I take this opportunity to digress from my usual weekly blog postings and reflections to look back at this past weeks historic event held in our church. Some events come along once in a lifetime. This one came once in 250 years. Our November 11, 2015 anniversary celebration was of great significance, not only for our church parish, but our larger community of Acadiana as it became a part of the long history of our people who came here and founded so many of our Louisiana communities and at their earliest arrival, this church parish in 1765.
And so, I reflect....
It was a most special evening in the long history of one of the oldest churches in the United States and the third oldest in the state of Louisiana.In celebration of the 250th Anniversary (1765 - 2015) of Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church, Mother Church of the Acadians, a mass and reception were held on Wednesday, November 11, 2015, the feast day of our patron saint, Saint Martin de Tours.
Cardinal Gerald Cyprien Lacroix, Archbishop of the Diocese of Quebec, Canada presided at the mass before a completely full church of guests and parishioners. Dozens of area Priests were in attendance and Bishops from across Louisiana served as co-celebrants for the 7pm mass.
As Pastor of Saint Martin de Tours it was a great honor to welcome Cardinal Lacroix to his first visit to Louisiana and introduced him to Louisiana's unique culture of faith, family and food.
Reflecting on the history of Saint Martin de Tours Church to the people of St. Martin parish, Cardinal Lacroix stated, "The Canadians came here, they were refugees, they were expelled from Canada and they were brought here by boats. They came to settle this place and they were the first here and they built this church."
Cardinal Lacroix delivered a moving yet warm and upbeat homily to the congregation and cited the link between Canada and Louisiana as, centuries ago, Saint Martin de Tours church parish was part of the Diocese of Quebec, Canada.
Following the mass which culminated the celebrations of the year long 250th Anniversary year of the church, a reception was held in the historic church Presbytere and in a nearby reception hall across the church square.
In offering my own reflections on the evening, I felt that the celebrations of November 11 were a fitting tribute to this great church parish that has served the faithful for two and a half centuries, and which stood at the foundation of the arrival of the Acadians to our part of Louisiana. Cardinal Lacroix brought home the wonderful connection between our French-Canadian roots and ancestors and most fittingly touched upon the Catholic faith that unites us all.
You can visit our website at www.saintmartindetours.org to view more photos from the evening of November 11th or visit our Facebook page accessible from the home page of our website.