Lafayette Parishioners Say Goodbye To Lake Charles Bishop-Elect

March 25, 2007
Reported By: Lee Peck

In five weeks, the Lake Charles Diocese will ordain and install Msgr. Glen J. Provost as its new bishop. While our gain is Lafayette's loss, parishioners there couldn't be happier for him.

"Someone said you should always leave places and things better than you found them... And you certainly have done that with us and we appreciate all that you have done." As Lake Charles looks to welcome him as their new bishop, parishioners of Our Lady Fatima Church in Lafayette are saying goodbye to their beloved Monsignor Glen John Provost.

"You came at time that was a very big challenge for you and you did a fantastic job putting our parish back together," said Helain Dunbar.

Following two years without a bishop and ongoing hurricane recovery, Bishop-Elect Provost is preparing to take on his toughest job yet. "You know, I've never been one to shy away from challenges," said Provost. "And I am delighted to be going to Lake Charles and to be with all the good people down there."

Ordained in 1975, Provost was stationed at Our Lady Queen of Heaven for a short time. He says in many ways his life is coming full circle. "Msgr. Deblanc, a beloved memory, was out of the country visiting in China, so the bishop sent me there to fill-in for the summer," said Provost. "And like I said in my opening speech, the circle is now complete."

In his 9 years of service Msgr. Provost has had a profound influence on the parishioners of Lafayette. They say it will be hard to replace the man who has walked through their hearts and left a lasting impression.

"For me, it was five years ago. My mom passed away and we had a funeral at St. Genevieve and low and behold Msgr. shows up, just in support of my family. You don't forget somebody easily like that," said Adele Connolly.

"He's so intelligent and a wonderful spiritual leader. You might be awestruck because he seems to know what to say and when to say and how to say it," said Elaine Martin.

"He's taught us so much. He married my parents, baptized myself and my little brother. He's just guided us so well," said Annie Perret.

While saying goodbye is hard, they wish Msgr. Provost the very best in his new role as Lake Charles' bishop.

"Your excellency, much success and good luck in the Diocese of Lake Charles. We will miss you," said Margot Millett.

"He will be a great shepherd for your community. God bless you Monsignor, Bishop... It's going to take a little time for me to get used to that title, but I've always known that's where you were going to be," said Gerald Dunbar.

Bishop-Elect Provost will be ordained and installed Monday April 23rd at 11 a.m. in the Immaculate Conception Cathedral.