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Wednesday, October 01, 2014
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The life of the first leader of the Diocese of Lake Charles will be celebrated at a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. Wednesday in the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception, corner of Kirby and Bilbo streets. Bishop Jude Speyrer served for as the Diocese’s first bishop from April 25, 1980 until Dec. 12, 2000, when Pope John Paul II accepted his request for retirement. Speyrer, 84, died on July 21 in Opelousas. (American Press Archives)<br>

The life of the first leader of the Diocese of Lake Charles will be celebrated at a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. Wednesday in the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception, corner of Kirby and Bilbo streets. Bishop Jude Speyrer served for as the Diocese’s first bishop from April 25, 1980 until Dec. 12, 2000, when Pope John Paul II accepted his request for retirement. Speyrer, 84, died on July 21 in Opelousas. (American Press Archives)

Life of Bishop Jude Speyrer to be celebrated today

Last Modified: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 8:04 PM

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.

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