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Bishops move forward with process of canonization for local priest

Verbis LaFleur.jpg
Posted at 4:21 PM, Jun 17, 2021

On Thursday, the U.S. bishops voted in favor of advancing the cause of canonization of a local priest.

According to the Diocese of Lafayette, the advancement was made for Father Joseph Verbis Lafleur, a World War II military chaplain from Ville Platte.

At the June meeting of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, the U.S. Bishops voted to proceed with the cause for sainthood (canonization) for Father Joseph Verbis Lafleur.

Bishop Douglas Deshotel, on Thursday made a presentation to the USCCB just before the vote. He says that this is part of the procedural steps required by The Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

99 percent of some 300 Bishops voted in favor of furthering the cause for Fr. Lafleur. There are three consultations required in the steps to sainthood:

  1. Consulting the local people.
  2. The national Conference of Bishops.
  3. The Congregation for Saint’s causes in Rome.

"Fr. Lafleur’s exemplary life of charity is a model and inspiration for people of all faiths. He gave his life for others. There is no greater love than to give one’s life for one’s friends,” said Bishop Deshotel.

Bishop Deshotel opened Fr. Lafleur’s cause for canonization on September 5, 2020.

Lt. Father J. Verbis Lafleur was a native of Ville Platte and parishioner of St. Landry Church in Opelousas who was ordained as a priest in the Diocese of Lafayette in 1938, where he was assigned to St. Mary Magdalen Parish in Abbeville. He later volunteered as a military chaplain during World War II. As a prisoner of war, he died while saving the lives of his fellow servicemen during a torpedo attack aboard a sinking Japanese P.O.W. ship off the coast of the Philippines in the final year of the war.

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