Our Lady of Prompt Succor
Preparatory classes for Parents and Godparents required before sacramental celebration - to be arranged with pastor.
Contact the priest at least four months prior to date of marriage. Pre-marriage preparation required. The date and time of the marriage is subject to approval by the pastor.
Choir – Mrs. Julia Boston
Altar Society – Mrs. Catherine Demouy
St. Peter Claver Knights and Ladies and Junior Knights and Daughters
Our Lady of Prompt Succor Parish was established in September of 1937. Until then, all the Catholics of Mansura attended St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church. In response to the need for a church to serve the black Catholics of Mansura, Msgr. Nothofer, pastor of St. Paul’s, made an appeal to Cardinal Cushing of the Archdiocese of Boston and head of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. A gift of $5,000 was obtained from Dr. James Sullivan of Boston and sent to Msgr. Nothofer to build a church for the black Catholics of Mansura. An altar was needed for the new church. This time Monsignor went to his sister for assistance. The altar was brought to Mansura from Lake Providence.
Once these material things were obtained, a pastor was needed to minister to the spiritual needs of the congregation. Msgr. Nothofer asked Bishop Desmond to invite the Holy Ghost Fathers who were already serving in the diocese to administer to the spiritual needs of the black Catholics of Mansura.
From September 1937 until spring of 1944, the pastor of Holy Ghost Church in Marksville was also pastor of Our Lady of Prompt Succor Church in Mansura. We find in the baptismal records the following names of priests who at one time or another came to Mansura to administer the Sacraments: Frs. Thomas A. Wrenn, Edward W. Wilson, John F. Dodwell, Joseph B. Donahue, William L. Lavin, Francis X. Schillo, all of whom were Holy Ghost Fathers.
In the spring of 1944, the separation of the Mansura mission from Marksville was accomplished and Our Lady of Prompt Succor was erected canonically as a parish. Father Francis G. Walsh, C.S.Sp., the first pastor, resided in Marksville.
Eventually Mansura began to grow and land was purchased to build a convent for the Sisters of the Holy Ghost Order from San Antonio, Texas. The convent was completed in 1945, the same year that Father Murnaghan was appointed pastor of Our Lady of Prompt Succor. A year later Father Murnaghan and his parishioners built a T-shaped parish hall that included a stage, one classroom and a kitchen.
After all the needs of the parishioners had been taken care of, Father Murnaghan built a rectory that finally gave him a decent place to rest his bones. After fourteen and a half years of hard work, he was relieved of his duties at Our Lady of Prompt Succor and sent to Moreauville.
In 1959, Father Joseph Paga came to Mansura to administer to the needs of the people and remained in the parish until 1967. It was during the stay of Father Paga that the Cardinal Cushing School was erected, flourished for a time, but then had to be closed. Again donations for the school came from Cardinal Cushing.
Then we had a quick succession of pastors. Fr. Paul O’Donnell came in 1967 and left in 1968. Fr. R. J. Kulwicki came in 1968 and left in 1968. Next came Fr. Martin Ling who left in1969. Finally, Fr. Martin Kirchbaum came in February 1969 and left in November 1969 ending the stay of the Holy Ghost Fathers in Mansura.
In November 1969, Fr. August Thompson came to Mansura as the new pastor of Our Lady of Prompt Succor Church and remained until 1985.
Progress toward the betterment of the parish has continued. All past due bills were paid on the school and rectory. The interior of the church was redecorated. It was during this time, under the leadership of Fr. Thompson, that the parishioners put into action one of their fondest dreams, that of constructing a much needed multi-purpose building. In May 1973, the Uganda Center was dedicated to the memory of twenty-two Christian Martyrs who died in Uganda, Africa in the year 1886. We also became active in deanery and diocesan organizations and functions.
In September of 1975, three sisters of the Sisters of Divine Compassion, Sisters Paula, Frances and Joseph, came from New York to serve in the parish. After three years of ministry to young and old they left in 1978.
We are truly grateful to God and to His Blessed Mother for all the blessings received during the years this parish has existed. We feel we have just begun to take our place as full Christians in the Church.