Two upcoming events will celebrate the opening of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church’s Our Lady of Guadalupe Healing Chapel, a place Father Anthony Odiong first proposed building in October 2017.
The façade of the chapel is scaled down replica of the original St. Anthony Church, which sits on Ellington Avenue. The healing chapel sits on St. Anthony’s existing property and is situated between the church and the CA Building.
“This chapel is the Blessed Mother’s house in Luling, a place of healing and light for our community and for the United States,” Odiong said. “Everyone who comes to the chapel will experience Jesus Christ through his Holy Mother. It will be a place of prayer, healing and conversion.”
Groundbreaking for the Luling chapel took place in December 2017, and Odiong said the completion of the special project would not have been possible without the support of the church community.
“I am thankful to all parishioners and friends who contributed by way of prayer, gifts and talents to building the Blessed Mother’s house in Luling,” he said. “This project is a labor of love, a fervent prayer to God for the good of our community and the wellbeing of our nation.”
Odiong said Dr. Keith Melancon – a Hahnville native and Des Allemands resident who passed away Sept. 28 after a lengthy cancer battle – and his wife Susan played a vital role in the launch of the chapel build.
“They were one of the first families to jump on the idea of the chapel … in fact they were the first to host a meeting in their home to spread awareness of the project,” he said. “The intention was to build a chapel in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, but we had not given it a specific name. However, in an email inviting friends to their home, Dr. Keith described the chapel as a healing chapel. So, it is from Dr. Keith that the chapel came to be known as the Healing Chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Melancon family is one of the many financial donors of this project.”
Archbishop Gregory Michael Aymond will visit the chapel on Saturday, November 21 to dedicate and consecrate the building. This event, slated for 6 p.m., is open to the public. For those who cannot attend, the dedication will be livestreamed.
Another upcoming celebration for the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe will take place at the chapel Dec. 12, when a 5:30 p.m. rosary will be followed be an outdoor candlelight mass. All who have prepared for Mary’s Mantle Consecration will be consecrated to the Blessed Mother at this mass. Attendees are asked to bring their own chair.
“My hope for the chapel is that the entire south, from Texas to Florida and indeed all of America, will come to this chapel to pray and honor the mother of God and Our Mother because she is the spring of new hope for the Christian faith in our time,” Odiong said. “Many will come to faith or rediscover their faith and ask and pray for her intercession by praying the rosary. We anticipate an abundance of healing, miracles, signs and wonders for the conversion of many.”
Odiong said after the Archbishop’s blessing, the chapel will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and after hours with permission.