2000

St. Edward's
in
The Press

Acknowledgment: The pictures and articles reproduced on this page are courtesy of The Daily Iberian


The
Modern
Day
Struggle

The
Daily
Iberian

Sunday,
January 16,
2000

MLK message:
Families values must make reappearance

BY RICHARD BURGESS
THE DAILY IBERIAN

A small but spirited crowd  gathered Saturday to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a nearly five hour long ceremony, including a rally, march and memorial service.

"Don't worry about numbers. You are here and that's enough," the Rev. Francis David told a crowd of about 30 that gathered in the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center at New Iberia's West End Park for a noon rally to kick off the day's events.

After a rousing speech by Francis on the importance of resurrecting family values in the African-American community -- the theme of this year's "Kingday 2000" events -- the group joined hands to sing "We Shall Overcome" before moving the celebration to the street outside. They lined up four abreast for a march that wound through the West end area of town to St. Edward's Catholic Church.

By two o'clock, when the procession arrived at the church, the crowd had more than tripled, as nearly 100 people filled the front pews for the memorial service in which King as well as five local African-American "trailblazers" were honored.

Receiving awards for their accomplishments as pioneering African-Americans who broke down barriers and worked for the betterment of their race were three educators, Ruby Egland, louie Hadnott and Edran Auguster; an athletic coach, Herman James Sr.; and a physician, Dr. George Diggs.

Speakers at the event talked of how the struggle for civil rights led by King is not over and is just as alive today as it was decades ago when King was alive, but the battle now is just as much about drugs and complacency as it is against racism.

"At one time slavery was forced upon us, but now we are looking at too many of our children voluntarily being slaves to Mr. Crack," said Narcisse Callagain, organizer of "Kingday 2000" and the founder of People United to Keep the Dream Alive, which sponsored Saturday's events.



BILL SMITH / THE DAILY IBERIAN
Older community members like Narcisse Callagain, left, joined hands with younger members like Rachelle Roy, 8, at the rally at West End Park.


STRUGGLE:

MLK speakers ask for return to family values as answer.


The secret to winning the modern day struggle is the return to family values, Francis told the crowd gathered for the rally.

"The problems of drugs go back to family values," he said.

"We have got to get back to the old landmark of family values. Before you can fight the fight, your environment must be stable."

Francis, though, was confident the troubles facing his community will be overcome.

"2000 has rolled around and we're still here because we have not been afraid to stand," he said.

Though the mood was jubilant throughout the day, the light attendance of the event was seen by some as indicative of a larger problem in a community battling against the influence of drugs and crime.

"What is it going to take to  motivate people to do something," Callagain said. "We can't make people participate in their own life."


BILL SMITH / THE DAILY IBERIAN
Marchers joined the procession from West End Park entering St. Edward Catholic Church during the Kingday 2000 celebration.


"Kingday 2000"

The
Daily
Iberian

Sunday,
January 17,
2000

 

BILL SMITH / THE DAILY IBERIAN
John Reedom, left, director of the St. Edward Angelic Choir, plays the keyboard and Bucket Joseph accompanies him on drums as the participants fill St. Edward's Church with song during the "Kingday 2000" program Saturday.

 

BILL SMITH / THE DAILY IBERIAN
A photograph of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. adorns the altar of St. Edward's Church as Dynette Brooks sings during the community Unity service Sunday in memory of the slain civil rights leader.


Saturday Profile:
Nettie
Latula

The
Daily
Iberian

Saturday,
January 29,
2000

 


 

Latula received diocese's Martin Luther King Jr. Award

'Church lady' keeps things running at St. Edward

BY RICHARD BURGESS
THE DAILY IBERIAN

For more than 40 years, Nettie Latula has helped keeps things running at St. Edward Catholic Church.

A lifelong member of St. Edward, Latula, 78, has been the first person at the church in the morning for the past ten years. On a typical day, Latula rises from bed at 3 a.m. and spends the first hour or so of her day saying her personal prayers. Arriving at the church before the daily 6 a.m. Mass, Latula opens up the church building, lights candles and prepares the building's loud speaker system for services in advance of the clergy's arrival. She attends Mass at the church every weekday morning and at least once on the weekends.

And for thirty years before, Latula's weekly routine included keeping the church altar spotless and counting the church offerings after services each Tuesday and Saturday morning, before a touch of arthritis forced her cut back on cleaning work.

"I really enjoyed it and I still do," she said. "There are some times in the morning I hate to get up and I tell people the Devil is trying to keep me from church, but I overcome him."

In addition, Latula has volunteered her time to cook food at several church fairs and during bingo. She also cooked school lunches for St. Edward School for 14 years.

For her commitment to the church, Latula was recently awarded the Diocese of Lafayette's Martin Luther King Jr. Award during a ceremony headed by Bishop Edward O'Donnell. Latula said she cherished both the ceremony, held at St. John Cathedral in Lafayette, and the reward.

A native of Olivier, Latula has been married to her husband Wilson for 56 years and raised three children, son Larry and daughters Enola and Judie. Latula also raised her grandson Shawn from the age of 6 after Judie, his mother passed away. She has nine grand children.

"I just love church," Latula said in explanation of her willingness to devote so much of her own time. "I love to go to church and pray and I just love working for the church."

 

'I just love
church.'

Nettie Latula

St. Edward Catholic Church parishioner


LEE BALL / THE DAILY IBERIAN
Nettie Latula begins every day with a prayer, then goes to church.


Bunk
Johnson Festival

The
Daily
Iberian
Friday,
April 28,
2000

Bunk Johnson Festival honors New Iberia international jazz legend

BARBARA NELSON

The Bunk Johnson New Iberia Jazz, Arts & Heritage Festival Inc. opens today with lecture and photo exhibit at the Iberia Parish Library by Austin Sonnier, a jazz author.

The lecture begins at 7 p.m. followed by a reception.

In the April of 1998, the "New Orleans Style Jazz Funeral" began in New Iberia to posthumously honor Willie "Bunk" Johnson, an international jazz musician.

"This is south Louisiana's contribution to the New Orleans Jazz world," said Charles Porter, 16th Judicial District Judge and an organizer of the event. "Sometimes people only think about jazz in New Orleans and forget there was jazz in the country too. So this is their chance to experience jazz in the country."

Saturday the festivities begin at 11 a.m. at the St. Edwards Church grounds with an arts and crafts show, live music with the St. Katherine Band of Leonville and an exotic fowl and crowing contest and exhibition.

At noon local high school bands will perform, followed by the Bunk Johnson Youth Talent Show and Awards at 12:30 p.m.

Jazz mass services and hall of fame awards will be held at St. Edwards Church at 2:30 p.m. 

A Literary Award will be given to Sonnier, who wrote a book on Johnson. A Humanitarian Award will be given to Compton LaBauve, former owner of Compton's Jewelers and friend of Johnson's.

Two posthumous awards will be given this year to Edwin Reedom, who died in 1999 and was a member of the Banner Band, and Theresa Johnson Andrew, daughter of Johnson for her support of the festival.

The march to the cemetery begins at 4 p.m. with the Second Line Parade to the festival grounds at 5:30 p.m.

Johnson was born in New Orleans in 1879 and moved to New Iberia in 1930 and joined the Banner Band led by Gus Fontenette.

In 1942, he collaborated with young jazz historians to retrace the birth of New Orleans jazz. Johnson gained international recognition following performances in New York, Chicago, New Orleans and San Francisco.

He played the trumpet with a host of jazz greats including Louis Armstrong, Buddy Bolden, Clarence Williams, Evan Thomas and Sidney Bechet. He died in New Iberia in 1949.

The heritage festival is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to the advancement of scholarly research, collection and preservation of the visual and performing arts and cultures of diverse people who reside along the Bayou Teche.


The
Heritage Festival

The
Daily
Iberian
Sunday,
April 30,
2000

Beautiful Music
Saturday salute to Bunk Johnson

BARBARA NELSON

Those who attended out-of-town festivals truly missed a great time and a recreation of a part of history, said Charles Porter, 16th Judicial District Judge and an organizer of the Bunk Johnson New Iberia Jazz, Arts & Heritage Festival Inc. held Saturday.

In the April of 1998, the "New Orleans Style Jazz Funeral" began in New Iberia to posthumously honor Willie "Bunk" Johnson, an international jazz musician and member of the Banner Band.

"It's a history that is particularly important to this part of the country that young people and adults should know about and enjoy," said Porter. "This is the way to spend a lazy Saturday. It would have been how Bunk Johnson would have spent his Saturday with beautiful music and beautiful people."

 Saturday the festivities began at the St. Edwards Church grounds at 11 a.m. The morning's festivities included a car and motorcycle display, arts and crafts show, music by the St. Katherine Youth Band of Leonville and the Anderson Middle School Percussion Ensemble and an exotic fowl and crowing contest and exhibition.

"The chickens were different than I had seen before. I have seen fights but not a crowing contest," said Alice V. Butler of New Iberia. "It was pretty interesting."

Those who played in the bands were glad to be a part of the festival.

"I like playing jazz. I like the tempo," said Gianni Williams of the Anderson Middle School Percussion Band. "I like how it goes real high 
and then goes down real low."

Jazz mass services were held at St. Edwards Church with musical accompaniment by the St. Katherine's Church Brass Band and the St. Edward's Catholic Church Angelic Choir.

"The artists help the community heal their hurt and today we need new artists and as a community we need to support and encourage them," said Rev. Thomas James in his service.

Solo performers were Jo Ann De Gray and Narcisse Callagain. Songs included "Amazing Grace," "Misty," "My Funny Valentine" and "Old Man River."

A Literary Award was given to Austin Sonnier, for his book on Johnson's life. A Humanitarian Award was given to Compton LaBauve, former owner of Compton's Jewelers and friend of Johnson's.

Friday night a lecture and exhibit was held at the Iberia Parish Library by Sonnier, followed by a reception.

Two posthumous awards were given this year to Edwin Reedom, who was a member of the Banner Band, and Theresa Johnson Andrew, daughter of Johnson for her support of the festival.

"Today I hope I can fulfill the footsteps of my ancestor and be half the man he was," said John Reedom, a descendant of Edwin Reedom, as he held the Hall of Fame Award.

The daughter of Andrew, Gloria Andrew accepted the award for her mother. 

James was also presented with a framing of three souvenir envelopes of three jazz trumpeters Buddy Bolden, Johnson and Louis Armstrong.

Jo Ann DeGray sings during a service Saturday during the Bunk Johnson New Iberia Jazz, Arts & Heritage Festival Inc. -- Bill Smith / The Daily Iberian

After the award ceremony Reedom, choir director, said a few words then the march to the cemetery began with the "Saints Go Marching."

"Music is the song the angels sing that we have forgotten, but the musicians help us to remember," he said as the band lined up to exit the church.

Johnson was born in New Orleans in 1879 and moved to New Iberia in 1930 and joined the Banner Band led by Gus Fontenette.

In 1942, he collaborated with young jazz historians to retrace the birth of New Orleans jazz. Johnson gained international recognition following performances in New York, Chicago, New Orleans and San Francisco.

He played the trumpet with a host of jazz greats including Armstrong, Bolden, Clarence Williams, Evan Thomas and Sidney Bechet. He died in New Iberia in 1949.

The heritage festival is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to the advancement of scholarly research, collection and preservation of the visual and performing arts and cultures of diverse people who reside along the Bayou Teche.

Porter said next year the festival committee will schedule the festival when other events are not going on else where.

"We are already working on next year's date. Next year we won't have it the same weekend as the New Orleans Jazz Festival and Lafayette's Festival International," he said.

Dwalyn Jackson plays the trumpet during the Jazz Mass at St. Edward Catholic Church on Saturday during the Bunk Johnson event in New Iberia -- Bill Smith / The Daily Iberian

St. Catherine's Bass Ensemble march. -- Bill Smith / The Daily Iberian


The Drum Ensemble from Anderson Middle School marches Saturday. --
Bill Smith / The Daily Iberian


Honoring a Saint at a Glance


The
Daily
Iberian
Sunday,
October 1,
2000

 


 

Drexel opened 40 schools for minorities

 


 

James calls canonization a local honor

 

St. Edward Founder Saintly

By NATHAN SAMPEY / THE DAILY  IBERIAN

Sister Katharine Drexel, founder of St. Edward School and many other schools for the disadvantaged in her lifetime, became the only second American-born saint earlier today during a ceremony led by Pope John Paul II in the Vatican City.

In a canonization ceremony held in St. Peter's Square, the pope declared Drexel and many other honored Catholics, including a group of Chinese Catholics dissidents, as saints before a crowd of thousands, including modern members of the religious order Drexel founded in 1894, the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.

Sister Michelle Calanan, principal of St. Edward School and a member of Drexel's order, left for the Vatican city Wednesday to take part in the celebration.

With her canonization, Drexel became the United State's second native-born saint, following St. Elizabeth Seton.

The Rev. Thomas James, pastor of St. Edward Catholic Church, said Drexel's canonization was an honor for the church and for the school she founded. James said her tireless work on behalf of oppressed minorities throughout the first half of the 20th century until her death in 1955 proved she was special, both then and now.

"I think the African-American and Native American communities, both of them are grateful, because when it was unfashionable to be so daring and courageous, she was," James said. "She made a commitment to bring education to these people and help them assume leadership in a world where otherwise they couldn't."

As for all candidates for canonization, Drexel's path to sainthood was long, spanning decades of work on her behalf by supporters. Following Catholic doctrine, Drexel's case passed nine steps, including exhaustive historical research and documentation, intended to prove that miracles occurred in her name.

To be canonized, two cases of miraculous healings must be attributed to prayer in the candidate's name. The first miraculous healing attributed to prayers in Drexel's name happened to a young man named Robert Gutherman, who prayed to Drexel to restore the hearing of his right ear and, without explanation, was healed.

On Oct. 7 of 1999, the second of those miracles was confirmed when a Vatican medical board declared the case of a young girl born with nerve deafness who later gained normal hearing after prayer on her behalf in Drexel's name to be impossible to explain scientifically.

Born in 1858 as the middle daughter of a wealthy Philadelphia investor; Drexel grew up in an atmosphere of religion and charity, as her father and step mother regularly opened the family's home to those in need. After her father died, she and her two sisters received interest from the family fortune, worth about $15.5 million. Over her lifetime, Drexel's share totaled about $20 million, which she used almost entirely for charity work.

St. Katharine Drexel


 

ST. EDWARD SCHOOL is asking the community to take part in celebrating Drexel's new status as saint by putting up gold ribbons on vehicle antennas, mailboxes, front doors of homes and businesses, etc. throughout the month of October.

 

A DIOCESAN-WIDE celebration of Drexel's canonization is planned for Oct. 22 at 2p.m. in St. Edward Catholic Church, with Diocese of Lafayette Bishop Edward O'Donnell serving as celebrant

 


During a meeting with Pope Leo XIII in 1887, the pontiff encouraged Drexel to become a missionary to the Native Americans living in the American Southwest and to African-Americans in the South. She did so, taking the nun's vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and forming her mission, the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, in 1894.

During her lifetime, Drexel opened some 40 schools for minority children around the United States, including St. Edward School in New Iberia in 1918 and Xavier University in New Orleans. When she died, the money she had used to fund her charity work was dispersed to other charities her father had specified in his will, leaving her foundings to stand for themselves.

 


Slave Trade


The
Daily
Iberian
Friday,
October 20,
2000

Slave trade haunts America, Africa

By PAUL HILBUN, THE DAILY IBERIAN

The effects of the slave trade, abolished in the French colonies some 150 years ago, continue to cast a haunting shadow over the continents of Africa and America, according to Eloi Coly.

"This crime against humanity, which involved the deportation of millions and millions of blacks from the West coast of Africa to the Americas, was the greatest displacement of people in history," he said.

Pat Kahle, director of the Shadows-on-the-Teche, holds microphone for Eloi Coly at St. Edward Church.
LEE BALL/
THE DAILY IBERIAN


"The impact still is being felt in countries that practiced it, from social and economic problems on the African continent to racial problems in the United States," he said.

Coly, curator of the Maison Des Esclaves (Slave House) on Goree Island, Senegal, discussed the subject Thursday before an audience of about 75 people at St. Edward Catholic Church. He was introduced by Pat Kahle, director of the Shadows-on-the-Teche.

"The Slave House is the symbol of the deportation of black people," Coly said, while showing slides of the site.

"Located on the Ile of Goree, 3.5 kilometers from Dakar on the Atlantic coast, it is the pilgrimage spot for all human beings in search for self-reconciliation.

'Crime against humanity' was 'greatest displacement of people in history,' says Slave House curator


"It is above all a 'lieu de memoire' or place of memory and memorial," he said.

"Its function is to forgive but not to forget, to remind the world of the fragility of liberties and the need to preserve them in order to move together toward a universally egalitarian civilization for all," Coly said.

The first slave houses were built in about 1536, with the one on Goree Island being constructed before 1786, Coly said. The house held up to 200 slaves at one time, with men, women and children packed into different cells depending on their age and sex.

Slaves were kept on the island for about three months, waiting until sailboats arrived to carry them across the Atlantic Ocean to the United States, Brazil, Cuba and the Caribean islands.

The mortality rate was up to 30 percent on boats which, at first carried up to 400 people. However, to compensate for the high rate of deaths, merchants began packing up to 650 slaves on the boats.

In all, the slave trade lasted for about 350 years, Coly said, with an estimated 20 million people being transported to the Americas. Another 6 million died from deprivation or abuse and as many as 100 million were affected in some way by the slave trade.

Coly is visiting several sites in the United States at the invitation of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Earlier in the day, he presented a workshop at the Shadows for museum curators, historians and educators on methods of presenting the topic of slavery.


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