Morse Catholic church closed for safety concerns
A Catholic church in Morse is closed due to structural and safety concerns.
According to the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, the closure was out of concern for parishioner safety after structural issues were found at the church.
According to Mayor Ray Richard, the walls of the church were falling in. Areas of the building were rotten and mold was also setting in. There were reports of leaks inside the building.
As a result of a meeting over the summer, the Diocese of Lafayette chose to close Immaculate Conception Catholic Church to the public. A meeting was later held in September at which parishioners were able to express their concerns on the closure and the Diocese could offer answers.
On social media, parishioners questioned when the structure would reopen, if at all. Richard says their concerns about the neglect come after the Diocese of Lafayette gave a total of $50,000 to three St. Landry Baptist churches.
Those churches were burned earlier this year. Richard says that parishioners were contacting him over money not be provided to fix their church which is a part of the Diocese of Lafayette.
Parishioners are now having to travel several miles to other, often smaller Catholic churches in the area to attend Mass.
Richard says the local residents are older and going just a short distance can be burdensome. As a result, he says that those people have stopped going to church.
The disrepair according to Richard has gone untouched because of lack of funds.
“There was not enough to pay the bills to fix any problems so they went unfixed,” Richard said.
“It’s a big church and utilities are high. Its [the church] been fixed by the people in town but the Diocese does not want to fix it this time.”
Richard says that maybe a new church should be built if Immaculate Conception would be torn down. He hopes that any help for the current church could bring outside congregations back to the Immaculate Conception which he said used to see large Sunday crowds.
A look at the Immaculate Conception church website shows the following statement.
“Out of concern for the safety of parishioners worshiping at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Morse, Bishop Deshotel has decided that the Church must be temporarily closed until further notice. This decision is made due to concerns about the structure of the Church.”
The following weekend Mass schedule for Imaculate Conception is in effect until further notice:
Saturday 4 p.m. - Lyons Point
Sunday 8:30 a.m. - Lyons Point
Sunday 10:30 a.m. - Midland