By Richard Meek

The Catholic Commentator   

Father Jerome LeDoux SVD, former columnist for The Catholic Commentator and who previously served as pastor at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Baton Rouge, died Jan. 7 in Lafayette following heart surgery. Father LeDoux was 88.  

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Father Jerome LeDoux SVD, is shown after speaking at the Louisiana Catholic Conference in 1990. Photo provided by the Archives Department | Diocese of Baton Rouge

 

A native of Lakes Charles, Father LeDoux entered the Divine Word High School Seminary in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi at the age of 13 and took first vows in 1949. He was ordained to the priesthood May 11, 1957 at St. Augustine Seminary Chapel.  

Father LeDoux, born Feb. 26, 1930, studied in Rome and earned a doctor in canon law and a master’s degree in social theology. He taught moral theology and canon law at St. Augustine from 1961-67 and theology at Xavier University in New Orleans from 1969-80.  

Father LeDoux served as pastor at St. Martin de Porres Church in Prairie View, Texas from 1981-84 and at St. Paul from 1984-88. 

He also served as pastor at St. Augustine Church in New Orleans and Our Lady of Mercy Church in Fort Worth, Texas.  

“The thing that strikes me about the kind of person he was, was that he just had a great heart for the elderly and for the poor,” said Father Rick Andrus SVD, who served with Father LeDoux from 1978-80 at St. Augustine.  

Father Andrus fondly recalled how Father LeDoux would often be up in the middle of the night making pecan candy. Father Andrus said every flat surface of the kitchen would be covered with wax paper with individual candies on each one.  

Father LeDoux would bring the candy the following day to the parish’s elderly members but always kept some spares in his pocket in case he would run into somebody on the street that he knew.  

“He had a great impact on my priesthood,” Father Andrus said. “I consider him one of a handful of powerful mentors in my life, as a presider, preacher and pastor. He taught me an awful lot.”  

His syndicated column “Reflections on Life,” which he began writing in 1969, was published in The Catholic Commentator, as well as several Catholic weeklies. Additionally, the column was published in Louisiana Weekly in New Orleans, the Sea Coast Echo in Bay St. Louis and several other secular publications.  

“Just recently, when he had fallen and was in the hospital in Opelousas, his biggest concern while laying there in a hospital was how he was going to get to a computer to write his column,” Father Andrus said. “In all the years he had never missed a single column and he knew people would be looking forward to that column.”  

Father Andrus said his mentor was also a man of deep faith, and that shone through during a recent Christmas gathering among his fellow Divine Word clergy members. Father LeDoux was asked if he was worried about his upcoming heart surgery.  

According to Father Andrus, Father LeDoux said, “Worried? Yes, (but) not too concerned because I’m going to wake up. But where I’m going to wake up I’m not real sure.” </span id=”13″>

“I trust God and I have peace with my life.”  

A Memorial Mass was celebrated Jan. 14 at Holy Ghost Church in Opelousas. His Funeral Mass was celebrated Jan. 16 at St. Augustine Seminary in Bay St. Louis. He was buried at St. Augustine Seminary Cemetery.  

(The Clarion Herald in New Orleans contributed to this report.)