July 2, 2023

Dear Parishioners,

We are excited to welcome Sister Joan Manuel, CSJ, who is moving to our parish this summer. Sr. Joan is a member of the Congregation of St. Joseph and previously taught at St. Joseph Academy in Baton Rouge. She is a native of Eunice, Louisiana and is excited to be moving from the city to a rural community similar to the one she grew up in. Sr. Joan will be living in the upstairs apartment on campus and helping out in the café as well as with a few other parish ministries. Please join me in welcoming her to our parish.

Consecrated religious life is an essential and cherished vocation in the Catholic Church. Religious sisters, brothers, and priests take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and so direct our thoughts to lasting rather than earthly treasures. I pray that Sister Joans presence and witness may encourage us in our respective vocations.

While on the topic of consecrated religious, it was recently announced that Abbot Justin Brown, OSB, the abbot of St. Joseph Abbey near Covington, will be stepping down from his office later this month. Abbot Justin, elected in 2001, has done a beautiful job leading his community but felt that it was time for new leadership. I know his leadership will be missed but I am certain he will continue to serve his monastic community in other ways.

Once his resignation takes effect on July 14, all of the solemnly professed monks will meet to elect a new abbot. St. Joseph Abbey is a relatively small Benedictine community of about 30 monks who operate the free-standing college seminary for our region. Our seminarian, Austin Duhe, is set to begin his third year of formation at the college this fall. Austin has been assigned
to Christ the King Parish on the LSU campus this summer to further his pastoral development.

Please say a prayer for Father Jason Palermo, pastor of St. Joseph Church in French Settlement, who recently lost his mother. Father Jason is an only child, and so was the primary caregiver for his mother during the last years of her life. Not everyone has the patience and wherewithal to care for an elderly parent, and I greatly admire those who are able to do so. Bishop Duca and several priests of our Diocese were able to attend the funeral Mass in support of Father Jason.

A group selling olive wood gifts from the Holy Land will make a return visit to our parish next weekend to offer goods for sale after all of our weekend Masses. Feel free to visit their booth as well as our own Sacred Arts and Gift shop for religious articles. Our Gift Shop will be closed next weekend in deference to the Holy Land gifts.

The church office will be closed on both Monday and Tuesday of this week for the July 4th holiday. Also, please note that the 5:45 p.m. Mass is canceled on Tuesday, July 4. Enjoy the long weekend and have a safe and happy 4th! And congratulations to the LSU baseball team on a wonderful season capped off by outstanding play at the College World Series!

In Christ,
Father Matt