staff. Catholic Social Services changed its name to Catholic Charities Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux in March 2009, in order to better take advantage of the recognition Catholic Charities USA received in recent years for its excellent work. On June 12, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI named Bishop Gregory M. Aymond, a native of New Orleans, as archbishop of New Orleans. Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed June 19, 2009, to June 19, 2010, as the Year for Priests, a time of special focus on the world’s Catholic priests. Locally, priests across the diocese were honored at various events. The diocese sponsored a new monthly lunchtime speaker series entitled “Food for the Journey.” Priests of the diocese were featured as speakers. A ministry of Catholic presence was instituted at the Southland Mall in Houma during the months of November and December 2009. The pastoral center expansion dedication was held Jan. 31, 2010. Bishop Sam G. Jacobs blessed the addition to the pastoral center which was named in honor of Bishop Michael Jarrell, the Second Bishop of the diocese. The New Orleans Saints won Super Bowl XLIV in Miami, FL, on Feb. 7, 2010. The Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux became the first diocese in the State of Louisiana to receive diocesan accreditation for its quality school system from the AdvancED Accreditation Commission in March 2010. The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, killing 11 workers and unleashing millions of gallons of crude oil for several months. Lumen Christi Retreat Center in Schriever celebrated its 25th


Bishop Sam G. Jacobs ordains 169 Father Andre’ Melancon in 2011.

anniversary in June 2010. Bishop Sam G. Jacobs appointed Deacon Jim Swiler as the new chancellor of the Diocese of HoumaThibodaux in July 2010. In December 2010 Bishop Jacobs announced in a Pastoral Letter that the year 2011 would be a “Year of Reconciliation” in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. At the end of In June 2011, after 24 years as superintendent of Catholic Schools, Sister Immaculata Paisant, M.S.C., left the diocese, thus bringing to an end a 141-year presence of the Marianites of the Holy Cross in the area which now comprises the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. Archbishop Philip M. Hannan of New Orleans died Sept. 29, 2011, at age 98. He was instrumental in the formation of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux in 1977. Bishop Sam G. Jacobs declared a Year of New Evangelization which began Jan. 1, 2012, and ended Oct. 11, 2012. Bayou Catholic debuted its new magazine in February 2012. The monthly magazine, which


Diocesan History


Bishop Shelton Fabre celebrates Mass Sept. 23 following a press conference announcing his appointment as Fourth Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux.


includes new features, high quality photos and a modern layout, is delivered to all church parishes and schools, as well as some local businesses in the diocese. The Catholic Foundation of South Louisiana was established in March 2012 as a nonprofit organization to promote, encourage and assist individuals, families and businesses in giving to Catholic entities in South Louisiana. A $10.3 million building project which benefited Holy Cross Church and School and Central Catholic High School in Morgan City culminated with the dedication and blessing of the facilities Aug. 22, 2012. Bishop Sam G. Jacobs issued a pastoral letter on the Year of Faith, October 2012. Kateri Tekakwitha was canonized Oct. 21, 2012, bringing joy to the many Native Americans in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. The former St. Francis de Sales Convent in Houma became a house of discernment. The “Borromeo House at the Convent” began housing men in formal discernment for the priesthood. Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • November 2013

Sister Paula Richard, O.P., died Nov. 9, 2012, at age 89. She served the diocese in several capacities since its establishment in 1977. Sister Paula has been called a pioneer for the modern church because of her intellect and forward thinking ideas. Msgr. James B. Songy, died Dec. 5, 2012. He was one of the founding fathers of the diocese. He served in many capacities including chancellor, vicar general and apostolic administrator. In January 2013 the Brothers of the Sacred Heart in Thibodaux celebrated 100 years of continuous service to the area. Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation Feb. 11, 2013. Pope Francis I is elected as pope March 13, 2013. He is the first pope from the Americas, and the first from the Jesuit order. The diocese launched HTeNews, its latest communication tool which contains a weekly message from the bishop, religious news from the Vatican and also up-todate announcements of events in the diocese. The Guadalupan Missionary

Sisters of the Holy Spirit left the diocese in June 2013 after serving the Hispanic community for six years. Bayou Catholic magazine was chosen by the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada as the best diocesan magazine in North America for the 2013 award year. The Hispanic community in Morgan City celebrated 50 years of ministry there in September 2013. Missionary Catechists of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, a Mexican community of women religious with a United States province in Victoria, TX, began ministering in the five Hispanic centers in the diocese in September 2013. On Sept. 23, 2013, Pope Francis I accepted the resignation of Bishop Sam G. Jacobs and named Auxiliary Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of New Orleans as the Fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. Bishop Fabre was installed Oct. 30 at the Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales.

Bayou Catholic - Nov 2013 - Bishop Fabre  
Bayou Catholic - Nov 2013 - Bishop Fabre  

Bayou Catholic Magazine - Nov 2013 - Commemorative Bishop Fabre