Aug 17, 2014 9:53 PM by Ashlea Bullington
The Blessing of the Fleet invokes God's blessing onto the new shrimp season. Some might see this event as the community of Delcambre putting on a show for the shrimp festival but, for the shrimpers the Blessing of the Fleet is a tradition that cannot be missed.
Shrimper, Rene Gregoire, said "The blessing means the season is beginning. It is something that has been done ever since I was a kid. We love it. It is important to us as shrimpers."
Blessing the shrimp fleet was introduced at the 1953 festival when Bishop Maurice Schexnayder decided to pray over the vessels setting sail to shrimp. Now, Pastor of the Lady of the Lake Church in Delcambre, Father Nathan Comeaux, has the honor. The Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus, from Lafayette, assist the Father.
Each year, a new shrimp boat is picked to host the Blessing. After Father Comeaux and company board the ship, he prays as the boat sails down the channel and back blessing each ship it passes.
With last seasons shrimping being "fair", according to Rene, shrimpers who's total income is based on what they produce, the prayers are the first step to fresh season.
On shore shrimping starts August 18th.