St. Edward's
The Press

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January 15,

Destouet family honored
St. Edward

By Pete Tatersall
The Daily Iberian

Amid the gently swelling crescendo of several hundred voices lifted high to the bars of "We Shall overcome," members of the community gathered at St. Edward Catholic Church Saturday evening to commemorate slain civil rights pioneer Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to honor one local family.

Lee Ball / The Daily Iberian
Helen, Matthew, center, and Steven Destouet were recognized for exemplifying the family as a unit 

Steven and Helen Destouet, and their 9-year-old son, Matthew, were recognized and honored by the church and by the organization "People United to Keep the Dream Alive," as exemplifying the family as a unit.

"We are very honored and pleased that the committee choose to honor us this way," said Steven Destouet, an employee of Exxon-Mobil, as his wife and son nodded their agreement. "We are all very honored."

"He's made a commitment to do something that have become extraordinary," said Rev. Thomas A. james of Steven Destouet, citing Destouet's 18-year marriage to his wife Helen as an example. Mrs. Destouet is an employee of the Department of Labor, while Matthew Destouet is a student at St. Edward.

"Every time we pick up the newspaper or look at the news on television we see bad news. But this is one family that speaks for the positives that exists in our society," said James.

Meanwhile, the church also installed junior knights and junior daughters into the Knights of St. Peter Claver, a Catholic organization created in honor of St. Peter Claver "who traveled to the West Indies to spread the faith," said John Spencer, Deputy Grand Knight Third Degree.

As part of their community outreach effort, Rev. James urged the knights to each visit one school once a month.

"Just stop in once a month and say, 'Hello, are you doing your homework? ... behave in class.' It's another good way to reach out to those in need in the local community and help out," said James.

Rev. James also expressed gratitude toward the long-time members of the Knights of St. Peter Claver.

"We're thankful for your leadership, and that you have the time to help others."

In memory of Dr. King, Rev. James urged parishioners to encourage children and young adults to reach high and be the best they could be.

"Because in every one of those kids there is a dream, and we should encourage it," said James.

Lee Ball / The Daily Iberian
Rev. Thomas James leads the congregation in celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


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