St. Joseph/St. Anthony Catholic Churches

A New Beginning
In January of 1953, Mrs. Lule Billeaud informed Father Perry that her late husband had willed an acre of land in the area near Highway 90 to be used for construction of a new parish church for black citizens, if and when it would become reality.

By the end of 1954 plans had been successful with the accession of the property from the Billeaud Family, to move the school grounds, and to build a new rectory on the site. A building previously donated by Mother Katherine Drexel was moved from Jeanerette to our new building site. This building was used for a parish hall. Construction of St. Joseph Church was the next step and plans were made.

On April 18, 1954, with the help of many good friends black and white, contractors, suppliers, builders and generous donors, Groundbreaking Day Ceremonies were held, and Father Bourges and Father Wade participated in these ceremonies. On May 3, 1954 Nello Shay and his volunteer crew of workers poured the concrete foundation in just one day. With the help of volunteer labor the laminated wood arches were erected. The rectory was built with volunteer bricklayers from Lake Charles, Baton Rouge, and Lafayette in only one day. In 1954 the same brick layers were employed to do the brick work on the Church, and again worked to facilitate the completion of their work as soon as possible.

Upon completion of the church, the entire congregation joined with the Pastor to make our parish outstanding in its devotion to God and service to each other and their respective communities. Everywhere signs of renewal and enthusiasm were evident; parishioners attended masses in large numbers and devotions were well attended. They volunteered their services for all parish functions and exhibited great pride in their new parish. The Altar Ladies and Ladies Auxiliary formed groups for the upkeep of the church. Every Friday afternoon was clean-up day at the church. Ladies walked over to assume their role in the cleaning of the church.

The Knights of Peter Claver Council #115 was organized on December 11, 1949 followed by Our Lady of The Rosary Ct. #115 on May 13, 1951. In every community where the Society of Divine Word and Saint Mother Katherine Drexel had a church and school, these organizations became the pride of the church parish. Men and women worked to support the church and school. Altar boys were trained, and parents encouraged their youngsters to do well. Love for religion and church functions were the highlight of the Broussard community.

Father Harold Perry with the help of the people from Broussard and the surrounding areas up to Cade, La. moved into the new church May 19, 1958.

Our Parish History
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