Life of Bishop Jude Speyrer to be celebrated today

By Special to the American Press

The life of the Lake Charles Diocese’s first leader will be celebrated at a Mass at 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 31, in Immaculate

Conception Cathedral, at the corner of Kirby and Bilbo streets.

Bishop Jude Speyrer served as the

diocese’s first bishop from April 25, 1980, until Dec. 12, 2000, when

Pope John Paul II

accepted his request for retirement. He was named administrator of

the diocese by the College of Consultors after his retirement,

serving until Feb. 21, 2001.

Speyrer was appointed to lead the new diocese by Pope John Paul II on Jan. 29, 1980.

Speyrer, 84, died Sunday, July 21, in Opelousas.

Bishop Glen John Provost, the current

bishop of the diocese, will be the celebrant for the Mass, and priests

of the diocese

will concelebrate. Speyrer will be interred in New Bethany

Cemetery on the grounds of the St. Charles Center in Moss Bluff.

Speyrer was instrumental in the construction of the center, the diocesan spirituality/retreat center on Sam Houston Jones

Parkway in Moss Bluff.

In 2008, he established the Bishop Jude

Speyrer Fund in Honor of Monsignor Gouaux with the Community Foundation

of Southwest

Louisiana. Distributions from the fund are to be used for tuition

assistance for clergy of the local diocese seeking further

education.

Speyrer is survived by a sister, Alice Louise Finley of Arnaudville, and a brother, Oscar Speyrer and wife Faye of Opelousas,

and a multitude of nieces and nephews.

Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Cmdr.

Eric Authement said the two eastbound lanes of Sam Houston Jones

Parkway near the

St. Charles Center will be blocked for the funeral procession. All

non-procession eastbound traffic will be funneled to the

turning lane. Westbound traffic will not be affected.

The CPSO also advised that at 8

a.m. today, motorists should expect heavier than normal traffic near

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, with the possibility

of Bilbo Street being closed down completely from Kirby to Broad

streets.