A History of Our Lady of Mercy Parish
Lightning Strikes Twice
On May 5, 1985, Our Lady of Mercy proved that the adage “lightning never strikes twice” is more a myth than a fact. Lightning struck the church a second time, this time doing a great deal of damage, primarily from smoke and water. Again services were transferred to the old gym so that repairs could be made without undue inconvenience to the congregation. Repairs were completed within the year.
Six months later, the parish learned with sadness of the retirement of Monsignor Frey. His departure, like Monsignor Marionneaux, caused remorse and anxiety. After 25 years of faithful service, Monsignor Frey had won the hearts, gratitude and love of his parishioners to an extent rarely encountered by anyone in any walk of life.
In June 1987, the parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy greeted their third pastor, Father Michael Moroney. Bishop Ott certainly continued the tradition of sending Our Lady of Mercy pastors with dissimilar backgrounds. Bishop Tracy recruited Father Mike, a seminarian and a native of Ireland for the Baton Rouge Diocese.
Father Mike spent a summer in Louisiana as a deacon before returning to Ireland for his last year in the seminary and ordination to the priesthood. He then returned to the United States for permanent assignment. Father Mike quickly came to be known for his serious, no-nonsense, dedication as a priest. A man with an amazing work capacity, Father Moroney is a gifted administrator and possibly the most ambitious builder of the three pastors. All three pastors have possessed this common talent to a remarkable degree, a true blessing to our parish.
Father Mike is gifted with an abundance of compassion. Perhaps the average parishioner is not aware of this remarkable trait. Those who have experienced a personal tragedy and have been exposed to this element of his personality can attest and appreciate the depth of his sympathy and understanding. No matter how great the workload, Father Mike is there to offer consolation, sympathy and prayers to ease the parishioner’s pain.
Father Mike’s’ first project at Mercy was to remodel and expand the church office building. During Father Frey’s pastorate, the parish had grown tremendously. The church office soon became cramped and overcrowded. The office remodeling added additional office space and a conference room.