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Bishop Muench Flashback

Posted May 25, 2018 at 12:00 am

Although a native of Lexington, Kentucky, Bishop Robert W. Muench was raised in New Orleans and always enjoyed sharing his Mardi Gras spirit with students in the Diocese of Baton Rouge. Above, he is shown several years ago participating in Carnival activities with students at St. John Interparochial School in Plaquemine with Father Cleo Milano, who was pastor at St. John the Evangelist church in Plaquemine from 2002-2013. Catholic Commentator file photo

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    Bishop Muench Flashback

    Bishop Robert W. Muench is shown praying the rosary with those attending at the annual Pro-Life Rally, sponsored annually by the Office of Marriage and Family Life of the Diocese of Baton Rouge. The event, which was held in January on the grounds of the Catholic Life Center, has been replaced by LifeFest, which is also held at the Catholic Life Center but has been moved to October.  File photo | The Catholic Commentator   

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    Bishop Muench Flashback

    Bishop Robert W. Muench is shown in 2003 during one of his many prison visits he had made while serving in the Diocese in Baton Rouge. Bishop Muench has embraced prison ministry, and never fails to brighten the days of inmates during his visits. File photo | The Catholic Commentator

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    BISHOP MUENCH FLASHBACK

    Bishop Robert W. Muench exchanges a laugh with Pope Benedict XV1 during the bishop’s ad limina visit in 2002. Bishops make their ad limina visit to the Vatican every five years. During the visit each bishop will meet with the pope. Catholic Commentator file photo

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    BISHOP MUENCH FLASHBACK

    Bishop Robert W. Muench traditionally spent the weekend before Christmas donning Santa’s hat and distributing toys to needy children at the St. Vincent de Paul Dining Hall.The bishop spent time with each child, in an effort to bring them a message of hope during the Christmas season. File photo 

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    BISHOP MUENCH FLASHBACK

    A long-standing tradition of Bishop Robert W. Muench is to tide in the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, which starts at the Catholic Life Center. The bishop is pictured with former Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden. The parade this year is scheduled to roll March 17 with Bishop Muench once again tossing goodies to the thousands of fans along the route. Catholic Commentator file photo

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    Bishop Muench Flashbacks

    As the Diocese of Baton Rouge prepares for the retirement of Bishop Robert W. Muench, The Catholic Commentator will for the next few months publish photos of the bishop from the past 16 years. Above, he is pictured talking to group of freshman students in religion class at St. Thomas Aquinas Diocesan Regional High School in Hammond in 2003. Catholic Commentator file photo

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    Pictures from the past

    BLESSING THE EQUIPMENT – Father Gerald Burns, then pastor at Assumption Catholic Church in Plattenville, blesses sugar cane equipment after Mass on Oct. 3. Parishioners prayed for a safe, successful sugarcane crop. The machines were brought to the church grounds from 11 area farms. The Catholic Commentator staff photo

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    Black Congress at Catholic Life Center

    Eva LeGard, far righr, talks with members of the youth panel at the Black Congress held at the Catholic Life Center in Baton Rouge, March 11, 1989. The congress was well attended by young delegates.  Photo provided by the Department of Archives, Diocese of Baton Rouge

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    St. Gabriel Church

    St. Gabriel Church is pictured in the early 1900s. The church, which still stands today, was believed to have been built in 1771, likely in the vicinity of Fort Manchac. Flooding of the Mississippi River forced several moves of the church. The church was moved to its present site in December 1887. A new church sits further back on the property. Photo provided by the Archives Department, Diocese of Baton Rouge 

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    Lighting a tradition

    Bonfires along the Mississippi River from Port Allen south have been a long-standing tradition for generations. Families plan their bonfires well in advance, and weeks before Christmas Eve trees are cut and the poles begin to dot the river levee. Although the origin of the tradition remains a mystery, the fires rekindle the memory of when a great light and angels appeared to the shepherds on the outskirts of Bethlehem as they watched over their sheep The angels brought the news of the birth of

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    Catholic High School Graduation

    Graduation season has been in full swing for the past several weeks throughout the Diocese of Baton Rouge on the high school, elementary school and college levels. In this undated photo, the graduating class of Catholic High School in Baton Rouge is shown at St. Joseph Cathedral in Baton Rouge. File photo from The Catholic Commentator

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    Original Holy Ghost Church in Hammond

    The original Holy Ghost Church in Hammond, which could seat approximately 250 people, was dedicated on Nov. 23, 1902 by Bishop Gustave A. Rouxel, the auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. The church doubled its size in 1937 to accommodate 500. The first Mass in Hammond was celebrated in 1890 by Father Leander Roth, who was from nearby Gessen, at the home of Mrs. John Neelis. The Catholic

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    Bishop Robert E. Tracy

    Bishop Robert E. Tracy, second from left, seems to be talking a little smack to Msgr. John Naughton as he takes a swing during a round of golf with priests in the Diocese of Baton Rouge in August, 1971. Also in the foursome were Father Donald Songy, far right, and Msgr. Leo Guillot at the far left. Two years earlier, Bishop Tracy was able to spend time with the legendary Arnold Palmer at the CYO-Arnold Palmer Golf Exhibition at Sherwood Forest Country Club, although

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    St. Joseph Cathedral Rendering

    A rendering shows St. Joseph Cathedral in Baton Rouge as it appeared in 1853. As Baton Rouge celebrates its 200th anniversary, it’s important to remember the Catholic Church has been in the area for much longer. In fact, although the date of construction of the first Catholic Church in Baton Rouge remains a mystery, it is known it was already standing in 1792 when the first pastor arrived. The church stood near the site of what is the present State Capitol. The first known

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    St. Francis of Pointe Coupee Chapel

    The St. Francis of Pointe Coupee Chapel has a long history that includes three different churches and several moves. As a parish, St. Francis dates to 1728, with the first church built 10 years later. In 1760, a second church was dedicated, approximately four miles down river from the previous building. The church stood for 130 years but as the community relocated to other areas, St. Francis ceased to be an independent parish and became a mission chapel. The current church was dedicated May

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    Pictures from the Past

    Bishop Robert E. Tracy and Baton Rouge Mayor Jack Christian leave Ryan Airport in Baton Rouge in a convertible after the bishop was returning home from Vatican II in 1962. Shortly after Bishop Tracy departed the plane, a man came up and kissed his ring. Photo provided by the Archives | Diocese of Baton Rouge

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    Bishop Stanley Ott

    Bishop Stanley Ott, left, and Archbishop William Borders are shown serving dinner in the dining room at St. Vincent de Paul Society in Baton Rouge on Thanksgiving Day in 1991. Archbishop Borders, whose first assignment after ordination in 1940 was associate pastor at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Baton Rouge, had retired from the Archdiocese of Baltimore, where he served from 1975-89. Bishop Robert W. Muench has continued the tradition of serving the homeless on Thanksgiving Day at St. Vincent.

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    Flooding in southeast Louisiana is obviously nothing new

    In April 1973, Bishop Robert E. Tracy visited flooded communities in the Bayou Pigeon, Bayou Sorrel and Pierre Part communities. Bishop Tracy is shown speaking with residents who were waiting word to evacuate. By that time many families had moved their possessions to attics or second floors to escape the rising waters. Photo provided by the Archives Department | Diocese of Baton Rouge

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    Pictures from the Past

    Father Robert E. Tracy is shown celebrating Mass at the original Christ the King Chapel at LSU in this photo from the late 1940s. Father Tracy later became the founding bishop of the Diocese of Baton Rouge. The chapel was officially dedicated in 1940 but by the 1950s the facilities had grown too small. The church was expanded and a new Catholic Student Center built. Christ the King became a church parish in 1980, and in 1998

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    Pictures from the Past

    Sacred Heart Church in Cornerview grew from humble beginnings. In the late 1840s a chapel about 10 square feet was built in Cornerview to serve people who had settled along a little stream called “Riviere Nueve” or New River, which it remains today. The chapel was called the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The burgeoning community continued to grow and despite the ravages of the Civil War a new church, shown above, was completed

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    Pictures from the Past

    Archbishop Joseph Rummel and clergy members are shown gathered outside of the old St. George Church in 1935, the same year he was installed as archbishop for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. The Knights of Columbus from St. George are also shown with Archbishop Rummel, where construction on the new St. George Church is continuing and is expected to be completed in 2017. Photo provided by the Archives Department of the Diocese of Baton Rouge 

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    Pictures from the Past

    As May approaches, many churches are making plans for the crowing of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Father Wilfred Knoblock, then pastor at St. Jules Church in Belle Rose, is shown with St. Jules students during a May Crowning in 1946. Photo provided by the Archives Department of the Diocese of Baton Rouge

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    Pictures from the Past

    Mother Teresa of Calcutta, right, is shown visiting with Archbishop Philip M. Hannan and Winifred Trabeaux, national regent of the Catholic Daughters of America during the 36th Biennial National Convention in New Orleans in July 1976. Mother Teresa, 66 at the time also participated in a world hunger symposium at the International Eucharistic Congress one month later. Trabeaux is originally from Baton Rouge. Photo provided by the Archives Department, Diocese of Baton Rouge

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    Pictures from the Past

    Bishop Stanley J. Ott is shown distributing ashes to employees of the Catholic Life Center during Mass in the Resurrection Chapel on Feb. 8, 1989. Catholics throughout the Diocese of Baton Rouge as well as worldwide will celebrate Ash Wednesday Feb. 10. Photo provided by the Archives Department, Diocese of Baton Rouge

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    Pictures from the Past

    Bishop Robert E. Tracy is shown in an undated photo preaching from the ambo in St. Joseph Chapel at the Catholic Life Center. The chapel was completed in the late 1960s but not dedicated until Sept. 30, 1970 by Cardinal John Cody, former archbishop of New Orleans and at the time archbishop of Chicago. On that same day, Cardinal Cody also dedicated the Martin Luther King Jr. Catholic Student Center at Southern University, the Catholic Life Center and St. Joseph Cathedral Prep School

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    Pictures from the Past

    Bishop Robert E. Tracy is shown blessing the living Nativity at St. Joseph Cathedral in December 1962. Throughout the diocese, church parishes set up Nativity scenes, including some live, in celebration of the Advent season. Photo courtesy of the Archives Department | Diocese of Baton Rouge

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    PICTURES FROM THE PAST

    FLOATING WORSHIPPERS

    Improvements to Virgin Island in Pierre Part were dedicated during a Mass concelebrated by St. Joseph the Worker Church pastor Father Salvador Moran and Father John Carville in May 1977. A statue of the Blessed Virgin, which was placed on the tiny island several years earlier, was restored and landscaping was done to make it an attractive shrine to Mary. During the Mass a historical marker was unveiled. The marker read: Virgin Island commemorates the

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    Pictures from the Past

    A new convent for the Dominican Sisters of New Orleans at Mater Dolorosa School in Independence was dedicated by Bishop Robert E. Tracy in 1963. The convent was air-conditioned and consisted of eight rooms for the sisters, a chapel, refractory, community room, parlor and guest room. Father L.E. Curtis OP was the pastor at the time. Dominican sisters from throughout south Louisiana attended the dedication. The Dominican sisters helped Father John Ayuela, who was pastor at that time, open the school in 1921. The

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    Pictures from the Past

    This undated photo shows St. Paul Church in Bayou Goula before it was moved in 1927. The church is facing the side street, and it is believed the building behind the church may be the rectory. Bayou Goula was the site of the first Catholic Church built in the Louisiana Purchase in 1699, although the church was not officially named. The current church was constructed in 1871, when it was still a mission, and became a parish in 1877. Until then, the church was served

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