Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church will honor departing priest after Mass

Published 6:55 pm Friday, June 21, 2024

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VIDALIA, La.  – This Sunday after Mass,, the congregation of Our Lady of the Lourdes Catholic Church will hold a farewell luncheon in honor of their priest of 11 years, Father Joseph Xavier Vethamanicka.

Vethamanicka is transferring to Alexandria.

After growing up in India, Father Xavier moved to the United States to continue his pursuit of religious teachings He has served the congregation in Vidalia for more than 11 years and has been a prominent priest within the Diocese of Alexandria. 

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Throughout his time as a priest, Xavier said he has focused his efforts on spreading the word of God to all willing to listen and helping improve the church itself. He led the renovation of the church’s grotto; replaced all the carpet and cushions in the chapel; and installed stained-glass windows throughout the chapel.

“In the 11 years, he has done so much to turn this church into what it is today,” said Corinne Randazzo, church secretary. 

“Whether it was during the ice storm of 2021, helping us repair our roof when it was damaged, or helping the church install new lights and a new sound system, he changed this church for the better,” she said.

“Ever since I began my work here at Our Lady of Lourdes, I have been welcomed with love and understanding, not just from the members of the congregation, but from the community as well,” he said.

The luncheon after 10 a.m. Mass on Sunday will be open to anyone who wishes to come by and say goodbye to Father Xavier.