Friday, August 03, 2007

Jubilee celebrations

Sorry, this e-mail got a little buried but several Catholic priests with links to Shreveport celebrated big anniversaries last weekend. They are all Jesuits and members of the congregation based in New Orleans.

The Revs. Edward P. Buvens and Hacker J. Fagot celebrated 50 years. And the Rev. Norman B. O’Neal celebrated 60 years.

Fagot and Buvens were among the priests from Ignatius Residence in New Orleans who evacuated to Shreveport following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The folks at Christus Schumpert found room for them in the Bossier hospital and one afternoon they shared stories and memories of living and working here. Many were teachers at St. John High School (now Loyola College Prep).

"We all loved St. John's," Fagot told me. "We're all a little sorry we're not still there."

They were a very funny group of men, always picking on each other and laughing, which was particularly startling to me considering the somber tone of most of those days after the storm.

Here's a little more about the men:

Fagot did his regency (a sort of internship after ordination) at St. John from 1952-54. He taught psychology for years, and then served as retreat director at the Manresa House of Retreats in Convent, from 1994 to 2005.

Buvens was born in 1934 in Montreal, Canada, and attended high school at St. John High School in Shreveport. he went on to spent his active ministry in health care and social work in Houston and New Orleans.

O'Neal is a native Shreveporter, who was baptized at the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans, attended Sacred Heart Cathedral School and St. John High School there. He spent his career as a high school teacher in Tampa, Fla., and at Jesuit in New Orleans.

Photo: The Revs. Herve Racivitch, Charles O'Neill, Ed Buvens and Thomas Culley sit down for lunch at Christus Schumpert Bossier. About 25 of the Jesuit priests were evacuated from New Orleans and are living at the hospital. Robert Ruiz/The Times. 09/14/05.

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