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Spirit of Acadiana: The Fathers of our "Fathers"

Acadiana Priests & Lessons Learned From Dad
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Posted at 6:48 PM, Jun 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-15 23:05:36-04

BROUSSARD & LAFAYETTE, La. — I was looking at kind of a different angle during this Fathers' Day Week, and in addition to the biological fathers-- the Art Brazdas of the world-- I thought about the other men we call "fathers": Our priests. What effect did their fathers have on them?

"So my father, a very talented man, he has a man cave at home with a lot of tools," began Father Michael Delcambre during a homily three weeks ago. "I try to stay out of there because when I get around his tools, it's trouble; it's nothing ever good. I just don't think before I act, and when i act and think afterwards, and usually things get broken and he has to clean up the mess."

Delcambre is the pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Broussard, and he is well aware of the pure love his dad showed the Delcambre family.

"He sacrificed so much much; it was never about him, it was always about my mom and us," says Delcambre. "As a priest, we're constantly challenged to sacrifice and give of myself, it's so easy to be selfish and to be sacrificial in the priesthood, i think I'm definitely inspired by my dad."

For a dozen years, Father Chester Arceneaux has guided his flock at St. John Cathedral. When it comes to thinking of others, he taps on the foundation laid by his late father. "He always taught us: 'Remember the poor; remember those who are 'not' privileged. We have a duty within our calling and our existence to always be that light for them, and to walk with them and journey with them'."

When Father Chester or his siblings stumbled, Mr. Arceneaux also implemented an examination of conscience, a way to hold his children accountable

"'O.K., how did your choice affect God? How did it affect your family life? How did it affect your friends? And the community?'," Arceneaux recalls his dad saying. "We had to spell it out of how that mistake or choice affected the greater body that existed."

From father to father, the lessons learned and the exhibition of admirable, human qualities.

"Just someone who's humble, who knows he doesn't have it all together," smiles Delcambre. "He's not going to claim to have it all together and I admire my dad's simplicity and humility, when it comes to recognizing he's not God, but realizing there is one, and he needs Him."

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