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Sister Gracelyn Soignet CSJ, 82, dies

Posted October 21, 2020 at 12:00 am

Sister Gracelyn Soignet CSJ, a sister of St. Joseph for 64 years, passed away at Mount St. Mary Convent in Wichita, Kansas on Sept. 14 at age 82.  

She was born in New Orleans to the late Mertyle Michael and Grace Walker Soignet and baptized Gracelyn Ann. She is survived by her brother Donald Soignet and his wife Jeanne.  

Sister Gracelyn graduated from St. Joseph Academy in New Orleans in 1956 and entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph in New Orleans that same year. She professed first vows in 1959 and perpetual vows in 1964 and graduated from Dominican College in New Orleans in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in education. Sister Gracelyn completed the program at Dominican College in teaching the mentally

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    Sister Leyla Cerda-Sanchez CSJ, 60, dies

    Sister Leyla Patricia Cerda-Sanchez CSJ, age 60, passed away unexpectedly Sept. 14, 2020 at the Congregation of St. Joseph Center in LaGrange Park, Illinois.  

    Sr. Leyla was born Dec. 27, 1959 in Managua, Nicaragua, one of five children to the late Enrique M. Cerda and Leila Maria Sanchez. She attended the Colegio Pureza de Maria in Managua. She and her brother Enrique immigrated to the United States in the 1970s to continue their education and eventually became American citizens.  

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    Sister Jane Arbour CSJ 95, dies

    Sister Jane Louise Arbour CSJ, a Sister of St. Joseph for 79 years, passed away at Mount St. Mary Convent in Wichita, Kansas on Sept. 17 at age 95.  

    Sister Jane was born in Baton Rouge, one of eight children of the late Sydney V. and Julia Mae Bahlinger Arbour Sr., and was baptized Julia Mae. She is survived by 31 nieces and nephews and their children.  

    She was pre-deceased by her siblings: Gertie Lee

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    Father Vavasseur dies at age 85

    Father Henry C. Vavasseur, 85, retired priest of the Diocese of Baton Rouge, died Oct. 26 at Ollie Steele Burden Manor Nursing Home in Baton Rouge. Father Vavasseur was born in Port Allen and attended Catholic High School in Baton Rouge; St. Joseph Seminary in St. Benedict; Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans; and, Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.  

    He was ordained a priest in June 1958. His pastoral assignments included Holy Family Church in Port Allen; St. John the

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    Sr. Vernola dies

    Sister Vernola Ann Lyons FMOL died Thursday, Oct. 11, at Our Lady of The Lake Regional Medical Center.  

    Sister Vernola was born June 20, 1940 in Mire. She entered the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady order on Aug. 2, 1964 and made her Perpetual Profession on Feb. 10, 1973.  

    She obtained a bachelor’s degree in nursing from McNeese State University in May, 1964 and a master’s degree from the University of Santa Clara in June, 1984.  

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    Brother A. Joseph Martin dies

    Brother A. Joseph Martin SJ died Dec. 4 in Grand Coteau after a long illness. He was 88 years old and a Jesuit for 63 years. 

    Remembered by his brother Jesuits for his kindness and intelligence, Brother Joseph’s life was celebrated in a Mass of Christian Burial on, Dec. 9 in the Main Chapel of St. Charles College in Grand Coteau. Burial was in the Jesuit Cemetery of St. Charles College immediately following the Funeral Mass.  

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    Deacon Brady dies

    Deacon Eugene Brady died Sunday, Oct. 22. He was 90 years old.  

    Deacon Brady was ordained July 13, 2002 at St. Joseph Cathedral by Bishop Robert W. Muench. He served as coordinator for nursing home ministry for the Diocese of Baton Rouge until his retirement in July 2013.  

    Visitation is scheduled Friday, Oct. 27 from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at St. George Church in Baton Rouge. Funeral Mass to follow at St George at 12:30 p.m. Burial will

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    Long time editor Laura Deavers dies

    Laura Gatz Deavers, who served as editor of The Catholic Commentator for 30 years and was known for her commitment to her Catholic as well as to the people of the Diocese of Baton Rouge, died Wednesday, Sept. 13 at the age of 69.Deavers, a native of Baton Rouge, served as editor of the Commentator from 1984-2013 and helped transform the content of the paper into focusing more on the life and the people of the diocese.

    “Laura Deavers applied her Catholic faith to everything she did,” Bishop Robert W. Muench said. “She

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    Baton Rouge native Father Donald Bahlinger dies

    Father Donald G. Bahlinger SJ, a native of Baton Rouge, died Saturday, Aug. 19 at St. Alphonsus Rodriguez Pavilion in Grand Coteau. He was 88 years old, a Jesuit for 71 years and a priest for 58 years.  

    Father Bahlinger will be remembered as a man of zeal and compassion, according to family members.  

    “His gift was to teach us to serve ‘the least of these’ without fear,” said Allyson Mayeux, a

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    Deacon Albert Ellis will be missed

    Deacon Albert Robinson Ellis Jr., of Baton Rouge, passed away Aug. 8, 2017, at home surrounded by family. He was 87 years old. Deacon Ellis was a husband, father and grandfather. He was ordained a deacon in 1980 and spent his deaconate career at his home church parish, St. George Church in Baton Rouge. From 1997 to 2003, he was the Director of the Permanent Diaconate. He was the last surviving member of his diaconal class and the oldest deacon in the diocese.  

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    Deacon Schlette dies

    Deacon Peter “Pete” B. Schlette Sr., passed away after a long illness at the age of 78.

    Ordained a deacon for the Archdiocese of New Orleans in 1996, he later moved into the Diocese of Baton Rouge and served at Immaculate Conception Church in Denham Springs for 18 years.

    Deacon Schlette served with the U.S. Coast Guard for 21 years, retiring as chief petty officer. During his career, he crossed the equator multiple times on

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    Sister Ursula Harelson dies

    Sister Ursula Harelson, Sister of St. Joseph for 71 years, passed away at St. Francis Hospital in Wichita, Kansas on Dec. 13 at the age of 88.

    Sister Ursula was born in Baton Rouge, one of six children of the late Andrew Leo and Mary Zilma (Edmonston) Harelson. Baptized Anna Marjorie, Sister Ursula is survived by her sister, Rita Harelson Garon, and her brother, Andrew Leo “Boo” Harelson. She was preceded in death by her sister, Hazel Harelson Kleinpeter, and brothers William John and Eddie Harelson.

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    Brother Marcel Riviere dies

    Brother Marcel Riviere SC, who had spent the past four years in the Diocese of Baton Rouge, died Oct. 14 at the age of 89.

    Brother Marcel, son of the late Anita Braud and Marcel Guy Riviere, was a native of Thibodaux. He joined the Brothers of the Sacred Heart from Thibodaux College in 1942, making first vows in Metuchen, New Jersey in 1945.

    Brother Marcel spent much of his active ministry as a religious brother working in the formation

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    Sister Hilary dies

    Sister Mary Hilary Simpson OP, a Dominican Sister of Peace, died Monday, Feb. 15, at North Oaks Medical Center in Hammond.

    Born in New Orleans on Jan. 17, 1938, she was the daughter of Siguard Edgar Simpson Jr. and Beatrice Vitrano Simpson.

    Sister Hilary was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Siguard E. Simpson III.

    In 1955, Sister Hilary entered the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of St. Mary, now known as the

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    Deacon Zeringue dies

    The Catholic Commentator

    Deacon Henry John Zeringue Sr., a longtime resident of St. James Civil Parish, passed away Nov. 10 at the age of 89.

    Deacon Zeringue was born in Modeste, but his father worked in various shipyards throughout the south, eventually settling in St. James. His father established a farm equipment repair and manufacturing shop where Deacon Zeringue eventually worked after

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    Sister Francis dies at the age of 90

    A Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Francis Louviere DC was celebrated Oct. 17 at Seton Residence Chapel in Evansville, Indiana. Burial followed at St. Joseph Cemetery in Evansville.

    Sister Francis, who served for nearly 40 years at the National Hansen’s Disease Center in Carville, died Oct. 15 at Seton Residence at the age of 90. She served 70 years as a Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul.


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    Msgr. Leo Guillot, 89, dies

    The Catholic Commentator

    Msgr. Leo Guillot died Saturday, Oct. 24, at the age of 89.

    A native of Natchitoches, Msgr. Guillot was ordained June 9, 1956 by Archbishop L. Abel Caillouet. Msgr. Guillot graduated from Baton Rouge High School in 1943 and LSU in 1949.

    Msgr. Guillot served in the Diocese of Baton Rouge and the Archdiocese

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    Sister Anne Claire dies

    Sister Anne Claire Price CSJ, 86, died Sept. 28 in Wichita, Kansas.

    She was born in New Orleans to Roderick M. and Clara Verges Price and lived in Louisiana until relocating in 2006 after Hurricane Katrina to the Center of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Wichita. Sister Anne Claire is survived by a niece, Clare Leaumont, and a cousin, Sidney Stone, both of Metairie.

    Sister Anne Claire entered the

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    Sr. Mary de Montfort dies

    Sister Mary de Montfort Schexnaydre OP died at Mohun Health Care Center in Columbus, Ohio on Aug. 24, 2015.

    She was born in 1930 in Burnside and in 1951 entered the Dominican Sisters of St. Mary in New Orleans, now the Dominican Sisters of Peace.

    She earned a degree from St. Mary’s Dominican College in New Orleans and her MT (ASCP) Certification from Charity Hospital of Medical Technology in New Orleans. She

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    Sister Beth Lieux dies

    Sister Beth Lieux CSJ, a Sister of St. Joseph for 63 years, passed away at Mount St. Mary Convent in Wichita, Kansas, on May 8 at the age of 81.

    Sister Beth was born in New Roads, one of eleven children of the late Joseph Bertrand Lieux Sr. and Frances Azema Lorio Lieux. Baptized Elizabeth Helen, Sister Beth is survived by siblings, Theodore (Ted) Richard Lieux, Sister Bertrand Lieux (Rita Ann) CSJ, Magda Lieux Bonnette and Ralph Lorio Lieux. She

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    Father Theodore Hesburgh, higher education leader, diplomat, dies at 97

    NOTRE DAME, Ind. (CNS) Holy Cross Father Theodore M. Hesburgh, who led the University of Notre Dame through a period of dramatic growth during his 35 years as president and held sway with political and civil rights leaders, died Feb. 26 at the age of 97.

    As the longest serving president of Notre Dame, from 1952 to 1987, Father Hesburgh built the university from a small college primarily known for its prowess on the football field into one of the nation’s premier higher education institutions.

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    Father Ferrier dies

    Father Francis Ferrier SJ, 84, who had been chaplain at several nursing homes in the Baton Rouge area, died Jan. 31.

    Born in New Orleans to Leon Ferrier and Minette Menard Ferrier, he attended Jesuit High School in New Orleans and Loyola University before entering the Society of Jesus in 1948. He was ordained at Spring Hill College in 1961.

    He taught at schools in New Orleans, Tampa, Houston and Mobile, served as registrar at Stake Jesuit in Houston for

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    Sister Marie Schwan dies

    Sister Marie Schwan (formerly known as Sister Jerome Marie) CSJ passed away Dec. 30 in Cleveland, Ohio. She was born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1933 and baptized Darlyne Marie, the daughter of Jerome J. and Amanda Martell Schwan. She is survived by a niece, Rita Schwan Zeier, of Madison, Wisconsin and was preceded in death by her brother, John J. Schwan.

    Sister Marie entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in Crookston, Minnesota in 1949, professing final vows in 1955. She held a bachelor’s degree in English

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    Sr. Cecile dies at age of 84

    Sister Cecile Poitras SSJ, 84, (formerly Sister Francis Regis) died in Mont Marie Health Care Center in Holyoke, Massachusetts on Sept 28.

    A native of Fall River, Massachusetts, she was the daughter of Joseph and Marie Luise (Paradis) Poitras. Sister Cecile entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of LePuy at Fall River from St. Anne Parish, Fall River in 1947.  She graduated from Novitiate High School in Fall River and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Annhurst College, Woodstock, Connecticut. She became a member of the Sisters

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    Sister Mary Bernardine dies

    Sister Mary Bernardine Hill MSC, who was an educator at Holy Family School in Port Allen, died Sept. 8 at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Nursing Home in Opelousas.

    A native of Plaquemine, Sister Bernardine entered the Congregation of the Marianites of Holy Cross in August 1941 and professed her final vows Aug. 11, 1946. She earned her master’s degree in Education from Notre Dame University in 1956. She earned her doctorate in education from LSU in 1964 and served as education supervisor for the Archdiocese of

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    Brother Will McCue dies

    Brother Will McCue SC, who served for many years in the Diocese of Baton Rouge, passed away Thursday, Sept. 4 at The Hospice of Baton Rouge in Baton Rouge. He was 83.

    Brother Will was a native of Pritchard, Ala. and the son of the late Annie Lucile Hamilton and Charles Chambers McCue.

    He was preceded in death by his sister, Mrs. Charlotte Vilain. Brother Will is survived by his nephews Matthew McKenzie and

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    Deacon Gremillion, Sister Eva Regina die

    Deacon Esnard F. “Gremi” Gremillion, who was “characterized by a warm spirit of service,” died April 11 at the age of 81.

    Ordained a permanent deacon in the Diocese of Baton Rouge in June 2006, Deacon Gremillion served at Immaculate Conception Church in Denham Springs.

    Father Frank Uter, pastor of Immaculate Conception, said Deacon Gremillion “served his family and served his church in a beautiful way. It didn’t matter if he was

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    Deacon Zeringue dies

    Deacon Alfred Peter Zeringue, who was described as “a joy to be around,” died on March 29, at the age of 87.

    Bishop Robert W. Muench was scheduled to preside at the funeral Mass at St. Dominic Church in Hesser on April 1.

    “He was extremely devoted to the Blessed Mother and had a dry sense of humor. He had a laugh that was unique and distinctive. He was a joy to be around,” said Father Howard Adkins, pastor of

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    Sister Jean Fryoux dies at the age of 93

    Sister Jean Fryoux CSJ, a sister of St. Joseph for 67 years, passed away at Mount St. Mary Convent in Wichita, Kan., on Jan. 16, at the age of 93.

    She was born in Baton Rouge, the daughter of the late Frank Joseph and Minnie Ethel Gibbens Fryoux. Baptized as Bernice Marie, Sister Jean had three sisters, Mrs. John (Dorothy) McKinley, Mrs. George (June) Delaune and the late Mrs. William (Ethel) Morgan.


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    Sister Caroleen Hensgen SSDN dies

    ST. LOUIS – Sister Caroleen Hensgen, a School Sister of Notre Dame, died Tuesday, Oct. 15 at St. Mary of the Pines in Chatawa, Miss., from cancer. She was 98 and an educator for 60 years as a teacher, administrator and superintendent of a school system. She served as the superintendent of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Dallas from 1967-91. She was the first woman to be appointed superintendent of schools for a Catholic diocese in the United States.

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