Fr. Brent L. Smith
Fr. Brent was born and raised in St. Martinville, LA. After graduating as valedictorian from St Martinville Senior High, he attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. There he earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1996. He worked as a registered nurse for many years, and then returned to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and earned a Masters of Science in Nursing in 2010. He worked as a nurse practitioner in the area of cardiology until entering seminary formation in 2012. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from St. Joseph’s Seminary in 2014, and then a Master of Divinity (Summa Cum Laude) from Notre Dame Seminary in 2018. He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Douglas Deshotel for the Diocese of Lafayette in June 2018.
He served as parochial vicar at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Crowley, LA until his current appointment as pastor of St Joseph’s Parish.
Fr. Pitre is a native of the Prairie Ronde and Opelousas areas. He graduated from
OCS in 2002 and from LSU in 2006 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. As a
member of the NROTC while attending LSU, he was commissioned as an Ensign in
the US Navy upon graduation. He served five years on active duty which included a
3.5-year assignment to the submarine USS Olympia stationed in Pearl Harbor, HI.
After exiting submarine service, Fr. Pitre entered seminary formation in 2012 at St.
Joseph’s Seminary College in Covington, LA where he earned a B.A. in Philosophy
and Theological Studies. He completed his final years of seminary formation at the
Pontifical North American College in Rome. He was ordained to the priesthood
along with six other men, including Fr. Brent Smith, on June 23, 2018, the centennial
year of the Diocese of Lafayette. While being formed in Rome, Fr. Pitre studied at
the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas from which he earned a Licentiate in
Sacred Theology (STL) with a focus on moral theology in 2019. In his free time, he
enjoys hanging out with people, reading Sacred Scripture and theological works, and
watching the LSU Tigers. Fr. Pitre is the son of Ben and Suzanne Pitre from
Opelousas. He has three siblings, who live in the Carencro, Crowley, and Baton
Rouge areas, as well as four nieces.
Pope Benedict XVI once commented to another priest to leave “I” behind and enjoy the freedom of
“We”. He said the whole of Vatican II Council was focused on moving away from the idea of individual
spirituality and focusing on each other. It’s that very point which planted the seed in my heart to enter
Diaconate study. Left alone I was usually discouraged by weakness and lack of direction. But when gathered in community with others in any expression of love, joy, faith, hope, friendship, mourning, there was always a sense of being, feeling, accomplishment, purpose, satisfaction, life. And one day, in the most important gathering of all, the celebration of the Eucharist, Jesus called me to consummate that commitment to service by pursuing clerical ministry.
It’s a tall order to lose the word “I” and focus on “We”, but the concept certainly compliments scripture. We are taught each believer is graced with certain gifts to serve one another as faithful stewards in response to the love God first demonstrated. It’s a prescription that cures shaky friendships, strengthens marriages, makes for healthier children, the list goes on and on. We no longer act for ourselves, but for the nourishment of others. I don’t always succeed, but am committed to keep trying.
Today, in the year 2020, there’s much uncertainty all around. Virus, prejudice, economy,
uncompromising opinion, change from every direction. Praise be to God our joy is not centered on anything temporary. Our dignity is defined by our commitment to God’s truth, and we lift our hearts and minds in thanksgiving. God bless St. Joseph Parish; see you at church!
Welcome to the St. Joseph Parish website! As a Catholic community of believers we welcome you to live out your gospel call to holiness as a part of our family!
My name is Deacon Denis LaCroix. I was baptized at St. Joseph’s, served here as an Altar Server for many years, was educated at Rayne Catholic Elementary and Notre Dame High School, received the sacraments of Penance, Holy Eucharist, and Confirmation at St. Joseph’s and married my wonderful wife in the sanctuary of our beautiful church. My roots run deep in this parish and I am so honored to call St. Joseph’s my home!
I’m the oldest child of the late Cleo LaCroix and Julia Falcon LaCroix Breaux. I’m married to an amazing Irish New Orleans lady, Shawn Murphy LaCroix, and we have two awesome daughters, Rachel and Brittany, who attend Notre Dame High School.
I was ordained a Deacon for the Diocese of Lafayette by Bishop Michael Jarrell on August 25, 2012…19 years after receiving what I discerned as my initial call to the Diaconate. My hope for you is that you persevere in the call God has given you.
The purpose of a Deacon’s ministry is to imitate “Christ the Servant” – the One who came not to be served, but to serve. My prayer is that God will use my Diaconate ministry to inspire all in our community to be of service to others…given our incredible parishioners; this prayer is constantly being answered!
Deacon Barry LeBlanc was born in Rayne, LA. He has been a member of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church his entire life. He received all of his sacraments at St. Joseph. He attended Rayne Catholic Elementary and graduated from Notre Dame High School in 1982. In 1985 he married his best friend Josette Istre, and together they have 4 children. They are blessed to have multiple grandchildren and more on the way.
He was ordained to the permanent diaconate on May 21, 2016, at St John the Evangelist Cathedral in Lafayette, La by Bishop Douglas Deshotel. Among his favorite things to do in the parish are, baptisms and hospice ministry. He is also involved in Elementary Faith Formation (1st -5 th grade), Confirmation (11th grade) and men’s ACTS. He continues to stay open to God’s calling and looks forward to serving the people of St. Joseph.
Clergy contact information may be obtained from the parish office at (337)-334-2193. For after hours emergencies, your call will be directed to an answering service.