Saturday, September 5, 2015

Bulletin for the Week of September 6, 2015

The Pastor’s Corner 

Our annual Memorial Mass for Fr. Lafleur will take place tomorrow, Monday, September 7, 2015 at 6:30pm.  We are especially excited that Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese of Military Services will be the main celebrant and homilist.  As was mentioned last week, Archbishop Broglio is the shepherd of all our military personnel worldwide and their families.  It is quite exciting that he is able to be with us tomorrow, and we certainly welcome him with heartfelt gratitude for his presence.
The fact that the Memorial Mass falls on Labor Day, a national holiday, gives us the opportunity as an entire community to learn about the extraordinary life of Fr. Lafleur. Below is an invitation to you to attend. Please make plans to attend this special moment in St. Landry's history memorializing the life of a man we believe is a saint and for whom St. Landry Church is "home."


“The ‘Friends of Lt. Fr. Lafleur’ request your presence to commemorate the 71st Anniversary of the death of Lt. Father Joseph Verbis Lafleur, Chaplain-United States Army Air Corps, on Monday, September 7, 2015 at 6:30pm at St. Landry Catholic Church, Opelousas, LA. The Celebrant and Homilist will be Archbishop Timothy Broglio, Archbishop of Military Services”.

Joseph Verbis Lafleur was born in Ville Platte on January 24, 1912. Later, he would move with his family to nearby Opelousas, where he faithfully served as an altar boy at St. Landry Church during his youth.  After serving as an altar server here at St. Landry, he left for the seminary under the sponsorship of Fr. Colliard and St. Landry Church.  After his ordination to the priesthood in 1938, he celebrated his first Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving here at St. Landry.  He then served a short time in the Lafayette Diocese at St. Mary Magdalen Church in Abbeville (where he is still fondly remembered for his piety and work with the youth).  He then began to serve as a chaplain in the United States Army in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. Fr. Lafleur was captured by the Japanese and was imprisoned, where he ministered to his fellow prisoners. The story of Fr. Lafleur's life is extraordinary, especially in his selflessness, kindness and bravery, all the while he himself was being treated cruelly.

For his service, Father Lafleur was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Purple Heart, and Bronze star for his valor. After being taken prisoner by the Japanese, by all accounts he served his brother prisoners with honor and distinction.  He had the opportunity to evacuate prior to the Japanese invasion of the Phillipines, but instead stayed in order to serve the men who were entrusted to his pastoral care.  On September 7, 1944, he and several hundred other prisoners were killed when the ship upon which they were being transported was torpedoed. Father Lafleur's body was never recovered, but memories of survivors report that he was last seen aiding others to escape the sinking ship. His memorial monument in front of St. Landry Church serves as our tangible remembrance of his life, as he indicated that if he died during his service to our country that he desired to be buried at St. Landry Church. He is also remembered in the chaplain's memorial in Arlington National Cemetery. The year 2015 marks the 71st anniversary of his death.

Fr. Lafleur is certainly a significant figure in our church parish history and a part of our spiritual patronage that we should all cherish. Let us enjoy the celebration of his life this weekend, become inspired by it, and try to imitate the Christ-like virtues he modeled for us.  All are invited and encouraged to attend the Memorial Mass tomorrow. You can also learn more about Father Lafleur by visiting or by purchasing the book chronicling his life, "But He Dies Not,” which will be available after the Memorial Mass and is always available in our church office or at Catholic bookstores in Lafayette.

            Father James Brady

The bulletin for the week of September 06, 2015 has been posted. Click here to see it.

The calendar on the website has been updated with all events for the coming week along with prayer intention information and information on the second collection for all of the masses. Take some time to look at our calendar here.

Updates are also being made to our St. Landry Catholic Church blog. You can get to the blog from the church home page under the Bulletins and News section or you can just click here to go to it.

Don't forget, we're also sending out live updates via Twitter. Our Twitter name is StLandryCath. You can see updates by clicking here.

And we're also on Facebook --- friend us! You can see our updates on our page SaintLandryCatholicChurch.