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Spirit of Acadiana: The 70-year journey of Father Floyd Calais

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Posted at 10:30 PM, Jun 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-05 23:43:51-04

" I am now 93,”

And you’ve been a priest for how long?

“70.”

How’d you do that?

Pause. “I prayed a lot!!”

Father Floyd Calais’ burning bush moment came at a retreat in Grand Coteau during high school. He had 10 minutes to be alone in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

“…And during those 10 minutes I really prayed, and when I got up I said, 'I'm going to be a priest’.”

The only problem with that declaration, adds Calais, was the reaction from his mother. “She laughed and I never should have said that because everytime she'd say 'will you do this or that', if I griped she'd say, '"you'll be a fine priest'."

In the 70 years, did you ever have any doubts about being a priest?

“Oh no never,” says Calais quickly. “I cannot imagine what I could have been or would have been had I not been a priest.”

His favorite part about being a priest? “Of course, saying Mass,” says Calais. “To hold the Creator of the world in your hands? God has to really love you to call you to do that for him.”

Even in retirement, Floyd Calais is not quite retired. He is doing evangelization, trying to reconnect people "….that got angry with a priest years ago, and they don't want to see a priest anymore, so I convince them to talk to them and say, 'Father Calais is approachable.”

The numbers are astounding--- 70 years as a priest. 93 years on this planet. But the numbers aren't anywhere near as astounding as the person--- as Father Floyd Calais himself.

“It’s been a good run?” I ask.

“I have enjoyed every minute of it,” says Calais.

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