Holy Savior Catholic Church

Parish History

 

Holy Savior Catholic Community is a community rich in history.  One of the oldest parishes in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, Holy Savior was founded on February 21, 1850.  In its 165-year history, the parish has ordained nine native Priests and fifteen religious Brother and Sisters.  Eighteen Pastors and thirty-two Associate Pastors have served at Holy Savior.  In addition to the large church, rectory, school, convent and gymnasium, the parish has a cemetery that is over 100 years old.  The school was opened in 1879. 

 

Holy Savior began as the “Missions of Saints Charles and Andre”, as it ministered to the people of Longueville.  On February 21, 1850, Father Charles Menard, the "Apostle of Bayou Lafourche", dedicated the first chapel.   In 1853, St. Andre' was declared an independent parish but shared its Pastor (Father Amedee Beccard) with St. Marie in Raceland, because St. Marie had a rectory and St. Andre' did not.  Father Joseph Vanbeveren became the first resident Pastor at St. Andre' in Longueville.  During this time, the town of Longueville became known as Lockport.  And shortly thereafter, the Holy Savior Cemetery was founded.

 

In 1866, after the Civil War, Father Peter Letilly built a proper church, because the old chapel had fallen into disrepair.  The church was built and formally dedicated on April 17, 1870 to St. Sauveur.  When the yellow fever epidemic of 1878 hit the Bayou Region, no one in Lockport was stricken.  In thanksgiving, Father Letilly decided to open a convent school and invited the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception from Labadieville to staff the school.  The school was officially open on May 1, 1879, for day students and boarders.

 

In the hurricane of 1915, the original Holy Savior Church was destroyed.  A new church was built in 1916 under the direction of Father Raynal.  On June 27, 1917, the Church received three new bells, which were named Eugene, Emile and Laurent.  The second Holy Savior Church was very modern in design--clerestories were used to break the roofline which provided natural illumination for the interior.  While the new Church was being constructed, the Chapel of St. Anthony was built to serve the people of Vacherie-Gheens.

 

In November of 1935, Father Dominic Perino was appointed Pastor.  This began the "modern era" of Holy Savior Parish.  Father Perino was a great benefactor as well as a good Pastor to Holy Savior.  Termites had structurally damaged the church that was built in 1916.  A new Church was therefore necessary.  In 1953 Monsignor Perino officiated at the groundbreaking ceremonies of the new Church; however, he did not live to see its completion.  After 20 years of service at Holy Savior, Monsignor Perino died on November 3, 1955, shortly after the laying of the cornerstone of the new church.

 

On March 24, 1956 the first service held in the new Church was a funeral for Sister Lucy Sommers, a native of the Parish.  Although the structure of the new Church was complete, the marble for the altars had not arrived due to the marble company's bankruptcy.  It took more than one and a half years to get the marble and stained glass window problems solved.  The original Stations of the Cross were done in stained glass, and the framed ones were erected later.  In the first year of the new Church, altar boys had to flash lights from outside to render the Stations visible inside of the Church. 

 

In 1982, Mother Mary Henry, O.P., rented and then later purchased the convent from the Immaculate Conception.   Mother Henry had come from Lufkin, Texas, where God led her to open a monastery in Louisiana.  Her friendship with Bishop Boudreaux led her to the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux and thence to Lockport.   The Monastery of the Heart of Jesus found its home at Holy Savior, and the cloistered Dominican Contemplative Sisters became part of the Holy Savior Family.  Holy Savior Church was officially dedicated on February 12, 1995, under the Pastorship of the Very Reverend Brendan P. Foley, V.F. during the third church’s fortieth anniversary year.

 

Once the leading church for all of southern Lafourche Parish, Holy Savior today finds itself geographically locked between the neighboring parishes of St. Hilary in Mathews to the north and Holy Rosary in Larose to the south.  Despite this limitation, Holy Savior has over 1300 registered families, and boasts over 46 ministries.  Under the leadership of Rev. Robert Rogers, Holy Savior Parish expanded in many ways other than geographically.  Goals have been established to expand its youth, social justice, and adult education programs, as well as to implement new programs for increased involvement in the parish through the guidance of the Ministry Commission.

 

Holy Savior Parish is a parish rich in history.  However, it is rich not just in the history of time, but rich in the history of our lives.  It is true that Holy Savior is one of the oldest parishes in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, but it is also the cornerstone of each person who calls it home, the cornerstone set by our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents.  Like ripples on the surface of a pond, it extends to our children as we joyfully watch and celebrate their baptism, their first reconciliation, their first communion, their confirmation, their matrimony, and yes, even their passing away.  It is that part of us which links us with our Creator.  Instilled in us from our youth by our families, our Priests, and all those who have ministered to us over the years, it is family.  It is community.  It is home. 

 

Through the struggles of small town life, our church has survived and prospered all these years.  Our people have never ceased in giving their time, talent and treasure to the Church.  We at Holy Savior are truly joyful, truly thankful and truly Eucharistic.  Lockport has been blessed with the presence of this church, which reaches out to peoples of all faith.  Holy Savior has been a cornerstone for the entire Lockport community, and the entire town has benefited from its presence.  We are truly a faith community of joyful disciples of the Lord.

 

We have deep roots in our Catholic faith, going back in history to the first French and Spanish explorers who settled these areas.  We are devout Catholics, rich in tradition.  We are an evangelizing community seeking to spread the word of the Lord according to Roman Catholic tradition.   We are typically conservative Catholics, never straying from the leadership of our Bishop and our Pope.  We defend our faith through our loyalty and evangelize through our steadfastness.  We reach out to those around us seeking to spread the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ.  We evangelize through example and through various ministries.  Holy Savior Catholic Community is comprised of many wonderful, hard-working volunteers willing to give their time and talent freely to others.  The Ministry Commission was created to support parish ministries and encourage parishioner participation in Church life.  Our ministries have been developed and strengthened to enhance liturgy, to provide for continuing education in the Catholic faith, to encourage volunteerism and to support individual prayer life.  Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we provide support to each other through liturgy, service, instruction, and counseling, so that all may come to human and Christian maturity and ultimately, to eternal life.

 

You and I are Holy Savior Community.  We are fishermen, laborers, businessmen, scientists, carpenters, welders, secretaries, and farmers.  We are people from every walk of life.  We are the family that sits in the pew in front of you, and we are the old man in the corner in the back.  We are the teachers, the staff, and the children of Holy Savior Catholic School and the Holy Savior CCD program.  We are the priest on the altar offering the sacrifice of the mass.  We are the hard-working volunteers in all of the various ministries.  We are those who bring sandwiches to a bereaved family.  We are those who bring Holy Communion to the sick and homebound.  We are the deacons and religious.  We are the laity.  Holy Savior is everyone who helps each of us on our journey toward Christ.  Sharing.  Giving.  Loving.  That’s what it’s all about.  Our light is shining in Lockport.  It’s called Holy Savior.  See the light.  Be the light.  Live the Light.