May 7, 2023

Dear Parishioners,

May is the month for graduations so please pray for all of our graduates and their parents as they celebrate this milestone. St. Amant High School has its graduation this Wednesday evening, Ascension Catholic graduates next Saturday, May 13,, and St. Theresa Middle School celebrates its 8th Grade Commencement on May 16. Congratulations to all of our graduates.

The Parish OfÞce will be closed on Wednesday of this week while our parish staff works on the 2023-2024 church calendar. We will travel to an off-site location for our planning day and this year we will be in St. Gabriel enjoying the hospitality of Father Charlie Landry and St. Gabriel Parish. We will review all 52 weeks of the coming year so that we can get an early start in preparing for the many cele-
brations and events which occur in our parish each year.

In addition to calendar planning, we will take the opportunity to tour the National Hansens Disease Museum and the Sacred Heart Chapel at Carville. By coincidence, Wednesday, May 10, is also the feast day of St. Damien de Veuster, the Belgian priest who ministered to the leprosy patients on the island of Molokai from 1873 until his death in 1889 at the age of 49.

We will honor our Blessed Mother with a traditional May crowning ceremony next Sunday, May 14, at the conclusion of the 9:00 Mass. We will walk in procession to our new Lourdes Grotto and then ask one of our second graders to place the crown on Mary. We will then offer prayers and hymns to our Blessed Mother as an expression of our love and devotion. This date was chosen to coincide with
Mothers Day since Mary is the Mother of Jesus and the Mother of the Church. In honoring her we honor all of the mothers of our community on this special day.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops recently released a report on the priestly ordination class of 2023. There are 458 seminarians who are completing their seminary formation and on track to be ordained priests this spring and summer. The number of ordinands is up from 419 in 2022, and so reflects a positive trend for our Church.

The average age of this years new priests is 33. Sixty-four percent are Caucasian; 16 percent are Hispanic; 10 percent are Asian or PaciÞc Islander; and 6 percent are Black/African American. One quarter were born outside of the United States, with the largest numbers coming from Mexico, Vietnam, Nigeria, and Columbia. Forty-two percent had completed college before entering the semi-

We have two priests being ordained for our Diocese this year: Deacon Albert Blount from Christ the King Parish in Baton Rouge, and Deacon Joseph Bresowar from St. Theresa Parish in Gonzales. They will be ordained on Saturday, May 27, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Joseph Cathedral in Baton Rouge. All are invited to attend.

The 2023 NFL Draft is now in the books and Saints fans hope and pray that we were able to add some quality athletes to our roster. The Saints Þnished with a disappointing record of 7 wins and 10 losses last year, and so improvements are needed. They seem to have a good coaching staff and a core group of solid players, so I am hopeful that they will do better in 2023.

In Christ,
Father Matt