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Priest celebrates his last Acadiana mass before heading to Rome

Posted at 2:36 PM, Jun 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-23 20:28:47-04

Fr. Michael Richard preaches his last mass, for now anyway, at St. Mary Magdalen today.

Fr. Michael Richard preaches the 11 a.m. mass at St. Mary Magdalen

Richard is headed to Rome for the next three years for further studies.

Richard celebrated all masses this weekend at the Abbeville church, and a social was held for him following this morning’s 11 a.m. mass.

Richard requested that no one bring him gifts; he just wants gifts of prayer.

“Abbeville is truly a special community, a community really grounded, really grounded in family and in faith,” Richard tells KATC. “To see this church, which stands tall over the city, as really the thing that unifies all of us that we come together to worship every Sunday, and to really be able to witness these families loving each other, loving their children. Watching them grow, is just an incredible experience, to see God at work in his people.”

Richard said he will be studying canon law in Rome; that’s the law of the Catholic Church.

“I’ll be able to come back to serve the bishop and the diocese as a lawyer, to serve the entire community that way,” Richard explained.

Richard had a special prayer for those who came to celebrate his last mass with him.

“I pray everyone who came today comes away with a great sense of gratitude,” he said. “I have a great gratitude for the people of Abbeville, for how good they’ve been to me and the joy of this encounter over these past three years. I pray that we continue to encounter the Lord in the Eucharist, in the blessed sacrament that he gives us every day.”