February 12, 2007
Reported by Pam Dixon
Elton Louviere typically paints on a 24 by 36 inch canvas. This time St. Eugene Catholic Church will stand as his easel. Elton says, "You can't compare it with anything else."
Most of the Grand Chenier church was destroyed by Hurricane Rita. Reverend Vincent Vadakkedath says, "Both sides of the church were gone. There were no pews. Nothing, no glass or anything." But the long time pastor fought to rebuild and saved the church from demolition. Vadakkedath says, "People who told me at first they're never coming back, they're already here or on their way, so I think worshipping the Lord together makes them strong."
Louviere's role in restoring the church is painting a 30 by 25 foot mural that will stand majestically behind the altar. Louviere's new design will replace the old one. Right by his side, sometimes 30 feet high, Louviere's wife, Pat, is pitching in. Pat says, "I'm enjoying it mostly because of the comeback attitude of the people of Cameron." Elton says, "They love their church and they want to see it back like it was, and I'm trying to do the best job I can and I designed this and I'll be very proud of it when I get through."
Bit by bit, St. Eugene is making a comeback and with Louviere's touch, the bold backdrop may help lift the spirits of a community determined to shine again.