On Wednesday, The Diocese of Lafayette celebrated 100 years with a Centennial Mass at the Cajundome Convention Center.
100 years ago, the first Bishop of Lafayette was installed at St. John’s Cathedral in Downtown Lafayette.
Hundreds of Parishioners filled the Convention Center, with Archbishop Gregory hand to celebrate the centennial.
“We are celebrating with a closing mass, for the centennial year. All year long we’ve been celebrating throughout the diocese of Lafayette in the different parishes the 100 anniversary of the Diocese,” Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel said.
It was no doubt a celebration, but even Bishop Deshotel acknowledged challenging time over the past century. The church sex abuse crisis started in Lafayette in the 1980s.
“With regard to the sexual abuse of minors, that has happened all across society, but unfortunately has happened in the church over those 100 years, the first thing is to reach out to anybody who has been harmed and offer healing and accompaniment as they heal,” Bishop Deshotel said.
Parishioners worshipped through song and dance, also taking communion before the final blessing. Several parishioners express how thankful they were for everyone to get a chance to worship under one roof.
“It’s a time of pruning in our church, and I think through this opportunity that I got to be a part of in our church, we got to see the growth that we are making and a lot of questions are being answered, and its just all around pretty awesome to see that,” one Parishioner said.
As for the church sex abuse crisis, this fall the Bishop Acknowledged the Diocese will be releasing a list of priests who have faced credible accusations of abuse, but as of Wednesday, that list had not been released.
Monday will mark 10 weeks since the Diocese of Lafayette held a news conference announcing decades-old allegations against Monsignor Robie Robichaux. The allegations of sexual abuse were reported to the Diocese in both 1994 and 2004, yet Robichaux was able to remain in ministry and we even promoted. Ten weeks ago, Bishop Deshotel would not take questions and KATC was told to email all questions. The email was sent, and we are still waiting for a response.