We had the occasion to read this week a most interesting pamphlet, entitled "A Study of the Schools of Northeastern Maine," issued by Mr. W. E. Stetson, superintendent of schools in that State. Mr. Stetson give a brief history of the settlement of Northeastern Maine and of the growth of its public school system.
The fact that that section is inhabited by Acadians makes Mr. Stetson's booklet unusually interesting to the people of Southwestern Louisiana. The story of the expulsion of the Acadians, familiar to most of our readers, is told in an entertaining style and the racial characteristics, customs and traditions of our cousins on the bleak coast of New England are very cleverly portrayed. It will no doubt be source of satisfaction to the people here to know that their kindred who found homes on the hospitable shores of Maine have preserved their good qualities and to-day are esteemed a worthy portion of one of the great commonwealths of the North. But it is rather their educational development than their commendable traits that we wish to dwell upon. Mr. Stetson gives us an interesting history of their schools and shows how adverse conditions have been met and overcome and how, to-day, public schools, well managed and largely attended, are to be seen throughout the settlement, teaching to the Acadian children the language of the country and the duties of American citizenship.
A distinguishing trait of the Acadians of Maine is their unswerving fealty to the Catholic church. They have the true Acadian attachment to their religion, and we are wont to seek the advice of their priests even in affairs which are not purely spiritual, but fortunately for their welfare the advice which they have received regarding their relations with the public schools has been of a most enlightened character. The intelligent clergymen of that country have not considered their support of public education incompatible with an honorable discharge of their clerical duties. They rather believed that education and religion go hand in hand, that as the two greatest militant forces of civilization they should receive the earnest, active support of all the well-wishers of the race.
The rapid growth of the public school system among the Acadians of Northeastern Maine has been in great measure due to the co-operation of the Catholic priests to whom Mr. Stetson pays the following deserved tribute:
The circulars issued have been sent to the clergymen of these towns and by them have been brought before the parents, teachers and children in such a way as to give them a full understanding of the instructions in which they contained. They have voluntarily read them to their people both in French and English and explained their meaning with a faithfulness with the reforms which have been inaugurated and their desire to make them useful to their people. The parents and children have been instructed by their spiritual advisers as to what their duties are in the matter of attendance, conduct, obedience, and studiousness. They have been told in terms which it was easy for them to understand that it was for their interest as well as their moral duty to follow the instructions given and make the largest possible use of the schools which are provided. Directions have been given as to the care of school yards and school-buildings and more intelligent and economical expenditure of school funds. They have done all it seemed possible for them to do to make the work attempted successful and useful. The support which has been thus given has been largely instrumental in effecting the changes which have taken place. Whole communities have been aroused to the importance of school work and the necessity of having better schools. The results have been seen in the efforts which the teachers have made to improve themselves, the disposition which is manifested to employ the best teachers and continue them for a considerable length of time in the same school, the support which has been accorded teachers who are doing faithful work, the gain which as been made in the average attendance, and the improvement that is shown in the extent and quality of the work done. These pastors are entitled to the most cordial approbation of all lovers of the common schools for their interest in them and efforts to improve them.
The conditions which exist in the Acadian communities in Maine are no doubt familiar to many of our readers, and it can be easily understood by them how much more difficult would have been the task of the school authorities if they had not been assisted by the priests. Let it be said to the glory of the representatives of the church that they wielded their power for the promotion of the great cause of education.
Though further evidence is not needed to show how effectively the Catholic priest of Maine have worked to build up the Acadian schools, we are pleased to print the following letter written by Superintendent Stetson in reply to an inquiry:
State of Maine, Educational Department, Augusta, Nov. 19, 1902.
Dear Sir: - We have a settlement of some twelve thousand French Acadians in Northeastern Maine. They are members of the Catholic church. Several of the priests in this part of the State have read circulars issued by this Department to their people, after translating them into French. They have most cordially and helpfully seconded the efforts which have been made to improving the local schools. I wish to speak in the highest praise of the assistance which they have rendered.
W. W. STETSON.
Without the co-operation of the church the State authorities would have been greatly hampered in their efforts to give to the Acadian boys and girls the same educational advantages enjoyed by the children of other sections of Maine. Had the Catholic priests, in whom the Acadians repose implicit confidence, pursued a less enlightened course, it is safe to say that the majority of the Acadian children, who are without the means to attend private schools or colleges, would to-day be hopelessly groping in the darkness of illiteracy.
As was to be expected the combined efforts of the priests and the school officials have been productive of the most beneficial results. On this subject Superintendent Stetson says:
The circulars which have been sent to the teachers and school officials have been read from the pulpits of the churches, translated into the language which the people understand, and the influence of the spiritual advisers of the people has been thrown heartily and effectively in favor of an honest compliance with the requests made and the instructions given. The change which has taken place in these schools is hardly less than a revolution.
We find much more in Mr. Stetson's pamphlet which we would like to reproduce, but we can not do so for lack of space. However, enough has been given to show that the Acadians of Northeastern Maine have been blessed with spiritual advisers whose conception of religion is not inimical to public education and who are evidently of the opinion that the church and the school-house are the handmaids of morality, enlightenment and progress - not antagonistic forces engaged in perpetual warfare and bent upon each other's destruction. Lafayette Gazette 1/3/1903.
Fire at Carencro.
The Catholic church at Carencro was completely destroyed by fire last Wednesday afternoon. The origin of the fire is unknown. The only insurance on the building was for $1,000 in one of the companies represented by Parkerson & Mouton of this town. Within the last fifteen years Carencro lost two churches by fire and two were destroyed by the wind. Steps will be taken immediately to rebuild the church. Lafayette Gazette 1/4/1902.
Fine Dinner. - Last Sunday Rev. Father Forge invited the members of the choir to partake of one of the fine dinners he knows so well how to give. it is unnecessary to say that each guest enjoyed greatly both the dinner and the society of Father Forge, and will not soon forget the delightful afternoon spent with him. Lafayette Advertiser 1/11/1902.
Young Jeanmard Back at Seminary.
Mr. Jules Jeanmard, who has been a theological student at a Catholic seminary in New Orleans, has returned to resume his studies after a visit to relatives in this parish. Mr. Jeanmard will be ordained a priest before the end of the year. He entered a seminary at an early age and will be one of the youngest, if not the youngest, priest in the diocese. Lafayette Advertiser 1/11/1902.
A Visit to Father Forge's.
Last Saturday morning, drawn by the beauty and freshness of the foliage and flowers surrounding the presbytery, we stepped over there to enjoy it, and were graciously received by Rev. Forge and Rev. Langlois, of St. Martinville, who is also an ardent admirer of nature in all its forms. We went around through the gardens, and were astonished at the forwardness of all the flowers and climbing vines. The scene was more like a day in May than in January. Even the antigonoaleptopus, a rare and tender climber, which gracefully drapes the front porch , was "beautiful, entire and clean." Going into the extensive vegetable gardens, we discovered the same state of nature - everything in April. The Rev. Father showed us his patch of choice strawberries, from which he had gathered several ripe ones that were rich to gaze on in this season. As we have said before, Lafayette has no more attractive spots than the St. John presbytery gardens, and visitors here should always should always pay them a visit. Another feature about the place is, that is has the most venerable live oak tree we have ever seen. Its wide-stretching branches cover at a least a hundred and fifty feet, and its perennial ares seem to be reaching out in perpetual ediction. A sight of this old tree is as cheering as the "shadow of a rock in the desert." Lafayette Advertiser 1/11/1890.
Rev. E. Forge has visited St. Martinville this week.
Laf. Adv. 1/12/1901.
To Paint the Church.
Several gentlemen met at Falk's Hall last Monday to organize a Dramatic Club that will give entertainments for the purpose of raising funds to paint the Catholic church. Two plays, one in English and one in French, will be rendered sometime after lent. A meeting of the club will be held to-morrow when the parts will be distributed and the members will soon begin to rehearse.
Lafayette Gazette 1/13/1894.
Sunday night last the choir of the St. John's Catholic church were a guest of Father Forge at dinner by special invitation, and it is needless to say the occasion was a very pleasant one to all who were present. The menu was first class and no artificial stimulant was necessary for the appetite.
Lafayette Advertiser 1/13/1894.
Always In Order.
On last Sunday Rev. FATHER FORGE entertained the members of his choir to a bountiful repast. It is unnecessary to that the menu of the Rev Father are always up-to-date. Cheerfulness and cordiality were prominent around the festive board and every body went away delighted to have been a participant in the occasion. Lafayette Advertiser 1/14/1899.
The cleaning up of Catholic cemetery has been in progress for a few days under the supervision of Rev. Father Forge and ere long this last earthly residence will be in.... (rest unreadable) Lafayette Advertiser 1/20/1900.
REQUIEM. - High Mass of Requiem will be celebrated at St. John's Catholic church in Lafayette on Thursday, February 15th, at 9 o'clock a. m., for the repose of the soul of Rev. Father Healy.
All catholics of the parish are earnestly invited to attend.
Lafayette Advertiser 2/3/1900.
Archbishop Chappelle, of New Orleans, will pass through Lafayette on February the 8th. Laf. Adv. 2/5/1898
The beautiful Presbytery gardens of St. John Church, planted and brought to their present state of culture by Rev. E. Forge, look like Spring time. A day or two since we went over there and meandered through the grounds. We found Rev. Forge, who is indefatigable in the work of beautifying his place, planting more flowers. We met several visitors, and they are constantly admiring the gardens. Laf. Adv. 2/8/1890.
Guest of Father Forge. - Archbishop Janssens was the honored guest of Rev. Father Forge, last Monday. In tones of glee the big bell of St. John's Catholic Church announced thrr arrival of the his eminence in our little city. The archbishop remained in town from 11 a. m. to 1 p. m., having taken passage for New Orleans, on the east bound train at that hour. Laf. Adv. 2/9/1895.
Rev. Father Forge, of Lafayette, went to New Orleans to welcome the new Archbishop, having been appointed on the reception committee
Laf. Adv. 2/12/1898.
The Rev. Placidus L. Chappelle was formerly inaugurated Archbishop of this Catholic diocese at the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans Wednesday. Most of the clergy of this diocese and several hundred of the laity welcomed the new Archbishop to his future field of labor and give him a cordial reception. Impressive ceremonies were held at the Cathedral, and the great churchman made an eloquent address to his newly appointed flock. The successor of the late Archbishop Jannssens began his administration under auspicious circumstances, and we hope that he will be as successful as his worthy predecessor.
Lafayette Gazette 2/12/1898.
WATER AND LIGHT.
A Large Meeting Held at Falk's Hall - Waterworks and Electric Lights Discussed.
About 300 persons, among whom were many ladies, assembled at Falk's Opera-house last Monday night to hear discussions by local speakers upon the question of water-works and electric lights. The meeting was not as large as expected, but the 'earnestness visible on all hands and the enthusiasm which prevailed gave unmistakable signs of the popularity of the movement. The audience was of a representative character, a feature which may always be taken as a good omen for the success of any undertaking of this kind.
C. O. Mouton, Esq., president of the Business Men's Association, in a brief talk explained the object of meeting and introduced to the audience the Rev. Father E. Forge, who was the first speaker. The reverend gentleman delivered a very sensible address. He dealt at length upon the great necessity of protection from fire. He said that any further procrastination in this matter was little short of criminal on the part of the people of this town. He said he would support the measure with all his energy and would use his influence toward the success of the move just inaugurated. At the conclusion of his address Father Forge handed to the president of the B. M. A. a one hundred-dollar bill to be used for the proposed plant. Short addresses were then made by Messrs. Wm. Campbell, Chas. D. Caffery and Julian Mouton.
The speakers explained that petitions would be presented to the tax-payers for their signatures for the purpose of asking the City Council to call an election to see if the required number of people are willing to be taxed 5-mills on the dollar to raise the necessary amount to build the water-works and electric light plant. A number of signatures were obtained before leaving the hall. Well-informed persons are of the opinion that the opponents to the tax will not be sufficiently numerous to defeat the measure and it is hoped when the question will be thoroughly explained there will not be any opposition worth mentioning. Lafayette Gazette 2/15/1896.
The Visit of Archbishop Janssens.
Archbishop Janssens stopped over in Lafayette twenty-minutes Saturday and continued his Journey to Carencro on the train. It had been announced that a large number of citizens would come to this town in body to escort the archbishop to Carencro where preparations had been made to give him a fitting reception, but owing to the inclement weather this part of the program could not be carried out. The people of Carencro met at the depot in large numbers and received the archbishop with the ceremonies appropriate for such an occasion. As per announcement the archbishop conferred the sacrament of confirmation Sunday morning. He remained at Carencro all day Sunday and came to Lafayette Monday morning and was the guest of Father Forge until the departure of the east-bound train in the afternoon.
Lafayette Gazette 2/16/1895.
L. L. Bourges, formerly of this town and now a prominent member of the Abbeville bar, spent Sunday with Father Forge. Laf. Gaz. 2/17/1894.
The following resolution was adopted:
By Dr. Martin -- Be it resolved that the residence of Father Forge be wired and the supplies purchased therefor at the expense of the town.
Lafayette Gazette 2/19/1898.
Archbishop Chappelle will in the near future visit Lafayette. We hope that as soon as the date will be ascertained our people will get a get-up on them and that a great reception will be given to the spiritual Shepard of this diocese.
Laf. Adv. 2/19/1898.
The choir of the Catholic church is rehearsing a new mass for Easter, which day will be most fittingly and impressively observed by the church. Laf. Adv. 2/22/1905
High mass was celebrated in St. John's Church, at this place last Wednesday, in honor of Pope Pius IX. Laf. Adv. 2/23/1878
Work on the new Catholic church seems to progress satisfactorily. The dimensions of the building will be 53 feet in width by a depth of 110 feet. Messrs. Guapo, Brun & Marie are the contractors and if the weather continues favorable their work will soon be completed. Lafayette Advertiser 2/25/1882.
A Letter From Father Forge. Mr. Editor: - Permit me to use your estimable journal to express my profound gratitude to the honorable members of the city council for their generous attention so delicately expressed towards me.
There are sentiments that honor as much those who bestow them as those upon whom they are bestowed.
In contributing to an enterprise so necessary to the interest and safety of our city I did only my duty as a citizen. The success of the enterprise of which I am proud and happy amply reward me for the light help that I may have given.
Any how, I have only responded to the appeal of men who are entitled to praise for their zeal and devotion shown for so many years in bringing prosperity to our good city of Lafayette. My collaboration with my respectful admiration will always be at their disposal.
Please accept, gentlemen of the City Council, my heartfelt thanks and I remain your humble and devoted servant.
The letter published above brings to our mind the interest manifested by its author in the enterprise of our waterworks and electric lights and of the generous gift donated to the Business Men's Association for this purpose.
We may say without fear of being contradicted that Rev. E. Forge, was in a certain measure the corner stone of this enterprise.
Lafayette Advertiser 2/26/1898.
PALM SUNDAY AT ST. JOHN'S.
The usual service appropriate to Palm Sunday was very impressively performed at the Catholic church here last Sunday.
The church was filled with its utmost capacity with attentive worshippers. The singing of the choir added not a little to the perfect success of the imposing ceremony. Among the singers was Mr. Hovelle, ex-baritone of the French Opera of New Orleans; who is the fortunate possessor of a very strong and pleasant voice. As everyone knows for to-morrow will be Easter Sunday", and we are assured that every endeavor possible has been used to celebrate in suitable manner the sacred event which it commemorates. The interior of the church will be profusely decorated with evergreens and flowers, and not effort will be spared that might add to the solemnity and impressiveness of the ceremony. The choir has been practicing several classical selections, among them being the "Kyrie, Sanctus et Agnus de Lambilotte" and the "Gloria of Mozart," in the rendering of which Mr. Hevelle has against kindly consented to assist. Lafayette Advertiser 3/24/1894.
The sale of seats, for the ensuing year, took place in the Catholic church last Sunday, Mayor Wm. Campbell acting as auctioneer. Laf. Adv. 4/5/1893
The Police Jury and City Council have jointly agreed to purchase a piece of ground for Father Forge, on which to bury the unknown dead. The price to be paid is twenty dollars and the square of ground is 40X60 feet.
Laf. Adv. 4/5/1893.
Stop In and See Us Some Time. - We would suggest to visitors, or strangers from a distance, who stop in our town for a day or two, that if they wish to see one of the most beautiful and refined spots in all the lovely scenery of "Acadia," to visit the extensive flower gardens of Rev. E. Forge, adjoining St. John's Catholic Church. Just think of it, one thousand different varieties of roses is only one of its attractive features. You will always find the Rev. Father Forge affable and accommodating to the courteous visitor. He takes pleasure in displaying his wealth of beauty to true lovers of the beautiful.
Lafayette Advertiser 4/6/1899.
Last Wednesday Reverend Father Forge celebrated his 55th birthday amid the companionship of a number of visiting priests from our neighboring towns. The entire community join in wishing Father Forge many returns of the day.
Laf. Adv. 4/8/1893.
Rev. Father Forge returned from New Orleans last Sunday night.
Laf. Adv. 4/8/1899.
Mgr. Forest, bishop of San Antonio, Tex., was in Lafayette during the week, the guest of Rev. Father Forge. Laf. Adv. 4/8/1899
Rev. Charles A. Cassidy, of New Brighton, L. I., was in Lafayette during the week, the guest of Rev. Father Forge. Laf. Adv. 4/8/1899.
Gum Trees at St. John's. - Last year Father Forge succeeded in growing some sprouts from the seed of the Australian Eucalyptus tree. This winter he planted three of the little trees on each side of the avenue from St. John Street to the front door of the Church, and they are now growing fast and developing beautifully. This is a particularly lofty and graceful tree, with a magnificent display of foliage, and it is said absorbs malaria from the atmosphere, acting as a preventative of fever to those who seek shelter beneath its protecting shade. Lafayette Advertiser 4/13/1889.
More electric lights were added to the altar of the Catholic Church.
Laf. Adv. 4/16/1898
Pic-Nic at Beau-Sejour.
For the Members of the St. John's Choir.
Rev. Father Forge has informed us that on Sunday, May 11th, a pic-nic will be given complimentary to the choir of St. John's Catholic church at Beau-Sejour Park. Each member is requested to be at the parsonage at 10:30 sharp, where carriages will be in readiness to convey them to the park. Lafayette Advertiser 4/26/1902.
Archbishop in Lafayette.
His Grace, Archbishop Janssens, accompanied by Rev. St. Paul Epps, of Loreauville, and Rev. Langlois, of St. Martinville, arrived on the afternoon train from Franklin (where he administered the right of confirmation Sunday) last Monday. After spending a couple of hours with Rev. Forge at the presbytery they departed in a carriage for Breaux Bridge, where his Grace administered confirmation on Tuesday, 22nd; at Arnaudville on the 24th; at Port Barre on the 26th. His Grace next administers the rite at Washington on the 27th; at Grand Coteau on the 29th; at Carencro may 1st; at Opelousas may 3rd. His Grace will remain in the missions dependent on Lake Charles in Calcasieu and Cameron parishes until may 27th.Lafayette Advertiser 4/26/1890.
We return our thanks to our enterprising young photographer, Master Hilbert Falk, for an excellent photograph of St. John's church, Lafayette. The picture shows the church front and symmetrical tower to good advantage.
Laf. Adv. 4/27/1889
A Grand Festival!
It is the source of no little pleasure to those engaged in the good cause to hear that the attendance at the grand festival to be given here on May 12th and 13th for the benefit of the Catholic church, promises to be immense from all quarters. Reliable assurances are given that besides those of this parish, the good people of other neighboring towns will extend liberal patronage in aid of the entertainment, and the musical contest will beyond doubt include all the bands in this part of the State. Refreshments will be furnished on a business basis and a very liberal basis at that, because a square meal can not always be had for the small sub of 25 cents. In other respects the program each night is wonderfully attractive, and the Advertiser again reminds the people of the genuine pleasure and enjoyment is sure to the lot of all who may attend, and at a very small cost.
Lafayette Advertiser 4/28/1894.
Father Forge administered the sacrament of Holy Baptism to the future editor of the Advertiser, H. A. Jr. on last Saturday afternoon. Laf. Adv. 4/29/1899
Father Forge complimented the Sontag Military Band and the choir last Sunday with a picnic at Chargois' woods. The affair was a delightful one and the fortunate participants will hold it ever in pleasant remembrance. Laf. Adv. 5/2/1903.
Fair to Benefit St. John's Church.
A committee of ladies connected with the Catholic Church are preparing for a fair to take place on the 13th, 14th and 15th insts., the proceeds to be applied to the completion of the new church. The success of previous similar entertainments under the same management warrants the belief that another harvest - so to speak - for the church, and an enjoyable occasion for the public is approaching. The liberal spirit usually manifested by the people of this and neighboring communities in matters of this kind obviates the necessity of any comment on our part urging patronage. The refreshments will be various and will consist of a restaurant, lemonade and ice cream tables, &c.
Another feature of the entertainment will be the appearance of the boys of St. John school in "The Old Man's Legacy," a drama of no inconsiderable merit, the acting of several of the boys in the play, as we saw them in rehearsal of several days ago was good, and enables us to say latent histrionic power was manifested; altogether, the play is done in style much above ordinary school boy acting. As amateurs they are worth seeing and we have no doubt the "old man" will draw much. Lafayette Advertiser 5/6/1882.
"A thing of beauty is a joy forever" is touching exemplified in the rich and beautiful floral offerings which are daily laid upon the Blessed Virgin's altar in St. John's Church. Their profusion, elegance and variety is truly and inspiring sight. Laf. Adv. 5/10/1890
Last Thursday, Ascension's day, high mass was celebrated at St. John's Catholic Church, attended by a large number of worshippers. Laf. Adv. 5/13/1899
Step by step Father Forge is renovating and improving the several ornaments, of his church. New confessionals, catafalque have been built and a chair will soon be. 5/13/1899
A Gay Excursion.
The bright anticipations of the girls of Mount Carmel Convent, of Lafayette, were totally realized in the excursion to Washington Tuesday. Early in the morning they were astir and busy with preparations. Just before 8 o'clock the gay and happy throng moved down to the depot and boarded the train, at least 120 strong. That handsome, gentlemanly and accommodating young conductor, Mr. William Kelley, was so "taken aback" by this sudden flood of youth and beauty that in his excitement and embarrassment he bit off a corner of his beautiful blonde moustache with his ticket punch. 'Dice' Jr. (unreadable word) up a telegraph pole and remained there until the train was out of sight. Rev. Father's Antonioz, of Rayne, Jacquet, of New Iberia, and Forge and (unreadable name) of our town accompanied the party The excursionists reached their destination at about 11 o'clock, and were met by the Sisters and pupils of Mount Carmel Convent, of Washington. They were escorted to the Church, and from there to the Convent, where the Fair was in progress. Here they were most hospitably entertained and spent the day delightfully, arriving back home at 7:30 p. m., wearied of pleasure for the time being. The Convent Fair we learned proved to be very successful. Our girls here are certainly indebted to their sisters at Washington for the enjoyment of a happy holiday. Lafayette Advertiser 5/17/1890.
The new steeple of our church is nearly completed, the cross has already been raised, in a few days the whole work, painting included, shall have been done. On Wednesday evening as the sun was setting we ascended the steps leading to the rail platform, whence we took of the fields, gardens, woods and farms surrounding to the extent of many miles, the coup d'ailis grand and pleasing and we invite our readers to go and enjoy the scene ; it is worth one's while to do so. Too much praise cannot be awarded to Rev. Mr. Rouxel for his zeal and Mr. Moity and his workmen for their untiring and skillful labors in the completion of this work which will be a great ornament to our Town.
Lafayette Advertiser 5/22/1869.
Mr. MOUTON'S BILL.
Which Promises to Excite Much Attention.
Baton Rouge, May 18 - Mr. Mouton of Lafayette pushes the bill which he has introduced with reference to parochial schools, and he says he will urge it will all the energy of which he is capable, that measure will attract not a small measure of public attention. If the bill passes it will forestall any effort that might be made in the future to have part of the public funds appropriated to the maintenance of the schools of a religious character in Louisiana.
The bill was introduced yesterday and is brief but emphatic in its provisions. It prohibits school boards of the State from combining the public schools with any private or any other institution of learning under the control or management of any church or religious order of any sect or denomination, and to prohibit them from employing, as professors or teachers in the public schools, any preacher, priest or other minister of religion while in the actual service of any church or religious order as a teacher or minister of religion. The title of the bill is quoted above, and its provisions are fully set forth in the title. The bill will come up to-day on second reading for reference to committee.
Mr. Mouton is a Catholic, but to those who are familiar with the religious questions of the day it will be evident that the act has special reference to the faith of which the Lafayette representative is a communicant. In other states and cities and notably in Pittsburg, there have been controversies discussed at length in the public prints growing out of the appropriation of funds for the maintenance of religious schools and the employment of teachers wearing the habit of some religious order. The famous Fairbault plan of Archbishop Ireland grew out of an arrangement between the lay authorities whereby a relation was established between the public and parochial schools. Mr. Mouton's act is intended not only to abrogate alleged similar arrangements in certain parishes in this State, notably in Lafayette and St. Martin, but to prevent any such arrangements in the future.
Mr. Mouton's people have been Catholics for a century but he says they have always been liberal minded and that he believes the enactment of this bill into a law would have tendency to maintain peace between church and state. Mr. Mouton is or was the president of the school board of Lafayette, and in three years established a large number of excellent schools in his parish. He wants these schools operated with absolute freedom from religious interference. The bill is a rather bold one and is not unlikely to provoke considerable discussion upon the floor of the House when it comes back from the committee and is ready for enrollment and passage to third reading.
Mouton's bill was referred to-day to the committee on education in the House. - From the Baton Rouge States and in the Lafayette Advertiser 5/26/1894.
Next Wednesday will be "first communion" day at St. John's Catholic church. This occasion always brings in a great many visitors from the country. Laf. Adv. 5/26/1894.
The fence in front of the Catholic church has received a fresh coat of paint this week, which greatly improves its appearance. Laf. Adv. 5/27/1893
Laf. City Council:
Mr. O. C. Mouton, by authority of the Business Men's Association turned over to the Council the $100 donated by Rev. E. Forge and requested that the amount be used in paying for the site of the water works and electric lights plant.
Laf. Adv. 6/6/1896
First Communions & Confirmations. - First Communion took place at the Catholic Church in Lafayette Thursday morning. One hundred and eighty-two children took their first communion. The following priests officiated : Rev. E. Forge; Rev. Langlois, of St. Martinville; Rev. Maltrait and Rev. Thurling, of Abbeville; Rev. Blanc, of Grand Pointe and Rev. Branche, of Rayne. Rev. Thurling preached an eloquent sermon in French and the choir rendered several choice selections. Laf. Adv. 6/8/1895.
Torch-light Procession Through Streets of Vermilionville. - The solemn and imposing feast of Corpus Christi will be celebrated to-morrow at the Catholic Church, and at 7 1/2 o'clock p. m. there will be a torchlight procession through the streets of the town, - after which Father Booker, of Grand Coteau, will deliver an English sermon. The public are invited to attend.
Lafayette Advertiser 6/10/1882.
St. John - The boys of St. John school were out in full force on Wednesday last for a "pic-nic" and no doubt made hay while the sun shone. There was no declamation of speech-making of any kind, - they were out for a real good time and they had it.
Laf. Adv. 6/10/1882
Confirmations and First Communions. - On last Saturday at St. John's Church there were over three hundred persons confirmed, and over one hundred took their first communion. Archbishop Jannssens administered the rites of confirmation, being assisted by a number of visiting priests from neighboring towns. The ceremonies were very impressive and the church was crowded to its utmost. Lafayette Advertiser 6/10/1893.
The First Communion ceremonies will take place at the Catholic Church, next Wednesday. Laf. Adv. 6/13/1896
Arcbishop Jansseus of New Orleans was the guest of Rev. Father Gorge last Thursday. Laf. Adv. 6/13/1896
To Benefit St. John's. - Each year the members of the Catholic church of this place make some improvements in their church. Last year a bazaar was held at which enough money was made to handsomely paint the edifice. It is desired to continue making these improvements until the St. John Catholic church in Lafayette is a model church in every respect. The next proposed improvement is to re-seat the church with more modern pews and to help accomplish this the pupils of Mt. Carmel Convent will give a musical and dramatical entertainment at the Convent Wednesday, June 19th, at 7:30 p. m. A good program is being prepared for the occasion and the entertainment will be well worth the money, to say nothing of helping a good cause. All kinds of refreshments will be served at very low prices. Admission is only 25 cents. Remember the date and be sure to attend.
Lafayette Advertiser 6/15/1895.
From the Lafayette Advertiser of June 19th, 1869:
Wm. B. BAILEY, PROPRIETOR.
June 16th, 1869.
After an absence of a few days to the Crescent City, we were greeted with the sight of our new church steeple, completed and painted. We always could boast of the neatest and most elegantly constructed Court House in Western Louisiana; to-day, fronting the same and at the other end of Main street, we can point to as neat a temple of worship to the Most High, as can be seen in any of our country towns. In noticing the completion of our new Church and steeple, we cannot pass by without encomium, the zeal and untiring energy, the taste and architectural abilities of Rev. Father Rouxel, Mr. Monty and others. Lafayette Advertiser of June 19, 1869.
About that Trip to the Crescent City.
Wm. B. Bailey
It was but a few days ago, when it was our lot to visit the Crescent City ; the trip, though in some measure compulsory, was rendered in every way agreeable. We left Vermilionville, on Friday morning, we were few in the stage, and I experienced no inconvenience of pressure, to New Iberia, which point we reached at about 2 P. M.; much to our disappointment, the mail boat had changed its hour of departure, and was not expected before eleven o'clock to leave again at twelve ; these hours of expectation we spend agreeably at the commodious and well regarded Boarding House of Mrs. (unreadable name), which by the way, we must recommend to the patronage of the traveling public. At half past eleven, we embarked on boarding the Warren Belle and steamed off to the Bay, - night soon gave way to day and we were happy to witness signs of retaining wealth and prosperity on the fields of St. Mary. We reached Brashear at 10 o'clock, and at half past two P. M. we were making our way to the midst of the ever busy, bustling Crescent City.
We found the city gayer, more alive and thronged than it usually is at this season of the year. We met all of our old friends in good health and fine spirits, and their faces brightened at the universal tidings from all parts of the country of the prospects of plentiful crops.
During our short stay we had but little to do with the political world, though we were summoned in daily attendance before the Congressional Investigating Committee of Elections. We had never before seen a real genuine radical, but must say, that as far as we are personally concerned, we found them to be courteous and not bearing too heavily upon the witness. What will be the result of the investigation no one seems able to prognosticate with any degree of certainty - the conjectures are many and most varied - patience et nous verrons (We shall see what we shall see).
The Railroad which has passed into the hands of Mr. Morgan, we heard nothing of and its continuation and completion on the present line is a foregone hope ; at the can be of interest to our people on the subject of Railroad, is the assertion we often hear from the lips of seemingly knowing ones that the Chattanooga Company was determined to complete the road from Mobile to New Orleans thence to Texas, striking Vermilionville or some point not more than one mile north of it. This we thought pretty reliable when we heard it, but what is reliable authority now? Who can say?
The extreme heat of the season often drove us to the Lake, to enjoy the ne'er ceasing and refreshing breeze, and some of Boudro's best.
It is useless to mention again the names of our mercantile friends whom we would recommend to the public favor, though we cannot close our article without favorably noticing the Boarding House of Mr. Stocktons, corner of St. Peter and Royal streets, where large and commodious rooms, - a table furnished with the best of the market, at most moderate prices can always be had. Mrs. Stockton is a creole lady, native of the parish of St. Martin and we hope that our country friends will not forget to give her a call when they go to the city.
Kind readers, our trip is nearly over, after eight days sojourn in the capital, we have returned to the little burgh and the field where we all frolicked and gamboled in the days of our youth, and to which, we think nothing equal after it. Lafayette Advertiser 6/19/1869.
Businesses Requested to Close For the Feast of Corpus Christi.
Yesterday, a paper signed by the Mayor, Rev. B. Branche and many merchants and businessmen of the place was circulated, requesting that all places of business be closed to-morrow at least between the hours of nine and eleven o'clock A. M.
The reason for this, other than proper respect for the day, is that at St. John's Church on to-morrow the feast of Corpus Christi will be celebrated; and all the clerks and others whose usual avocations might keep them away are desirous of attending the mass.
The members of the Fire Company, by invitation of Rev. Father Branche, will assist in full uniform at the mass and march in procession at 5 o'clock in the evening.
When the procession arrives at the Court House, and eloquent divine from abroad will deliver a sermon in English. Lafayette Advertiser 6/21/1879.