SULPHUR -- Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic Church is celebrating 100 years of serving Catholics in the Sulphur area. Since it’s humble beginnings, there have been three church structures.
Upcoming celebrations feting the Centenary include a Procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the City Court House, the original location of the church, at the corner of South Huntington and Logan Streets on Saturday, July 13, following the 5:00 p.m. Mass. The Most Reverend Glen John Provost, Bishop of Lake Charles, will celebrate a Centennial Mass on Sunday August 4, at 11:00 a.m.
In the late 1800’s, Catholic families of the area gathered in various homes with a priest from the Immaculate Conception Church in Lake Charles traveling to celebrate Mass. In 1907, with the boom of the sulfur industry, the population had grown and there was a need for a Catholic Church in Sulphur. The first church was a wooden structure on the corner of Logan and South Huntington Streets, which was the center of Catholic life until the Hurricane of 1918. A year later, in 1919, the church was rebuilt and established as a parish. The new parish was dedicated to Mary, under the title of Our Lady of Prompt Succor, which means Our Lady of Instant Help.
In 1921, the Missionaries of Our Lady of LaSalette were invited into the diocese and given the responsibility of the new parish. The missionaries of LaSalette are a religious order of priests and brothers tracing its origin to the apparition of Mary in LaSalette, France.
A new brick building was built on the corner of Huntington and Logan Streets to replace the first structure. It was dedicated in 1924 and was remodeled, enlarged, and renovated several times during the following 65 years.
The original parish was the mother church from which eight additional parishes grew - St, Joseph in Vinton, formed in 1920 and followed by St. Joseph in DeRidder in 1938. In 1955, Our Lady of LaSalette in DeQuincy, St. Peter the Apostle in Hackberry, and St. John Bosco in Westlake were established. Immaculate Conception in Maplewood was established in 1959 and Our Lady of LaSalette in Sulphur in 1961. Finally, St. Theresa of the Child Jesus in Carlyss became a parish in 1971.
The need for Catholic education became evident during the years of parish expansion and Our Lady’s School, still vibrant today meeting the needs of many Catholic families, was built in 1954.
In 1977, the present-day parish offices and rectory were built next to Our Lady’s School on Cypress Street. The land was previously donated to the parish by the A.M. Stelly family.
In 1984, there was a need for more space and parish meeting rooms and a hall were added. The parishioners decided to build a new church, the third one, wanting to unite the church, the school, and the rectory - a complex that is currently used today, located at 1109 Cypress Street.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic Church now includes the church, a chapel, a fellowship hall, a brides’ room, a library, and a conference room, all of which are connected by an enclosed narthex with a central courtyard with a bell tower. A prayer garden was dedicated on the property in 1989.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor Church is still referred to as “the big church” where it welcomes all to experience life in the Roman Catholic Church.