Dear Parishioners of Immaculate Conception and St. Mary’s Family,
As most of you know, since February 2019 I have been helping Fr. Louis Sklar with his work in the Vocations Office for the Diocese of Alexandria. My official title in this capacity was Assistant Director of Vocations. Recently, Archbishop Aymond asked me to take over Fr. Sklar’s position as Director of Vocations and Seminarians for the Diocese of Alexandria, and I will begin this assignment on August 4, 2020 – the feast day of St. John Vianney the patron saint of parish priests.
In addition to my work in the Vocations Office, Archbishop Aymond has assigned me to serve as Sacramental Assistant to St. Rita’s Catholic Church in Alexandria. This means that starting August 4, my assignments as Parochial Vicar at the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception and Chaplain to St. Mary’s Catholic School will be at an end.
The archbishop asked that all priests of the Diocese of Alexandria who are moving announce their new assignments to their congregations at this weekend’s Masses. He understands that the current situation with CVID-19 is not the ideal time for priests to inform their parishioners, but for the sake of giving priests and parishes enough time to make appropriate preparations, he feels that it is best to proceed in this manner, even if it means priests must tell parishioners electronically.
This is a difficult announcement for me to make, and it is made the more so by having to do it via letter. I was hoping to inform all of you of my change of assignment in person, but due to current social restrictions, sadly, I must tell you in this way.
That being said, thankfully I have a few more months with you here in Natchitoches, which will provide plenty of time for goodbyes, and hopefully at the beginning of August, I can give you a farewell address in person.
I have truly enjoyed my time here in Natchitoches, and it has been a great blessing to serve all of you these past two years. Let us continue to keep each other in prayer during these times.
-Fr. Luke LaFleur-