Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. Gerard’s Parish,

Your pastor has asked me to write the reflection this week. Not sure my words, like Fr. Tat will be “A Half Cup of Inspiration” maybe more, maybe less. A chance I take. This I know. My 23 years in the parish was somewhat surprising. Arrived in Baton Rouge from the Crescent City in August 1996 from the then viceprovincial residence, which moved from New Orleans to the “Red Stick”. Came with the community of four other members, two priests and two brothers.

My first year was difficult. I knew no one, so there was no connection. Not until I was asked to become involved in the high school retreat program. I then found myself visiting the students of Redemptorist Diocesan High School, as well as the children at St Gerard Elementary during religion classes. Working with the principals at both sites was a joy. And for the students you know what is said about them, “working with the young keeps one young“. This wasn’t the reason for staying with them. But found out it works. LOL.

Ministering over the years as an Extraordinary Eucharistic Minister brought me closer to the sick, the elderly and the dying in their homes, as well as in nursing homes.

But it’s time to move on I found our from my Redemptorist superior. I will move on to Houston. But with my new assignment the happy memories of what so many have done over the years come along. These will be packed and taken as well. The nice things like baking brownies, sewing a rip shirt, being invited to their home, never forgetting my birthday, preparing a plate of red beans and rice (only in Louisiana), driving to someone’s home to bring Holy Communion, inviting to have lunch at their favorite restaurant (only in Tigerland). And so many more. What others offer as acts of kindness. God bless those whose path I have crossed, and those who have crossed my path.

A wise person once said, “You don’t have to go far to find the best things in life”. May I add, all the best people. We find them where God places us at each stage of life. I found them right here in South Louisiana, in North Baton Rouge, in St. Gerard’s Parish, and not too far from Plank Road.

May our dear Mother of Perpetual Help cover you with her holy mantle.

– Br. Clement