Diocese of Lake Charles
LAKE CHARLES — Less than 48 hours after Hurricane Delta made landfall on October 9 near Creole, La., the power of prayer was on public display in the Diocese of Lake Charles for the third annual Rosary Around the Lake.
Nearly 70 people participated, and while that might seem like low attendance compared to prior years, it was exceptional since many residents had evacuated ahead of the second major hurricane to strike Southwest Louisiana in six weeks. Upwards of 800 were in attendance in 2018 and 2019, according organizers with the Ruth Institute.
Participants gathered inside the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Lake Charles with Bishop Glen John Provost leading the Apostle’s Creed at the beginning of the Rosary, which included the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries.
The Very Rev. Rommel Tolentino, pastor of Immaculate Conception Cathedral; Canon Jean-Marie Moreau of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, and the Rev. D.B. Thompson, pastor of both Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Creole and Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church and Shrine in Cameron, also assisted with prayers.
In stark contrast to the wind gusts of up to 88 miles per hour and upwards of 15 inches of rain in parts of Calcasieu Parish from Category 2 Hurricane Delta just two days earlier, Sunday’s picturesque sunny skies and warm breeze were a welcome reprieve for many of the storm-wearied seeking an opportunity to give thanks to God for keeping them out of harm’s way.
Kayleigh Broussard, a parishioner of Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church in Jennings, drove an hour to attend Rosary Around the Lake saying she is ready to get back to some normalcy.
“This year with COVID-19 suspending public Masses and now two hurricanes back to back, it is so important for me to get back into a spiritual routine,” said Broussard. “I was home picking up debris from the storm and decided to make the drive to participate in this rosary. I really need it.”
A few of the intentions offered included thanksgiving to Our Lady for keeping so many people safe during the recent hurricanes; asking for the intercession of Our Lady Star of the Sea for her continued protection during the hurricane season that officially ends November 30; praying for the endeavors of the Ruth Institute, sponsor of Rosary Around the Lake; as well as prayers for our country ahead of the upcoming presidential election on Nov. 3.
The Joyful Mysteries were prayed inside the Cathedral, followed by the Sorrowful Mysteries during a Procession around the block including Bilbo, Pujo, Ryan and Kirby streets. Once back inside the Cathedral, the Glorious Mysteries were prayed during the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.
Canon Moreau led everyone in the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary and prayers for Pope Francis, before hearing confessions. High Mass in the Extraordinary Form was celebrated following the event.
(Photo by Morris LeBleu / Diocese of Lake Charles)