Jul 22, 2013 6:29 PM by Alex Labat

Bishop Who Founded Lake Charles Diocese Remembered

Catholics around Acadiana are remembering a bishop who made his mark not only in Acadiana, but around the world.
Bishop Jude Speyrer has died.
He was the founding bishop of the diocese of Lake Charles.
A Leonville native, Speyrer was ordained for the diocese of Lafayette in 1953, before being adopted by Pope John Paul II to lead the Lake Charles diocese in 1980.
Bishop Speyrer was 84-years-old.
The 10th of 12 children, Jude Speyrer learned about sacrifice from a very early age.
"When you're number 10 of 12 children, you know a little bit about sacrifice. You know a little bit about waiting your turn and not being the first one on that chicken leg. You've got to wait for your brothers and sisters", says Monsignor Curtis Mallet, who says Bishop Speyrer was a shining example of a man of the cloth.
It was Speyrer who was appointed by Pope John Paul II to lead the newly established diocese of Lake Charles in 1980.
For comparison, Lafayette's diocese was founded in 1918.
"You've got to put the right people together. You have to have the hope and the vision to make it happen and he did", says Mallet.
And even though the bishop retired in 2000, Mallet says his presence in the church has been, and will always be missed.
"He was just comfortable in his own skin. And he made other people around him feel comfortable. That's the mark of a real humble man", says Mallet.
Public viewing for Bishop Jude Speyrer will be held Monday, July 29th until 8pm in the Lake Charles Cathedral.
Viewing will continue Tuesday, with a scripture service at 6:30pm.
Funeral services will be at 11am Wednesday, July 31st, at the Cathedral.


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