Pastor’s Corner from August 6, 2017
This weekend we welcome Bishop Deshotel at the 4pm Saturday evening Mass and the dedication of the Valentin Hall renovation immediately following. Bishop Deshotel will be the main celebrant and homilist at the Mass and will lead the prayers of dedication.
The completion of the renovation is certainly a milestone for our parish community. As many of you know, Valentin Hall was built to house approximately 30 Marianites of the Holy Cross whose primary duty was service as teachers at AIC and Opelousas Catholic. Built in 1953, Valentin Hall housed the good sisters until the summer of 1982. Many of you have fond memories of the sisters who lived there and were positively influenced by them not only in your quality education, but in the strong faith the sisters instilled. As a parish community, we continue to reap the benefit of the Marianites work in the seeds of faith they cultivated in our parishioners. We thank them for all they did for our school and continue to do for our community to this day, especially in their service to the elderly and sick.
After the Marianites moved from Valentin Hall, it began to be used as an office building for our parish. However, over the years it became necessary to update and redesign the facility so that it could meet the needs of our parish community. We indeed believe it now does, and we are so grateful to God for His goodness to us in having such a facility.
Our gratefulness to God includes not only in guiding our project and giving success to work of our hands, but also in providing people dedicated to the project who possess the generosity, competence, and talents to plan, execute and finance the project. Our Parish Advisory Board and Finance Council provided the initial vision and support to move forward with project. Joshua Hoffpauir of Hoffpauir Studios in Baton Rouge provided the architectural expertise. Lenard Bertrand General Contractors and the numerous subcontractors executed the construction plans. Deacon Joubert coordinated the construction logistics, doing a wonderful job of providing a functional parish office during construction. This burden fell on him especially in my absence while on
sabbatical. Many thanks to all of them for their efforts and flexibility during the project!
In addition, on the financing of the project, many thanks to all of you for your generosity in the regular offertory and the Centennial Campaign, which will finance the majority of the project. There was also a generous donor (who would like to remain anonymous) who gave the parish a whole life insurance policy some 40 years ago that provided support for a significant part of the renovation. Finally, we were blessed with a generous and thoughtful donor, Bobby Dupre, who donated $50,000 over the next ten years to provide for furnishings and technology improvements in the building.
Lastly, there was great patience and flexibility with you and our staff during the project, especially our office staff (Priscilla Guidroz and Lois Joubert). As with any construction project, it is messy and inconvenient. Our staff had to deal with regular moves and logistical issues all throughout the project and did so with dedication and devotion. From our staff and community, there seemed to be nothing much of complaints so much as support and understanding. For that we thank all those whose flexibility and patience made the project easier to manage and complete.
All of these parts have come together to help make the whole project a success. We rejoice today and thank Bishop Deshotel for coming to celebrate this time with us. May God continue to bless us and give success to the work of our hands!