“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)
By our baptism and confirmation, we are initiated into the Paschal Mysteries of Christ and given the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit empowers us and sends us to go forth to evangelize, invite, educate, inform and form all peoples into the one family of Christ where all are one in love, and serving Christ and one another. Together, with the family of St. Edward Catholic Church and St. Jude Chapel, we endeavor to pursue our mission vigorously in order to make Christ known, loved, and served by all, in hopes of setting the community and
the world a blaze. (Luke 12:49)
The Life of Jesus Mafa
The congregation of Saint Edward Roman Catholic Church of the city of New Iberia, Louisiana, began and still is a national Parish for African-Americans.
New Iberia was founded in 1779 as a Spanish colony. A total of 19 slaves of African descent arrived along with Francisco Bouligny, to settle the land with Malaguenos, and others. They survived many obstacles and named the area after the Iberian Peninsula in Spain. The town grew despite many difficulties, including the challenges of natural elements.
New Iberia is known for its architecture and great natural resources. It is the people of African descent who provided the free and cheap labor to harvest the sugarcane and other crops that were major parts of the town’s economy during those early years.
The needs of the Roman Catholic members of the community were taken care of by the church of Saint Martinville. After incorporation, in 1836, the first Roman Catholic church was established and named Saint Peter.
During this time, the people of African descent worshipped with other Catholic sisters and brothers who are descendants of the Spanish, French, Nova Scotians, Germans, and other nationalities.
From the time that the Spanish colony was established until the end of the Civil War, all Catholics in New Iberia worship together under segregated seating arrangements. Although many people of African descent found this contradiction a challenge, they chose to remain with the church. Others formed small protestant communities and some did not participate at all.
Under the Pastorate of Monsignor Langlois, a National Parish for the African-American congregation of Roman Catholics of New Iberia became a reality. During the rapid departure of African American Catholics from the church and the continued tension, the church felt that the emphasis on an active life and the national Parish would encourage the African Americans not to leave.
In 1916, a request was made to Archbishop Blenk, to send a priest to be exclusively in charge of the people of African descent. It was believed that this would ease racial tension and further leakage from the faith would be prevented.
The Holy Ghost fathers accepted the invitation. This new mission received an initial gift of $10,000 from Mother Katharine Drexel of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. The consecrated religious woman who is now canonized Saint in the universal church went on to be a benefactor who helped build our school and convent. In which her sisters lived, and she was a visitor, the convent is still standing today.
Saint Edward Catholic school is also still in existence today. St. Edward School’s rich history and tradition began on November 18, 1918, as an influenza epidemic precluded the school from opening in September as scheduled. It was founded as an all-black school for the community of New Iberia, Louisiana, by Mother Katharine Drexel, who would later be declared a saint by Pope John Paul, II on October 1, 2000.
Our recently built Parish Life Center was dedicated in memory of St. Katharine Drexel on August 7, 2021 by his Excellency Most Reverend Bishop J. Douglass Deshotel, The Bishop of the Diocese of Lafayette.
MEET OUR STAFF
Rev. Mr. Raymond Derouen
Debra S. Mitchell
Communications & Family Life Center
Father Donald Bernard
Rev. Mr. Steve Rogers
Deacon and Pastoral Assistant
Rev. Mr. Roland Jeanlouis
Sunday 9am and 11am Music Ministry
Saturday 4pm Music Ministry
Dr. Kenel Williams
Sunday 7am Musician
Tuesday - Friday 6:30 a.m.
Saturday 4:00 p.m.
Sunday 7:00 a.m. & 11:00 a.m.
St. Jude's Chapel
Sunday 9:00 a.m.
Sacrament of Reconciliation
St. Edward Catholic Church
Tuesday- Friday 6:00 a.m. - 6:25 a.m.
Saturday- 3:00 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
St. Jude Chapel
Sunday - 8:30 a.m. - 8:55 a.m.
NO MASS ON MONDAYS