Funeral services next week for Bishop Speyrer

LAKE CHARLES (AP) — Funeral services will be held next week for Bishop Jude Speyrer, the founding bishop of the Diocese of

Lake Charles.

Speyrer, who served the diocese for 20 years, died Sunday. He was 84.

Morris LeBleu, director of communications for the diocese, said Wednesday he had no information on what caused Speyrer's death.

"He had been ill, not seriously ill, but ill as any 84-year-old person would be and likely succumbed to a number of maladies,"

LeBleu said.

Speyrer was ordained in 1953 and served in

various posts in the Diocese of Lafayette for 27 years before being

named bishop.

Pope John Paul II chose Speyrer to lead the Diocese of Lake

Charles as its first bishop when the diocese was established in

1980. He retired in 2000.

"I feel fortunate to have known and worked with this faithful priest and bishop, who did so much to build and strengthen the

two dioceses in which he served. I pray that the Lord may grant him the reward of his labors," Diocese of Lafayette Bishop

Michael Jarrell said in a statement.

A Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled for 11 a.m. July 31 at the Cathedral

of the Immaculate Conception in Lake Charles.

Public viewing will be from 2-8 p.m. July 29 and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. July 30. Burial will be in the New Bethany

Cemetery in Moss Bluff.