JENNINGS – The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, Feb. 27, for Deacon Bennett McNeal, 60, in Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, at 10 a.m., by the Rev. Susil Fernando. Interment will follow the funeral mass in the New Bethany Cemetery at Saint Charles Center in Moss Bluff. The Most Reverend Glen John Provost, Bishop of Lake Charles, will attend the funeral Mass and preside at the Final Commendation. Deacon McNeal died Sunday, Feb. 23.
Deacon McNeal was ordained to the permanent diaconate for the Diocese of Lake Charles by The Most Reverend Edward K. Braxton on Dec. 1, 2001 in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
Deacon McNeal was born in Jennings on October 9, 1959 to Jackson McNeal and Virginia Jean Fontenot McNeal. He worked in a job he loved as an Assistant Executive Director of Calcasieu Association for Retarded Citizens (CARC) in Lake Charles for over 20 years. Involved in many organizations including being a first degree knight for the Knights of Columbus, he was also Spiritual Director for the Faith Renewal, and served as Director of Religious Education at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. He also loved watching football, especially the LSU Tigers and the New Orleans Saints, praying the Rosary, attending church, and reading.
His greatest love was spending time with his family. He was a kind and loving man who was loved by many and will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved him.
Survivors include his wife, Monica L. McNeal of Jennings; his four sons, Benjamin Landry of Jennings, Bennett McNeal, II of Maxie, La., Michael McNeal of Lake Charles; Gabriel McNeal of Jennings; his daughter, Ashley McNeal Gay (Blain) of Jennings; his seven grandchildren, Mackenzie, Tanner, Mya, Taygan, Jonah, Sawyer, and Cam; his two sisters, Joline LeJeune of Jennings and Julie Burgess of Charenton, La.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Jackson & Virginia McNeal; two brothers, Jerry & Steven McNeal; two brothers-in-law, Donald LeJeune and Rodney Burgess; his niece, Michelle LeJeune.
A gathering of family and friends will be held at Matthews & Son Funeral Home on Wednesday, Feb. 26, from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. with a Rosary at 6 p.m. Visitation will resume at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 27, until time of the funeral mass at 10 a.m.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.