Saturday, January 11, 2014

In Memory of Billie Delhomme

So yesterday morning we're up and out early checking out Lafayette, LA. We learn about the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, one of the city's great landmarks, so we drive over to check it out. We arrive just in time for morning Mass, surprised that the people are so well dressed. John looks at me and reminds me that the Pope and Jesus love even the paupers.  I snap a couple of pictures from the outside and one as we enter, and then we sit down in the very back to listen to the music and wait for Mass to begin. More people keep coming, men in suits, ladies in high heels, a bunch of nuns and finally as the church is filling up, 3 priests enter the front and walk all the way down the aisle right beside us and through the back door. It is at that moment that an usher hands us a picture bulletin in memory of Billie Delhomme, 80. I elbow John, knowing it's time to get out of there, so I head out the rear entrance and wouldn't you know I run into Billie herself. The stunned priests and pallbearers just look at me. So I turn around, push John backwards and we head out the side door. Once outside we see the hearses, wondering how it is that Billie got such a fantastic send-off. Turns out arrangements have been made by the Delhomme Funeral Home.

Lafayette is a very interesting Cajun town. After the funeral, we visited a cultural center and watched a fascinating movie about the trials of these Acadian French Catholics. They were treated very badly by the powerful English forces and settlers in the seventeenth century. Many of them died in their forced death marches, and most of the survivors resettled in the Lafayette area. As is typically true, though, they treated the native people living in the regions of their resettlement just as badly as they had been treated.