Welcome to the Diocese of Lake Charles
2018-2019 DOLC Seminarians

Thirteen Men Return To Seminary Studies

The 2018-2019 class of men continuing their discernment and training for the priesthood for the Diocese of Lake Charles is one of its largest and each man has been assigned to various seminaries by Bishop Glen John Provost. The Bishop, seen center in the above photo, is seated with the class. Seated with him are, from left, Andrew DeRouen, Joseph Caraway, Deacon Michael Caraway, and Levi Thompson. Standing, from left, are Michael Beverung, Alec January, Josh Page, Conner Chaisson, Samuel Bond, Treville Belcher, Lai Nguyen, Olin Scot Chester, and Garrett Broussard. Belcher, Chaisson, and Broussard are the three newest men accepted by Bishop Provost for entry into the seminary. Deacon Michael Caraway, who will return to the Pontifical North American College in Rome following his fall internship, was ordained to the diaconate in June. He will join three other men, at the PNAC - Andrew DeRouen, Joseph Caraway, and Levi Thompson. Deacon Caraway will be completing his fourth year of theological study while the trio are in their third theological year. They, along with Sam Bond, studying at Notre Dame Seminary College in New Orleans, are expected, with God’s grace, to be ordained next June to the transitional diaconate by Bishop Provost. The priestly ordination of Deacon Caraway is expected at the same time.

New seminarians, Treville Belcher and Garrett Broussard, both in First Year Pre-Theology at Notre Dame Seminary and Conner Chaisson in First Year College at St. Joseph Seminary College. Alec January and Josh Page are in their fourth year of philosophy study at St. Joseph. Also, at Notre Dame Seminary will be Michael Beverung in second year theology, Lai Nguyen in second year pre-theology, and Olin Scott Chester in first year theology. The men represent 10 church parishes of the diocese – Michael Beverung – Our Lady Queen of Heaven; Sam Bond – Our Lady of LaSalette, DeQuincy; Levi Thompson – St. Theodore, Moss Bluff; Joseph Caraway – St. Charles Borromeo, Fenton and its mission, St. John the Evangelist, Lacassine; Andrew DeRouen – Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception; Lai Nguyen, Garrett Broussard, and Treville Belcher – all Our Lady of Good Counsel; Deacon Michael Caraway – Our Lady Help of Christians, Jennings; Alec January – St. Philip Neri, Kinder; Olin Scott Chester – St. Joseph, Vinton; and Josh Page and Conner Chaisson – both Our Lady of Prompt Succor, Sulphur. Rev. Jeffrey Starkovich, the pastor of St. Pius X Catholic Church in Ragley, serves as Director of Seminarians and Vocations for the diocese, overseeing the education, training, and discernment of these men. Additionally, before their return to school, three seminarians – Olin Scott Chester, Michael Beverung, and Sam Bond - were accepted by Bishop Provost to Candidacy for Admission to Holy Orders. The Rite of Admission is celebrated when a seminarian has reached a maturity of purpose regarding his vocation and has shown the necessary qualities for ordained ministry. Through this liturgical rite, a seminarian makes a public intention of receiving Holy Orders and resolves to continue his preparation, in mind and spirit, in order to give faithful service to Christ and His Church.

Sr. Monica (Frances Marie) Stelly, MSC,  died peacefully at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Nursing Home in Opelousas on Dec. 15, 2018

Frances was born Nov. 20, 1922, in Lake Charles. She graduated from St. Charles Academy then entered the Marianites of Holy Cross on Sept. 8, 1938. She pronounced perpetual profession on Dec. 31, 1943. Sister Monica received a degree in education from Holy Angels Academy in New Orleans and a Master of Arts in Education from Notre Dame University in South Bend, Ind. Certified in math education, she was involved in elementary and high school education in Crowley, Eunice, Morgan City, New Orleans, Plaquemine, Ville Platte, and Lake Charles.

During her time in education, she served as principal of Holy Angels Academy in New Orleans, St. Edmund High School in Eunice and Holy Cross High School in Morgan City. In addition, as choir director, she orchestrated many musical presentations through her talents of singing and playing the organ. Her former students especially hold dear her gift of leading them in Handel’s Messiah. By her devotion and commitment to music and education she touched and changed many lives.

Always stately in stature, Sr. Monica was a formidable presence. When she walked the halls as principal or directed the choir, she could immediately put things in order by a glance or nod of her head. As religious superior, the Sisters who lived with her still cherish her many acts of kindness to them that brought joy to their lives. Until the end of her life, even in her wheel chair, she was a no-nonsense administrator observing, monitoring, and encouraging all who were in her environment. She would also delightfully share stories of her early life on the farm in Sulphur and recall the students who were fortunate enough to have her as teacher and principal.

Her last years were spent at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Nursing Home in Opelousas. As she enters eternal life, the values of her dedication and fidelity to duty, gratitude, devotion to education and her religious vocation are the lessons she passes on. Certainly now, Sr. Monica hears the words of Christ lovingly spoken to her: “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come and share your Master’s joy.” (Matthew 25:23)

Sr. Monica was preceded in death by her parents, Aurelie M. Stelly and Juanita Hebert Stelly; and her sisters, Sr. Mary Grace Stelly, O.P., May Bell Stelly Thibodeaux, and her brothers, Louis Andrew Stelly and Leo Stelly. She is survived by her sister, Dr. Yvonne Stelly Anderson, as well as, her beloved nieces and nephews, Gaynell Thibodeaux Louviere, Lafayette, Susan Thibodeaux Blevins, Terrell John Thibodeaux Jr. and Laurie Thibodeaux Cormier, all of Lake Charles, and their families, and many friends who were faithful and devoted to her throughout her life.

To celebrate her life, a wake service was Wednesday, Dec. 19, in the chapel at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Nursing Home in Opelousas, followed by the Mass of the Resurrection  To honor the memory of Sr. Monica, the Marianites of Holy Cross request that memorial donations be made to the Marianites of Holy Cross, Congregational Center, 21388 Smith Road, Covington, LA 70435 or The Sister Monica Stelly Scholarship Fund at Immaculate Conception School, 1536 Ryan Street, Lake Charles, LA 70601.

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