St. Joseph Cathedral will celebrate French National Day, Bastille Day, and Louisiana’s French heritage at a special Mass at 4 p.m. Saturday, July 11.
The Mass, featuring French and English scripture readings and prayers, will include a symbolic presentation recognizing the achievements of the French culture in Louisiana. A Knights of Columbus honor guard will present the French and American flags at the cathedral, 412 North St., in downtown Baton Rouge.
The Very Rev. Paul D. Counce, cathedral pastor, will officiate at the Mass. Special guests include the members and friends of L’Assemblée Française, one of the oldest French cultural societies in Louisiana. Its members have preserved and expanded the French language, culture and music in Louisiana for more than 50 years and were instrumental in the establishment of the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana, CODOFIL, in 1968.
During the Mass, L’Assemblée Française member Daniel Blanchard will provide special music. Participants at an offertory procession will present gifts symbolizing French and Louisiana contributions and achievements in literature, cuisine, music and fashion. In addition, flowers will be placed at the headstone of the Very Rev. Cyril Delacroix of Evreau, France, an early beloved pastor of the cathedral parish who served from 1865 to 1893. Delacroix recruited the Sisters of St. Joseph, the Sisters of the Holy Family and the Brothers of the Sacred Heart to provide Catholic education in Baton Rouge. Some 150 years later, these orders of religious men and women continue to serve today in the Diocese of Baton Rouge.
The Mass is open to everyone. For more information, call (225) 387-5928.