By Bonny Van

The Catholic Commentator

Students at Catholic schools across the Diocese of Baton Rouge honored military men and women for Veterans Day in a variety of ways. Gatherings, receptions and special Masses were held at several schools, including St. Alphonsus School in Greenwell Springs, Holy Family School in Port Allen and St. John Interparochial School in Plaquemine.  

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Students and teachers place their hands on Ray Louviere, who served in the Navy in Vietnam, for a special blessing during a Veterans Day Mass at the chapel at St. John Interparochial School in Plaquemine. Louviere said it brought tears to his eyes. Photos by Bonny Van | The Catholic Commentator

 

At the chapel on the St. John campus, pews were filled with students, family members and military men and women for a Veterans Day Mass. As he welcomed everyone, Father Gregory Daigle, pastor of St. John the Evangelist Church, noted the important work of all military persons.  

“Jesus said the peace that we want is the peace that he gives but in our world, often that is not possible, so we do the best we can to keep the peace, often with the strength of military,” said Father Daigle. “It may not be the most Christian way but it is the way that protects our lives, our way of life and our opportunity for deeper communion with one another as a nation and with our God.”  

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Following Mass, students and faculty at St. John Interparochial School in Plaquemine waved flags and banners, lined both sides of the sidewalk from the chapel to the school and down the hallway to a reception. They clapped and thanked the veterans for their service as the men and women walked by.   

 

Father Daigle also thanked service men and women for “bringing peace to our world.” He then asked everyone to place their hands on a veteran for a special blessing. Ray Louviere, who served in the Navy in Vietnam, said he was moved to tears when he felt the hands of his granddaughter, grandniece and others placed on him.  

“It’s hard to put into words,” Louviere said with a sigh of emotion and tears in his eyes at a reception following the Mass. “I’m very thankful and proud that I did serve.”  

Also during the Mass, the senior class sang a patriotic song with students representing President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. and other leaders from the 1960s. Another student portrayed an astronaut and the landing on the moon.  

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St. Alphonsus School in Greenwell Springs

 

Following Mass, students waving flags and banners lined both sides of the sidewalk for the “walk of honor” from the chapel to the school and down the hallway to a reception. Students and faculty clapped and thanked the veterans for their service as the men and women walked by.  

“Today (Nov. 13) was amazing for me because it’s my grandpa’s (Joe Guilbeau, WWII veteran) last Veterans Day Mass for me and just to see everybody’s reactions, their poems and essays, it was really amazing to see how much support our school has for our veterans,” said Madison Young, a senior.  

“It’s really big in the community,” said St. John principal Cherie Schlatre. “People call to find out when this Mass will be held, and it’s really touching to see the kids see veterans and show their appreciation with the cards and flags. We are glad to show our support for our service men and women.” 

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Holy Family School in Port Allen