Three Saints Seniors Accepted to Seminary for Diocese of Lake Charles

Three Saints Seniors Accepted to Seminary for Diocese of Lake Charles
Three St. Louis Seniors Accepted to Seminary for Diocese of Lake Charles
By Pamela Seal
Diocese of Lake Charles
Three new seminarians for the Diocese of Lake Charles have been accepted by Bishop Glen John Provost, according to the Office of Vocations.
Michael DesOrmeaux, Julian Jones, and Liam Leonard — all from the St. Louis Catholic High School Class of 2021 — will begin their studies at St. Joseph Seminary College in Saint Benedict near Covington in the fall. With the new additions, this brings the total to eight men in various stages of formation for the priesthood in the diocese.
Michael is the 18-year-old son of David and Courtney DesOrmeaux of Moss Bluff, and his home parish is the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Lake Charles. He is the oldest of five children.
Julian, a parishioner of St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church, is the 18-year-old son of Dawn Walker of Lake Charles and the late Shannon Brown.
Liam is the 17-year-old son of Kevin and Cathy Leonard of Sulphur, and his home parish is Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic Church. He is the youngest of three children.
God’s call to the priesthood for each of these young men became obvious to them in various ways.
“There were a lot of times in my life when things were hard or didn’t seem like it would have a good outlook,” said Liam. “Priests showed me how to rely on God. I want to be that person for others.” Liam credits Father D.B. Thompson with being an influence on his decision to apply for seminary entrance.
“Just before Hurricane Laura, I was helping Father Thompson down in Creole,” he recalled. “I had been thinking about the priesthood for a while, but seeing him down in that community helping others, he had sort of a oneness with the people that really opened my heart up to the idea.”
Julian grew up serving the church and was always aware of how happy priests are. He said he wanted to experience that kind of happiness. It was his sophomore year in high school when he felt the tug on his heart to discern the priesthood.
“I had the same dream twice where I was celebrating Mass as a priest,” he remembers. “When I shared the dream with Father (Sam) Orsot, he told me that I should take that as a sign from God that He is calling me to be a priest. Then one day during Mass, I saw myself on the altar as a priest. I thought I was seeing things, but I took that also as a sign from God.”
Michael knew he would only be happy doing God’s will. It was something his parents instilled in him throughout his life. “I always had a general openness to whatever God’s will was for me, but it wasn’t until I made the St. Ben’s Come and See Vocation Discernment Weekend during my sophomore year when I was convinced of what God was asking of me,” he said. “While I was there, I felt a deep peace overwhelm me, deeper than anything I had ever known before. Since then, priesthood has been my focus.”
Liam enjoys reading, spending time with family, and learning to play the piano. He said he would do more fishing if he was any good at it. His favorite saint is Blessed Karl of Austria. “We live in an era where leaders don’t often stand for Christian values. We also live in an era where we have a decline of father figures. Blessed Karl is an excellent example of both,” said Liam. “We need leaders like him in our times.”
A few of Julian’s favorite pastimes are photography, listening to music, and being with his friends and family. His favorite saint is St. Sebastian. “In high school and middle school, I played a variety of sports,” he said. “My grandmother, Sandra Jones, told me I should pray to St. Sebastian because he is the patron saint of athletes. Over the years, I have grown to admire him.”
Michael enjoys reading and spending time with friends. He especially loves theology, which is one reason he is drawn to St. Thomas Aquinas as his favorite saint. “He was brilliant. To see this tremendous voice of reason and see him articulate theology so well is wonderful.”
Seminarians continuing in their formation to the priesthood for the Diocese of Lake Charles are Josh Page from Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic Church, Sulphur; Treville Belcher, Garrett Broussard, and Hunter LaRocca, all from Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church, Lake Charles; and Philip Seilhan, from Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church, Jennings. Their summer parish assignments are: Page and Seilhan — Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception; Belcher — Our Lady Help of Christians; Broussard — St. Pius X Catholic Church in Ragley; and LaRocca — Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church.
Anyone interested in a vocation to the priesthood is encouraged to contact Father Jeffrey Starkovich, Vocation Director, at jeffrey.starkovich@lcdiocese.org.

A Dance Class With Fitzgerald & Shakespeare

A Dance Class With Fitzgerald & Shakespeare

Dance class students have expanded their creative capacities and adapted to the new Covid world with a “dance for camera” production.  In lieu of a Fine Arts Night performance, dancers collaborated with Ms. Barrow to choreograph and produce A Night At Gatsby’s.  In addition, seniors Molli Miller and James-David Self reunited, a partnership that started with 2020’s production of Fame, Jr. The Musical, to perform First Sight.  Both pieces capture the essence of classic literary works, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, pieces both Freshmen and Juniors studied in English.  A Night at Gatsby’s displays the variety of genres studied this year, layered with each performer’s personal style.  First Sight features Molli’s love for contemporary work with a classical ballet foundation, a combination that exemplifies her beautiful lines and performance quality.  She and JD share such synergy on stage!  After enjoying the show, please also listen to what junior, Anna Cholley, and freshman, Asha Austin, learned about life from Fitzgerald and Shakespeare.

A Senior Year Like No Other

A Senior Year Like No Other

By Pamela Seal 
Diocese of Lake Charles  

Graduation for the St. Louis Catholic High Class of 2021 on Tuesday, May 18, was about more than diplomas, awards, and scholarships. It was also the culmination of perseverance and faith during a senior year like no other.  

On Aug. 27, 2020, which was supposed to be the first day of classes for the new school year, Hurricane Laura destroyed the Bank Street school with 150-mph winds. Little did the seniors know their junior year — which ended abruptly because of COVID-19 — would be the last time they would ever walk the halls of St. Louis High.  

“When I found out about our school, my heart just dropped,” said Caroline Broussard. “I immediately started crying as I was looking at the photos on Facebook and texting all my friends.”  

The St. Louis Catholic High School Class of 2021 celebrates
at the conclusion of their commencement ceremony in the
Burton Coliseum on Tuesday, May 18.
(Photo credit: Morris LeBleu / Diocese of Lake Charles)

Jaide Navarre said she was terrified when she learned of the destruction. After the news sunk in, she quickly shifted gears to organize a cleanup crew. “I was on the phone for about 12 hours calling teachers, friends, and people that needed help,” she said. “We all got together. It was very bonding and didn’t seem as tragic as I thought it would be in the end.”  

Terry Sherman attended public elementary and junior high schools prior to starting at St. Louis his freshman year. “When I got there, they treated me like family,” he said. “After I heard the school was destroyed, I thought, where am I going to go now? No one will ever treat me as good as they did at St. Louis.”  

Within six weeks of Laura making landfall, Hurricane Delta slammed the already crippled region on Oct. 9. Less than two weeks later, students finally started the school year at a temporary campus set up on the school’s football field. Bishop Glen John Provost praised Principal Mia Touchet, the staff, teachers, and advisory board for making it possible for students to return so quickly after back-to-back hurricanes.  

“Even though we weren’t using the original school, just pulling up in the same parking lot and being next to the school was comforting,” said Caroline.  

A big part of high school are the memories, and the seniors were determined to adapt to the hand dealt by Mother Nature.  

“Homecoming was weird, but we made it work,” Caroline recalled. “We hosted it at the Lake Charles Country Club’s tennis courts so that it was outside and would be COVID friendly. Instead of having Twerp Week, we decided to have Scholar Week celebrating academics complete with a Scholar Week Court and pep rally.”  

“We celebrated Mass outdoors instead of in the school chapel,” said Terry. “They did everything they could to make some of the usual events happen for us.” The chapel and being able to eat lunch with his friends in the cafeteria were a couple of things Terry missed most about the school. “On the temporary campus, we had to eat in our classrooms, so I didn’t see a lot of my friends.”  

Caroline said one of her favorite memories of the old school was their school dances. “It was so much fun all being smooshed together in the cafeteria.”  

Even though each day was filled with uncertainty as the students navigated the unusual school year, one thing that remained constant was God’s guiding hand. 

Terry said he enjoyed going to St. Louis so much he was determined to find a way rather than switch to a school in Houston where he had evacuated.  

“I was driving from Houston to Lake Charles every day, getting up between 3-4 a.m. for about a month, because our house was destroyed,” he said. “When a couple of my friends realized what I was doing, they said there was no way they were going to let that happen. I lived with friends for about four months until FEMA finally helped my mom get a trailer and move back to Lake Charles. My friends were a huge blessing.”  

Jaide noticed how God always provided even when it was not the ideal situation. “Seeing the way everyone was able to lend a hand regardless of their own situation has been heartwarming and encouraging,” she said. “Going through this challenging time and seeing what is important has made our school overall become closer.”  

As chair of the Scholar Week committee, Caroline was tasked with planning a Twerp Week pep rally. It rained so hard the day before, plans had to be changed at the last minute. “We decided to host it on the deck and have students watch it virtually,” she recalled. “It ended up being an awesome event. We have been through so much this year, but we are thankful for the trials. I think that is God’s way of strengthening us.”  

“Even though there were a lot of struggles this year, I really did have a great senior year,” said Caroline. “I am grateful for the extra efforts to keep all of us together on the same campus. There is no way I would have had the amazing senior year I had if not for the temporary campus.”  

Jaide said she also is grateful for the way her senior year panned out. “If I could redo my senior year and have it gone down differently, I would not have it any other way,” she said. 

As for Terry, he feels like he has lived through the worst of the worst and won’t ever question what God has in store for him. “There will always be obstacles in life,” he said, giving credit to his mom for his strong faith. “I was blessed to be able to come back to St. Louis and play basketball for the Saints. You never know when something is going to be taken away from you.”