Our Lady Help of Christian Church, Bastrop, LA
In July, 1943, the Bastrop residence of the Franciscan Fathers became a new mission center, and Rev. Ulric Landolt, O.F.M., was names pastor. The territory of Morehouse and Richland parishes was cut off in December, 1943, from the jurisdiction of Rev. Henry Freiburg, O.F.M., pastor of St. Paschal’s church, West Monroe. In February, 1944, Rev. Walfrid Boesche, O.F.M., residing at the Bastrop Friary, was made pastor of Richland parish, but his residence remained the same.
Father Buvola was appointed to take care of the Negroes in Morehouse parish in July, 1944, and to establish a church in Bastrop for them. Father Boesche, in the same month, was transferred back to the friary at West Monroe, but retaining the post of pastor of Richland parish. He had opened a new mission at Delhi, where he used a private home for a chapel for the first time on the first Sunday of September, 1943. The cloister was established at the Bastrop Friary on August 5, 1944, following the addition of two rooms to the remodeled rectory.
Land Purchased of Our Lady Help of Christians
A lot on the corner of West Madison and Pugh Street, a portion of the Sylvestor-Jackson Property was purchased for the site of the Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church. The land was purchased in 1945. The land was purchased from W. C. Wright and the formal address was 831 West Madison Avenue (Hwy. 165)
An Army Chapel building located at Selman Field, Monroe, LA, was purchased to be used as the Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church. Chapel building #29-1, dimensions 37’ x 81’. Bishop Charles Greco, Diocese of Alexandria initiated the required application. The cost of the building was $1250. The building was re-erected as Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church on West Madison/Hwy. 165.
On Sunday, March 11, 1945 A large assembly of parishioners from Monroe and West Monroe Colored churches join with local people for the first Mass to be offered in the new Church of Our Lady Help of Christians for Colored. An exceptionally large attendance marked the opening Mass despite inclement weather. The pastor, Rev. Medard Buvola, O.F. M., was celebrant of the Mass, also preached the sermon for the historic occasion. The Mass sung by the Felician Sisters from the Bastrop General Hospital. The delegations from Monroe and West Monroe were led by Rev. Patrick O’Brien, O.F.M., assistant at the Little Flower Church of Monroe and 10 Sisters.