Welcome to the Diocese of Lake Charles

Check here for announcements, updates, online Masses, cancellations and prayers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For more news and updates, follow the Diocese on its Facebook page Roman Catholic Diocese of Lake Charles. 

Bishop Provost continues gradual reopening of churches
With the state of Louisiana operating under Phase 2 effective Friday, June 5, Bishop Glen John Provost is asking pastors to continue their normal Mass schedules with 50% of the church capacity. Click here to read the Bishop's recent letter, directives and COVID-19 flyer regarding public Masses. Please contact your local parish for more details. Note: The faithful remain dispensed from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. 
 
Several priests continue live-streaming Masses during Phase 2
Several priests throughout the Diocese of Lake Charles continue to live-stream their Masses on various church parish websites and/or Facebook pages as churches gradually reopen. Click here. (NOTE: This listing was updated to reflect Phase 2, including 50% maximum occupancy in churches effective June 5. Please check back often for the latest information.) Daily scripture readings can be found at www.usccb.org.
 
Office of Catholic Schools prepares for Aug. 13 return
The Office of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Lake Charles is taking necessary steps for the anticipated safe return of students and staff on August 13 for the 2020-2021 school year.

In a recent letter addressed to families, Superintendent Kimberlee Gazzolo said the plan is to maintain schedules that will not present a challengto working families. All opportunities will be explored for teaching and learning to maintain academic progress throughout the year, as well as the continued commitment to provide an education focused on the Catholic faith and academic excellence. 

Receiving guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Louisiana Department of Education, a focus will be on providing professional development to administrators, teachers, and staff on the best practices to maintain a safe environment for students and staff members upon the return to school campuses. 

For the health and safety of everyone, cleaning procedures will be in place to re-open. On-going planning with school administrators, parents, school stakeholders and diocesan leadership has been enhanced with the Office of Catholic Schools’ partnership with CHRISTUS Ochsner Health Southwestern Louisiana and medical health professionals. 

As further guidance is published, Gazzolo said the Office of Catholic Schools will be forthcoming with specific policies and procedures that will be instituted at each school site. Plans will be updated regularly on school websites and through parent/school communications.

Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry cancels CLI
Citing an uptick in COVID-19 cases in the state of Louisiana, the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Lake Charles has canceled Christian Leadership Institute (CLI) scheduled for July 7-13 at the Maryhill Renewal Center in Pineville. 

In a letter to the youth who had signed up for the weeklong training experience, Milissa Thibodeaux, Director of Youth Ministry, said the decision was the prudent thing to do given the latest surge in coronavirus cases.  

On June 22, Governor John Bel Edwards announced the state would remain in Phase 2 of reopening through late July. Restrictions that continue keep churches, restaurants, gyms, camp sites, museums and other businesses limited to 50 percent capacity.  

Edward’s chief public health adviser, Dr. Alex Billioux, said the fastest coronavirus case growth is among young adults aged 18-29. Edwards is calling on more people to stay distant from others who aren’t in the same household. 

Thibodeaux said she and her staff will be brainstorming ways to reach teens during the summer. In the meantime, she asks for prayers for our community, church parishes, and youth as the office maps out a plan for what the “new normal” of youth ministry looks like in the Diocese. 

#I Support My Parish option available
Faithful in the Diocese have the option of supporting their church parish online with #I Support My Parish at www.lcdiocese.org/3-news/2823-i-support-my-parish-option-available.
 
Summer hours on Fridays through Sept. 4
Diocesan offices – including the Administrative Offices in the Chancery Building, the Ministries Office in the Bishop Harold Perry Building, Office of Catholic Schools, Catholic Charities, and the Saint Charles Center – will close at 1 p.m. for "Summer Hours" on Fridays from May 29 until September 4. 

Regular offices hours – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – will be in place, by appointment only, Monday through Thursday each of those weeks. To contact the Diocese, please call 337-439-7400; or Catholic Charities at 337-439-7436. Normal Friday hours resume on Friday, September 11, 2020. 

Pilgrimage Response to Coronavirus Pandemic
During this time of pandemic, Bishop Glen John Provost is urging pilgrimages in the Diocese of Lake Charles to the Shrine of Our Lady Star of the Sea in Cameron for the duration of the pandemic.

Every year Bishop Provost leads a pilgrimage to the Shrine at the beginning of the hurricane season. He said it is only appropriate that the faithful should seek Mary’s intercession when so many are becoming ill and serious concern of the coronavirus is spreading. 

 “I fear that the faithful of the Diocese do not fully realize that Our Lady Star of the Sea is a duly erected shrine,” said Bishop Provost. “We should seek Mary’s intercession during this pandemic at this our own shrine, where her powerful intercession has come to our aid so often in the past.”  

The Shrine was established by Bishop Maurice Schexnayder in the 1960’s, and Bishop Provost has recently approved a Decree establishing statutes for the Shrine. The Shrine enjoys, with papal approval, the same spiritual privileges as the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome, one of the four major basilicas in the Eternal City. A plenary indulgence may be gained by an Act of Spiritual Communion, a sacramental confession, and praying for the intentions of our Holy Father.

The Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea, located at 135 Our Lady Road, is open every day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. To make arrangements for a pilgrimage to the Shrine, or if a priest would like to make arrangements for Mass, please contact Father D.B. Thompson, Rector of the Shrine, by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

May Mary's prayers directed to the throne of God protect us during this crisis, preserve us from all illness, and grant us good health.  

"A Thought from the Bishop's Chapel"
Daily reflections called “A Thought from the Bishop’s Chapel” can be found at www.lcdiocese.org/the-diocese/our-bishop/bishop-s-chapel-daily or on www.facebook.com/lcdiocese. The first of 74 reflections was posted on March 19, 2020, concluding with the final reflection on May 31. Bishop Provost began writing the reflections as a way to minister to the faithful after public Masses were suspended on March 17 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The suspension of Masses was lifted on May 1. 

Cowboy Catholics ministry adapts to COVID-19 challenges
While many things have remained uncertain throughout the weeks of social distancing and COVID-19, Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church and the Cowboy Catholics student ministry at McNeese State University remains dedicated to their mission to form lifelong disciples of Jesus Christ.

Cowboy Catholics adapted to the challenging times with the use of technology to keep their students engaged during this time of social isolation. This allowed the mission of the organization to spread beyond its typical boundaries — the college campus. Click here to read more

Catholic Charities grateful for volunteers, donations 
Sister Miriam MacLean. R.S.M., Director of Catholic Charities, said the gratitude she and the staff have for all those who have supported them with their time and donations cannot possibly be expressed in words but perhaps it can be shown in their continued efforts to provide for the local communities. Catholic Charities continues to be inspired by the daily works of faith, hope, and charity and has been particularly blessed with His calming peace that has kept them steady through all the mountains and hills. Sister Miriam hopes that everyone is staying safe and finding their own peace through this journey. 

If you or someone you know is in need of food, Sister Miriam invites you to visit Catholic Charities Monday-Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to noon, at 1225 Second St., Lake Charles. For other assistance related to rent, utilities, ID’s, funerals, or medication, please call their office on Mondays at 337-439-7436 to apply.

If you would like to make a monetary donation to help Catholic Charities continue their relief efforts, please visit www.catholiccharitiesswla.com and click on the Donate Now button. You may also mail donations to 1225 Second Street, Lake Charles, LA 70601. Food donations will be accepted between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday. If you would like to donate food for the pantry, please consider ordering from their Amazon Wishlist or dropping off cans directly to Catholic Charities, 1225 2nd Street.

 
An Act of Spiritual Communion Prayer
Pope Francis entrusts entire world to Blessed Virgin Mary
Pope Francis offered the following prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary on  March 11, entrusting the city of Rome, all of Italy, and “the entire world to the protection of the Mother of God, as a sign of salvation and hope” during the ongoing coronavirus emergency.  Let us join our Holy Father in prayer, penance, and fasting in response to this time of trial.
Salus Populi Romani
Protectress and Health of the Roman People

O Mary, you shine continuously along our journey as a sign of salvation and hope. 

We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick, who at the Cross were near to the pain of Jesus, keeping your faith firm. 

You, Salvation of the Roman people, know what we need, and we trust that you will provide for those needs so that, as at Cana of Galilee, joy and celebration may return after this moment of trial. 

Help us, Mother of Divine Love, to conform ourselves to the will of the Father and to do what Jesus tells us, He who took our sufferings upon Himself, and took up our sorrows to bring us, through the Cross, to the joy of the Resurrection. Amen. 

We seek refuge under your protection, O Holy Mother of God. Do not despise our pleas – we who are put to the test – and deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.


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