St. Terence Celebrates 20 Years

It has been 20 years since Bishop William B Friend blessed and dedicated the new church building of St. Terence (January 17, 1996) located on Toledo Bend Lake. Mass was con-celebrated by Fr. David Richter and Fr. William Carey, pastor.

At that time, Bishop Friend thanked all the volunteers who built the church. He suggested that they prepare for the future as it was a growing area and a larger church would be needed. St. Terence has indeed experienced growth during the past 20 years. Attendance has increased from about 30 people to approximately 100 on a regular basis. Beautiful weekend weather will see this increase to about 150 and holiday attendance exceeds 200 to 250. This is above capacity, thus late comers attend Mass outside the building.

Bishop Friend also encouraged the faithful to use St. Terence for more than just Mass once a week. Bishop Friend said, “There are many things you can do at St. Terence and you don’t need the pastor of St. John’s to drive out here every time.” This encouragement led to spiritual growth at St. Terence.

With the help of parishioners, a baptismal font was donated shortly after dedication. A Rosary with Stations of the Cross during Lent on Fridays began in 1997. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy began every Friday in 2005. A picture of the Divine Mercy was donated. Stations of the Cross (through the eyes of The Blessed Virgin Mary) is included during Lent. This continues every Friday. A votive candle prayer stand was donated in 2012. A Chalice for the Celebrant was needed; a new one was donated. The Infant Jesus of Prague statue was recovered from storage and a talented seamstress of St. Terence made new clothing for it. The Infant is now displayed in the church for veneration, properly dressed with colors of the period. A new tabernacle was donated, as were stained glass windows to beautify and portray a Christian atmosphere.

This has brought us to the present and the 20th anniversary of St. Terence. The celebration was held on February 21 at 8:00 with a Mass of thanksgiving for all the blessings for St. Terence and volunteers who built the church through their time, talent and treasure.

A highlight of the event was a dinner served at noon in the church hall with a great variety of dishes prepared by St. Terence and St. John’s attendees.  It was a joy to see and visit with several of the volunteers who had moved away. It was also a pleasure to have so many of the St. John’s congregation who drove out to celebrate this occasion.

by E.B. “Buddy” Polson

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