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Fete Dieu du Teche

The fifth annual Eucharistic Procession down Bayou Teche will take place on Thursday, August 15. The date is important for Roman Catholics as it is the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Patroness of the Acadian people and of Acadiana. It is also a day that marks the 254th anniversary of the arrival of French-Canadian immigrants who brought the Catholic faith to Acadiana after enduring great trials and suffering. Fr. Michael Champagne, CJC, organizer of the event, notes that “having a Eucharistic Procession by boat on the waters of the Teche rather than by foot in the streets makes a lot of sense. FêteDieu du Teche on the Feast of the Assumption recalls our rich Acadian history and, in a way, re-enacts the journey made by the Acadians 250 years ago.” The Acadians were persecuted for their Catholic faith and sent into exile from Nova Scotia. Many ended up settling in Louisiana. Fr. Champagne explains that having a boat procession with the Blessed Sacrament and a statue of the Assumption involving priests, religious, and laity is basically what happened in 1765. “In order to serve the Acadian settlers in the Attakapas district, Fr. Jean-Louis de Civrey accompanied the Acadians on their journey down the Bayou Teche. Fr. Civrey became the first resident priest. In his records, Fr. Civrey refers to his new home as “la Nouvelle Acadie” and his new parish “l'Église des Attakapas (Attakapas Church)” and later, “lÉglise St-Martin de Tours (St. Martin de Tours Church)”. It is believed that St. Martinville is named after the Church. Having the Catholic Priest accompany the Acadians on their journey to Acadiana is indicative of our ancestors’ great allegiance to their Catholic Faith, especially the Eucharist and Our Lady. Fête-Dieu du Teche today relives that original experience of the Acadians.” Hundreds will travel by boat to celebrate this occasion in honoring the Blessed Sacrament and Acadian heritage. Last year the event was held on the Vermilion river to help celebrate