St. Landry

Jan 14, 2011 8:03 PM by Carolyn Cerda

Immaculate Conception: Past, Present, Future

Parishioners of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church are still coming to grips with the loss of their place of worship. They're reflecting on their memories of the church and looking toward the future.

According to the Diocese of Lafayette, the church was built in 1853, then became its own parish in 1854. Since then, its become a major part of many lives in Washington.

"It's a very, very sad day for our town," said Lenola Chelette, the town curator. "Our town was at first known as Church's Landing. We've lost a place of worship that has long been in our community... We've been christened, had marriages and funerals."

"It was a shock this morning to see our church go up in flames," said church member Vicki Thibodeaux.

Vicki says neighbors and church members were able to grab a few items from the church just before it burned down. Saved were a few candle sticks, a statue, bible, crucifix, and most importantly the tabernacle. The items were moved next door into Immaculate Conception's community center, St. Joseph's Family Center.

"We're all on the go forward mode," said Thibodeaux. "We have made a makeshift church which is awesome. We have enough chairs to accommodate the entire congregation and some visitors that would like to come by."

Meantime, as for any talk of rebuilding, church members say that decision will have to be made by the catholic diocese. Though, Thibodeaux says parishioners are ready to help in the effort.

"If it was up to the church members, you'd get %100 participation. People would say let's do it. People are ready right now to throw on some gloves and boots and sift through the rubble right now. The church was made of a lot of wood and nails but it was a lot of heart and soul in it and we'll be ok."

Mass will be held Saturday at 4:00pm and Sunday at 7:30am and 9:30, which is the regular schedule. For information on confession or other scheduled events, contact the church office at (337) 826-7396. A recovery account has also been set up at Washington State Bank.

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