The Community of Jesus Crucified hosted the annual Fete Dieu du Teche today.
The 40-mile Eucharistic Procession by boat takes place along the waters of the Bayou Teche on the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Patroness of the Acadian people.
Sunday marked the 256th anniversary of the arrival of French-Canadian immigrants who brought the Catholic faith to Acadiana after enduring great suffering and religious persecution.
"Father Michael Champagne had the great idea to have a Eucharistic procession on boats down the original waterway that the original Acadians came down to settle Acadiana fleeing from Acadie in Canada," said participant John Dugas. "So this commemorates their journey and also commemorates the faith that they brought with them as the Acadians loved their Lord and loved Our Lady. Today is the feast day of the Assumption of Mary."
The day began with an 8 a.m. Mass celebrated in French by Bishop Douglas Deshotel at St. Leo the Great Catholic Church in Leonville, and the procession began to the nearby boat landing, and the boats proceeded to St. Martinville, retracing the voyage made by the Acadians all those years ago.
The next stop was Arnaudiville, where a Rosary was prayed; then the boats proceeded to Cecilia, Breaux Bridge and Parks, where Rosaries were prayed at each stop. The procession then arrived in St. Martinville and walked to Notre Dame de Perpetuel Secours for prayer, and then to St. Martin de Tours Church for solemn vespers and benediction.