On June 6, 1967, Reverend Joseph Robert
Dubuc, another priest from Quebec, Canada, was assigned to Maurice. He was
born in 1904, ordained in 1939, and entered the diocese in 1940.
Father Dubuc was known as a church builder. On August
23, 1968, the Board of Directors gave Father Dubuc the same power to borrow
money to build a new church. On October 23, 1968, official approval was
received from the Apostolic Delegate in Rome to borrow $75,000.00.
After advertising for bids for the new church, the congregation was
disappointed when all bids were too high and out of the money approved.
The trustees, Mr. Loubert Trahan and Mr. Lydea Simon along with Fr. Dubuc,
called another meeting of the church leaders, farmers, business men and
discussed the situation. It was agreed to re-advertise for bids but
with a different set of options. All expensive decorations and windows
were to be taken out, to be added at a later date when the parish could
afford them. The thinking was that the first and foremost priority was
a solid church building that would serve for many years. Also the first bid
was for union labor only, preventing any of the parishioners of donating
time and labor towards the project. None of the local businesses could
bid. The second bid came in at $142,000 as opposed to $212,000 for the
first. This bid was awarded to Abbeville Lumber Co. The stained
glass windows were installed in 2000 and 2001.
church was completed and the first Mass was offered in the third St. Alphonsus Church on July 26, 1969. The first anticipated Mass was offered by
Father Dubuc in May, 1969. The church, seating 600 people, was built at a
cost of $146,000.00. Bishop Maurice Schexnayder blessed the new church
on March 21, 1971, at 10:00 a.m. Mass.
The first mausoleum was constructed in 1971.
Reverend Gerard L. Frey, D.D. was appointed Third Bishop of Lafayette on
November 7, 1972. He was installed on January 7, 1973; he retired in
1989 at the mandatory age of 75 and lives in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.
Father Dubuc retired on April30, 1974. Father Dubuc was from a family of 20
children , four were priests and three were nuns. Upon his retirement, he
returned to his family in Canada, died there in 1991, and is buried in the
Nicolete Clergy Cemetery.
The parish profile of 1974 listed the Catholic population at 1865 with
attendance at Sunday Mass as 900. Forty-five baptisms, 10 marriages, and 14
burials were recorded. There were 325 CCD students and a $24,000.00 debt.
The taxable income was $28,286.00. The profile also included a trust fund
for the cemetery and a small investment fund.
Monsignor Robert C. Landry, a native of Abbeville, became pastor on May 1,
1974. Father Landry, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Landry, was ordained
May 28, 1959. He was diocesan director of Press and Information, a
member of the Priests’ Senate, Vice Chancellor—Secretary to Bishop
Schexnayder, Chaplain of Our Lady of Wisdom, USL, and Officialis of
the Diocesan Tribunal. He served St. Alphonsus for fourteen years.
Father Landry retorted, when asked how long he had been here, “Long enough
to cry at funerals.” Father Landry died later in Mexico and is buried new
his parents in Abbeville, La.
High Mass stipends were discontinued in 1974. The first parish bulletin was
issued on May 19, 1974. On June 18, 1974, the first Parish
Council met in the dining room of the old rectory.
Members of that council were the two trustees, Lydea Simon and Loubert
Trahan, and council members Fred Broussard, Larry Broussard, Wallace
Broussard, Will Broussard, Paul Landry, Robert (Bob) Trahan, Delores Trahan
and Alberta V. Winch. Fred Broussard was to be appointed trustee a
year later upon Mr. Simon's moving to Lafayette, La.
Deposits for 1974-75 totaled $32,645.41, with disbursements of $28,107.34.
Lay readers (lectors) were appointed February 1, 1975. Lay ministers
of communion were approved November 14, 1975. Beginning in 1975,
banners depicting liturgical seasons were made by the CCD classes. From 1975
on, during Lent, Masses at St. Joseph and St. Alphonsus were coordinated to
have one in the morning and one in the evening.
The 41st International Eucharistic Congress was held in Philadelphia August
1 - 8, 1976. Several parishioners attended.
The Ladies Altar Society Bingo in 1976 contributed $1,042.00 to the CCD
program. From then on, a social bingo has been held each year. Today
the Society numbers over 100.
Patrick Dwayne Primeaux, SM., our fourth native priest, son of Mrs. Jeanne
Picard Primeaux and the late Isaac Primeaux, former residents of Maurice,
was born in Abbeville on February 1, 1947. He was ordained on May 27,1977,
at Our Lady of Fatima in Lafayette, Louisiana, and said his first Mass there
on May 28, 1977. He is currently Professor at St. John’s University in
Jamaica, New York.
St. Joseph Parish in Milton was established on July 1, 1977. It had
been a mission of Youngsville. A new church was built in 1993 to
serve the parish needs.
new rectory, the third in this century, was completed on October 15, 1978,
at a cost of approximately $77,101.00. The old rectory was sold to
Delhomme Funeral Home, was completed rebuilt, and still serves the Maurice
community as a Funeral Parlor on property adjacent to the church property.
Another one of our “larger family” is Father Danny Picard, son of Mr. and
Mrs. Ray Picard of Abbeville and the grandson of Dr. and Mrs. Aristide
Picard, both former parishioners of St. Alphonsus. He was ordained a Deacon
on September 1, 1978, and a priest on June 1, 1979. He has served our
diocese in the Office of the Deaf Apostolate for over seven years and in
various parishes and is still in our diocese.
An oil lease for the
church property was obtained in 1979 for a three-year period for a sum of
$100.00 an acre per year.
The Diocese assessment for ten months in 1980 was $7372.00.
The Knights of Columbus Seat of Wisdom Council No. 8770 was organized August
28, 1984, under the leadership of Stanley S. Hebert, Sr., who died at a very
young age in 1991. He was the first Grand Knight of 36 charter
members. After his death, in 1992 Council No. 8770 changed its name to
Knights of Columbus Stanley S. Hebert, Sr. Council No. 8770, in his memory
as one who had worked so hard for the group, which now has 72 members.
The first Knights of Columbus was organized before 1900 in New Orleans
Diocese during the episcopacy of Archbishop Louis Chapelle, Sixth Bishop of
New’ Orleans Diocese. The first native Louisianian to be elected to the
episcopacy, Bishop J. B. Jeanmard, was State Chaplain for the Louisiana
Knights of Columbus from 1919-1928. Bishop Maurice Schexnayder, second
Bishop of Lafayette, also served the Knights as State Chaplain from
1933-1944. In his book, One Mile an Hour, Father W. J Teurlings
praised the strong faith and example of this organization, which continues
From February to September, 1985, Father Landry was on sick leave. The
Parish Council became an active, working body, with the help of several
Called by Bishop Gerard Frey, the Diocesan Synod was held from 1985 — 1988,
with St. Alphonsus Parish taking an active part in all activities. A parish
assembly was held in 1987. Consultation between clergy and laity produced
guidelines for the coming century.
1986, St. Alphonsus Congregation began a special yearly anniversary Mass
honoring couples celebrating 25, 40, 50 or 60 years of marriage.
April 19, 1986, Most Reverend Harry J. Flynn, D.D., was appointed Co-Adjutor
Bishop of Lafayette and succeeded Bishop Frey when he retired. Bishop
Flynn became the fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Lafayette.
Succeeding Bishop Flynn was Bishop Edward O. Donnell from St. Louis, Mo. who
served from 1984 to 2002 when he retired because of health reasons.
Bishop O'Donnell has moved back to St. Louis to live with family members. Just
recently a new bishop has been appointed to serve the Diocese of Lafayette,
Appointed to serve as Bishop is Michael Jarrell from Opelousas, La.
Bishop Jarrell was ordained in 1967 and served as bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodeaux prior to
his appointment in Lafayette. Bishop Jarrell had served in the
Lafayette Diocese for 26 years prior to his appointment as bishop of
next pastor, Rev. Martin Leonards, was appointed in August, 1988.
Reverend Martin Leonards is a native of Rayne and the son of Mrs. Gerhard J.
Leonards and the late Mr. Leonards, rice farmers of Acadia Parish. Father
Leonards attended Immaculata Seminary in Lafayette and Notre Dame Seminary
in New Orleans. He was ordained in St. John’s Cathedral on December 17,
1966. His first assignment was as assistant at Sacred Heart, Broussard, from
1967 to 1971; then at St. Anthony’s, Eunice from 1972 to 1975. He was pastor
at St. John’s in Mermentau from 1975 to 1977, and at St. Peter’s in Gueydan
from 1977 to 1988. He is now serving his second term on the Diocesan School
Board. In 1991 Father Leonards celebrated his twenty—fifth anniversary as a
priest. On July 1, 2002, Father Leonards was transferred to Duson, La. as
Pastor of St. Theresa Catholic Church.
the same time, July 1, 2002, that Father Leonards was transferred to Duson,
Father O. Joseph Breaux, then pastor of St. Theresa's, Duson, La. was
transferred and assumed duties as pastor of St. Alphonsus here in Maurice,
La. Father Breaux is a native of Opelousas, La. and was ordained in
1968 and has served in several parishes prior to coming to St.
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