St. Peter's Catholic Church

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Pastoral Advisory Council Elections

Dear Parishioners of St. Peter’s Parish,

As chairman of the St. Peter’s Pastoral Advisory Council, I write this week to share with you an opportunity worth praying over. The Advisory Council assists the Pastor in developing and fostering the pastoral plan of the parish, including the pastoral vision, mission, goals, and action plans for the parish. December is the time of year when we ask parishioners to consider serving St. Peter’s Parish through membership on the Advisory Council.

We are seeking to fill two Council positions at this time through election by the congregation of St. Peter. Council members must be 18 years of age and be registered parishioners at St. Peter’s. Worth noting is that the Council meets every other month and a normal term of service is three years.

Please consider nominating yourself or a fellow parishioner for service on the Advisory Council. If you have a great love of our Church, our Faith, and the possibility of helping to foster an engaged, lively faith community here at St. Peter’s, then this opportunity is for you. To nominate yourself or another, please call or email the St. Peter’s main office at 369-3816 or to submit a name for consideration.

Thanks & God bless,

Jason Huffman

Financial Stewardship

Dear Parishioners,

I am so very grateful to Deacon Patrick Burke who gave such a remarkable and heartfelt spiritual challenge to each of us on the weekend of November 17th when he discussed our need to be more attentive to our financial stewardship. As I received much positive feedback from his homily, I remain confident that the parishioners of St. Peter Parish remain faithfully dedicated to the preservation of our parish. Your generosity is overwhelming.

I am happy to report that the parish office roof which Deacon spoke about in his homily has been fixed. We believe that the problem has been solved. Due to a generous donor who underwrote a substantial amount of the repair fee, this project is complete and totally paid for. The issue of the church roof will be addressed as the next project of our Centennial Capital Campaign. The next distribution of campaign funds will be received from the Diocese this month. It is our hope that by early spring we will begin to see work being done on the roof of St. Peter’s. I use this opportunity to give a gentle reminder to continue to be faithful to your Centennial Campaign pledges.

With prayers and best wishes to each of you and your families as we begin this holy season of Advent, I remain Yours sincerely in Christ,

Fr. Blanda

A Labor of Love

“Il essuiera leurs larmes”
“He will wipe away their tears.”

The upkeep of a lawn is a labor of love. Carefully planning the date and time of cutting , paying close attention to flower beds and other plantings, neatly edging sidewalks and raking up the lawn clippings all of this arduous labor done to attain the final goal – a perfectly manicured lawn. Enjoying the finished product seems hardly a though whilst one is working tirelessly to accomplish it. But, once complete there is a sense of joy and accomplishment. Weekly, the process is repeated and weekly the same results are enjoyed.

The upkeep of a historic cemetery is not much different. Much time and planning goes into keeping the grounds, sidewalks, and public spaces of the cemetery as tidy and neat as possible. Last year, we engaged the services of a professional lawn company to maintain our cemetery. To great satisfaction, the lawn company has been keeping up the cemetery very well and groups of volunteers have been taking time picking up loose flowers and debris in the cemetery. All of these efforts yield a beautiful cemetery, one that is well-kept and is an inviting place, and a fitting tribute and public expression of our faith and respect for the dead.

It is through the generosity of those who have chosen to pay the voluntary annual cemetery dues to the cemetery that we are able to maintain our historic St. Peter Cemetery. The dues collected from each donor are deposited and used to pay for the professional lawn service as well as to make needed repairs to sidewalks and other areas in the cemetery. While it is a historic cemetery and there are many cracks and crevices, we are trying to maintain the cemetery to the highest standard. This is all made possible by the generosity of the parishioners and donors to the cemetery. The upkeep of a cemetery lawn and ground, just like a home or business lawn is an investment and an act of love. However, when investing the upkeep of a cemetery it is also a sign of one’s outward commitment to the Church’s teaching of respect for and praying for the dead and to keeping the resting place of those dearly departed in the best condition.

As we gain more support for the cemetery, we are hoping to be able to do more work in the cemetery such as cleaning and continued repair of sidewalks, possibly performing maintenance on graves that have been forgotten and abandoned graves, and other projects. To all who have donated to the cemetery we thank you ! We ask all to pray for the repose of the souls entrusted to its care and for the comfort and consolation of their families remembering that the Lord will “wipe away the tears from their eyes.”

If you have not visited our cemetery, we invite you to take some time to visit. We invite you to consider becoming involved in the upkeep and preservation of our historic cemetery by becoming a donor or a volunteer. We also invite you to take time to enjoy the peacefulness of this sacred space and to enjoy the labor of love that has been put forward to keep up our historic St. Peter Cemetery.

La Toussaint

“Heureux les morts car ils se reposent de leur travail et leurs bonne oeuvreses marchent devant eux. “
“Blessed are the dead for they rest from their labors and their good works go before them.”

Each year the month of November brings with it the annual cemetery visit and blessing of the tombs. For the months leading up to November, the cemetery grows more vibrant with the freshly painted tombs and newly arranged flowers on the tombs of departed loved ones. A historic cemetery such as our beloved St. Peter’s is a vast treasure and one that not all cities are able to have so well-kept and available for visit. It is through the generosity of so many parishioners and others that we are able to maintain the cemetery.

As one walks through the cemetery and observes the differing graves and headstones, it is a glimpse into the history of our city. Many of the tombstones in white marble carefully inscribed French and many with insignia inscribed from military service, to civic and community organizations one can begin to see the work and dedication of our forebears upon whose back the city of New Iberia was built. Our cemetery is truly a treasure to the city and most importantly a treasure to each of us. It is a treasure to the city in that it serves as a perpetual memorial to all who have given of their time, their talent, and their treasure to build the great City of New Iberia. It is a treasure to us as we are given the chance to pay our respect to not only our loved ones buried there, but also to one day, at the end of our earthly pilgrimage, to join those who have gone before us and rest from our labors. And our good works will be memorialized in the historic St. Peter Cemetery for future generations to be able to look back and see whose sacrifice and hard-work has provided the City of New Iberia that they will love and enjoy.

News Concerning Loffland Hall and KC Hall

Our Finance and Pastoral Advisory Councils are continuing to work with me in discerning the continued use of our buildings located on Center Street (KC Building and Loffland Hall). We had previously reported to you that the KC Building was slated to be demolished thus decreasing the amount of our annual insurance premium and maintenance on a building that is no longer being used. Since that original announcement, we have also made the decision to sell Loffland Hall along with the attached property. For the past year we have been having discussions in our meetings regarding the future use of this building that was once used for catechetical purposes. This building was constructed when the public school was across the street. The students had the convenience of walking across for their CCD instruction. In the past years since my arrival, I have had much feedback that the students and teachers felt disconnected from the parish when CCD was taking place in those buildings. Last year we experimented in relocating the CCD students to the parish hall and our annex building (Christian Formation Offices). Although the relocation is a logistical challenge for us, it is better for the students to be connected to the parish by being on the main campus. The next step in this process is to petition to the Bishop for the permission needed to dispose of the property on Center Street. Once that permission is granted, we will officially put this property up for sale. The financial outcome for the parish will be to maintain less buildings and save over $6000 on our insurance premium each year.

Fr. Blanda

Second Collections at St. Peter Parish

Recently I was asked if it was possible to offer to our parishioners a more thorough explanation of our second collections here at St. Peter’s. As I contemplated this request, I called to mind my initial homily that I gave to the parishioners regarding my desire to keep you informed of parish needs. As time passes, it is easy to presume that everyone always understands the workings of the parish and the recurring practices that become the flow of parish life. I can see how this is true in regards to the recurring second collections that are taken here at St. Peter’s. I would like to offer a better explanation of the monthly Property and Liability insurance collection, the Maintenance and Repair collection and the CHS Subsidy collection.

Property and Liability - this recurring collection helps the parish to pay the annual insurance bill which includes the property, liability and workman’s compensation. This is not optional for a parish to have; nor is it allowed for us to shop around for competitive rates. Each parish is insured through Catholic Mutual. This year our premium is $66,601. This bill is received in July and must be paid by December.

St. Peter’s Maintenance and Repair - this monthly collection assists the parish in ongoing maintenance projects and repairs that are necessary in order to maintain our parish buildings and grounds. The challenge of our parish is that there is so much deferred maintenance and repair in which we are trying to catch up on. Facilities need constant care and maintenance. If this is not done on a regular basis, the problems mushroom. Much thought is now being put into the decisions as to which maintenance issues that will
be addressed in each fiscal year. Our annual budget includes foreseen projects as well as a cushion for unforeseen repairs. Currently, this year’s budget includes $71,000 for maintenance and repairs. This monthly collection helps to generate funds for our parish to operate in this area.

CHS Subsidy - as an owner parish of Catholic High School, we are responsible for assisting in the operations of the school. Each owner parish subsidizes according to how many parishioners are sending their children to Catholic High. The amount is $200/student. In this academic year we are responsible for subsidizing Catholic High with the amount of $11,800. This breaks down to $1,180/month for a ten month period. The recurring monthly collection assists the parish in fulfilling this financial obligation.

I hope that this more thorough explanation will assist each parishioner in being better informed as to the workings of our parish. It is with much appreciation that I thank you for your ongoing generosity.

Fr. Blanda

Crossroads Catholic Bookstore now under ownership of Catholic Charities of Acadiana

Crossroads Collective, formerly Crossroads Catholic Bookstore, a Catholic non-profit business that has operated in Lafayette since 1984, is now under the ownership of Catholic Charities of Acadiana. Following a growing national trend of non-profits who are pursuing social enterprises to generate sustainable revenue, Catholic Charities of Acadiana sought the opportunity to merge with Crossroads Catholic Bookstore which took effect on July 1, 2019. All profits from sales at Crossroads Collective now benefit the programs of Catholic Charities of Acadiana.

“We want to honor the legacy of Crossroads Catholic Bookstore and the impact those involved in its ministry have made in Acadiana for over the last thirty years. It is a blessing to have been given this opportunity to carry on the legacy of Crossroads and not only continue its mission but to expand its significance.” says Kim Boudreaux, CEO of Catholic Charities of Acadiana, “this endeavor allows our community the opportunity to support and engage in the work of Catholic Charities of Acadiana in a new way and make their purchasing experience have meaning.”

Among its large selection of traditional Catholic gifts and books, Crossroads Collective will further expand its inventory to highlight local artisans and support ethically sourced and fair trade products from around the world, which reflects our desire for both local and global solidarity.

About Catholic Charities of Acadiana: Catholic Charities of Acadiana’s mission is to care for the sacred gift of all human life, especially the most vulnerable. Since 1973, its programs have represented a response to the Gospel call to carry out the corporal works of mercy: feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, offering hospitality to the homeless, caring for the sick, visiting the imprisoned and burying the dead.

IRA Charitable Rollover

A Tax-Saving Charitable Gift for Non-Itemizers

Due to an increase in the 2019 standard deductions, many individuals and couples will no longer be able to claim itemized deductions. However, a tax-free IRA rollover offers the following benefits to individuals age 70 1/2 or older:

  • the ability to direct an IRA gift, up to $100,000 to your church parish or another qualified charity
  • Satisfies the required minimum distribution without increasing taxable income
  • No loss of a charitable contribution itemized deduction
  • A permanent provision that does not expire
  • Ability to direct your gift to any area of church operations

For more information, please contact Deacon Patrick Burke at our parish office.

Message from Bishop Deshotel Introducing Red Bird Ministries

As Bishop, I am writing to inform you of a new ministry in our Diocese that strives to support couples who have experienced the loss of a child of any age or any circumstance.

Red Bird Ministries is a Catholic, pro-life and pro-family grief support ministry that focuses on bereaved families who have experienced child loss of any age and any circumstance including miscarriage, stillbirth, infant loss, child loss, adolescent loss, and even the loss of an adult child.

Red Bird Ministries helps parents to understand grief, how to navigate through it, and how to take practical tips and tools to begin the healing process. No matter the stage of grief our families are in, Red Bird Ministries will work with families to heal them through the beautiful gifts of Our Mother Church.

Red Bird stands out by servicing and supporting families by helping the couple to understand what grief does to the family. By supporting both the father and the mother together, we help couples learn how to grieve together and to support each other. When couples learn how to communicate and love each other through their grief, there is beautiful transformation that happens within the entire family.

Red Bird Ministries is run by couples, for couples. All founders and families have experienced child loss and understand the magnitude of a bereaved parent’s suffering. On their core team they have a Deacon and a licensed family counselor who are bereaved parents that also provide professional services and spiritual direction for our families. Red Bird Ministries desires to help our Church minister and walk alongside our grieving families helping them out of isolation and desolation (where grief naturally takes them) back into community and back into Communion with God.

I encourage you to inform anyone who has experienced the loss of child to reach out to Red Bird Ministries. They have experience helping couples who have endured this painful loss to not just survive their loss, but journeying with our bereaved parents and loving them through their loss. Red Bird Ministries Inc. can be contacted at (337)223-2019 or their website at

Welcome Fr. Courville

Fr. Randy Courville On July 1st we will be welcoming one of our newly ordained priests to St. Peter Parish. It is such a tremendous blessing that Fr. Randy Courville will be assigned as the Parochial Vicar (Associate Pastor) of our parish. We congratulate him along with Fr. Bernard and Fr. Istre on their recent ordination.

This assignment of Fr. Courville is unique in that he will not be in residence here at St. Peter’s. The Bishop has asked me to serve as Administrator of St. Nicholas Parish, Lydia for an indefinite period of time. It is the desire of both the Bishop and me that St. Nicholas would not be left without a resident priest. For this reason, Fr. Courville will reside at St. Nicholas and serve as Sacramental Minister. He will thus maintain the regular Mass schedule at St. Nicholas along with hearing confessions, celebrating baptisms, marriages, anointing the sick and burying the dead. He will also provide a daily presence of a priest at St. Nicholas. Fr. Courville will be assisting with the ordinary administration of the parish under my direction and supervision.

Many will ask if Fr. Courville will be involved here at St. Peter’s. The answer is yes. He will be offering one of the four Sunday Masses here at St. Peter’s. He will also be covering for me on my day off, which is on Mondays. He will thus offer the Monday 5:30 pm Mass and be available for Monday funerals. I in turn will cover for funerals at St. Nicholas on Tuesdays which will be Fr. Courville’s day off. I will also occasionally be scheduled for weekend Masses in Lydia in order for me to have some contact with the parish as I am serving as the Administrator.

I ask that you join me in welcoming Fr. Courville to St. Peter and St. Nicholas Parishes. Together he and I ask for your understanding and patience as we together are entrusted with the care of these two parishes. ~Fr. Blanda

John Indest Named New Executive Director of The Disch-Declouet Social Service Center

Joanie Kraker, President of the Board of Directors of the Disch-DeClouet Social Service Center announced that the Board has selected John “Johnny” Indest to replace Carol Gaignard who is retiring as Executive Director of the Center. Mrs. Kraker stated, “We are deeply grateful to Carol who has led the Center for 11 years. She has shown great compassion and caring to our clients, God’s beloved poor. She has also been an excellent leader and administrator during her long tenure as voluntary director. Johnny will continue the great work that has been going on at the Center for 43 years. He also brings a heart for the poor and a spirit rooted in the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, as well as a wealth of management experience.”

Since his retirement as President and COO of the LHC Group 8 years ago, Johnny has been the anchor of our ministry on Wednesdays, training and developing new counselors, providing clients with spiritual guidance and prayer and so many other things. He is always smiling, compassionate and caring. He reaches out to the community to spread the news of the work that we do at the Center. He has served on the Board of Directors and is a critical member of our Development Committee.

Mr. Indest stated, “I have always had a calling from Jesus to serve those most in need. I vividly recall the beginning of the Social Service Center more than 43 years ago. Father Disch and Mike and Bev Firmin started it and I greatly admired the work it did. This was continued and enhanced by Paul and Shirley DeClouet. Upon my retirement, when asked what I would do with my time, I told anyone inquiring that I would spend some of my time serving the poor and needy of Iberia Parish.”

Mr. Indest was born in New Iberia, the third of seven children. His father, Roy Indest, was an oilfield equipment salesman and his mother, Joyce Indest, now 93 years old, is a retired school teacher. He and his wife Cathy have three children and 9 grandchildren.

The Disch-DeClouet Social Service Center is a non-profit, faith-based organization which provides emergency assistance with no waiting period to the people of Iberia Parish with utility bills, rent, clothing, food, medicine, dental, burial assistance and others. It is open Monday through Thursday and can assist up to 30 clients a day. It is staffed by approximately 35 dedicated volunteers. The Center is funded primarily by individual donations. We also receive funds from the United Way of Iberia and several of the Churches of New Iberia.

Weekly Votive Candle Memorials

Weekly Votive Candle Memorials

St. Peter’s Parish offers the opportunity to our parishioners to have a candle burning in church each week for an entire year for your special intentions. These intentions may be for your living or deceased loved ones, a special private intention or in thanksgiving for graces received. These candles are replaced each week by a group of volunteers. The donation for this service to cover the expenses of the candles is $260/year. This is equivalent to $5/week. If you are interested in this offer, please contact Mrs. Eileen Boudoin, our parish bookkeeper, at the parish office to make arrangement to begin this service.

In addition, Fr. Blanda has requested that a memorial candle burn each week for the deceased pastors and deacons of our parish. If anyone would like to contribute to the expense of this special votive, you can bring your donation to the parish office or place it in an envelope clearly marked for this purpose and include it in the Sunday collection. If we collect more than the $260 needed for this votive candle, the remaining amount will roll over to next year’s program.

Finance Advisory Committee

The Finance Advisory Committee meets on the third Thursday of each month. At each of the council meetings the members receive reports such as the parish balance sheet as well as income and expense statements. This allows us to better monitor the yearly parish budget. The members have the opportunity to ask questions to the Pastor and the parish Bookkeeper regarding areas of financial management. This committee plays a tremendous role in assisting the Pastor in providing sound financial management of the parish. We always strive to be good stewards of the contributions of the financial resources entrusted to our care. In the month of March, the committee will be specifically working with the Pastor and Bookkeeper in planning for the budget for the next fiscal year. Currently the members are individuals who have an expertise in banking, investing, accounting and business. The two parish Trustees and the parish Deacons are ex-officio members of the Parish Finance Advisory Council.

Appointment of Fr. Blanda as Chancellor of Hanson Memorial and St. John in Franklin

Effective February 20, 2019, Fr. Blanda was appointed Chancellor of Hanson Memorial School and St. John Elementary School in Franklin. This appointment will expire on July 1, 2019. This appointment is in addition to his duties as Pastor of St. Peter Parish, Chancellor of Catholic High as Dean of the South Deanery.

Desiring to be Good Stewards of Parish Resources

Since Deacon Cannon has come to St. Peter’s and has taken on the role of being the business manager of our parish, I have asked him to work closely with me in re-evaluating our purchasing, contracts and maintenance schedules for our operations. Even though the Church is first and foremost the Mystical Body of Christ divinely established by Our Blessed Lord to lead souls to heaven, She exist and operates in the world. A financially solvent parish is one that operates with the best of Christian valued business practices. In light of this reality, we are currently examining the business part of our operations, where money can be saved and resources managed even more responsibly. We owe this to our parishioners because I have pledged to you upon my arrival here at St. Peter’s over four years ago that I would do my best to manage our parish responsibly. Our staff strives to be the best stewards that we can be in managing all that comes to us through the generous contributions of our parishioners.

In the month of March, we begin the process of generating the parish budget for the next fiscal year which begins in July. The Finance Committee will be working with Deacon Cannon and our bookkeeper, Eileen Boudoin, and myself to plan for the new fiscal year. As this process will begin soon, I ask your prayers for us that the Holy Spirit will guide and direct us to be good and faithful stewards of the Church’s resources.

Fr. Blanda

New Rectory Windows — A Positive Effect

Since the completion of the project in which we installed 56 new windows to the parish rectory, we have received many compliments as to the visual appearance of the rectory building. That feedback is much appreciated. In addition to what is seen, I wanted to update the parishioners as to how much of a difference it has made inside the building. Since the new windows have been installed, I have been able to run the air conditioners at 73 degrees and the heater at 65 degrees with great comfort in the house. Prior to the replacement of the windows the thermostats had to be put on 67 degrees on the warmer days and 69 degrees for heat. The old windows were pulling in so much moisture from outside. In addition to the temperature settings, the house is so much quieter. I am certain that utility bills will reflect the efficiency of these new windows.

You have made this project possible by your contributions to the Centennial Capital Campaign. I look forward to the next project to begin as Campaign pledges continue to be fulfilled. The church roof needs attention and repair. The roof project is the next priority on our list of projects slated to be accomplished in the scope of our Capital Campaign. Thank you for your continued generosity.

New Rectory Windows