Obituary for Rev. Msgr. L. Earl Gauthreaux (1930 - 2020)
Posted by. Tre Williams on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at 11:00 AM
Pastor, Professor, Judicial Vicar Archdiocese of New Orleans VIRIUSTUS ET IUSTITIAE. November 2nd, 1930 – February 8th, 2020. Reverend Monsignor Lawrence Earl Gauthreaux, a priest of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, passed away peacefully on February 8, 2020. He was 89 years of age. Msgr. Gauthreaux was born on November 2, 1930 in Plaquemine, LA. He attended St. John Elementary School and St. John High School in Plaquemine where he graduated Valedictorian of the 1947 class. He earned a B.B.A in Business at Loyola University in New Orleans and attended St. Joseph Seminary in Covington and studied Philosophy and Theology at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. He earned a Baccalaureate in Canon Law and Licentiate in Canon Law from Catholic University in Washington, DC. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 9, 1956 in New Orleans by Bishop L. Abel Caillouet in St. Louis Cathedral. "One kneels in the consciousness of his own nothingness and rises…A priest forever." Father Earl celebrated his first mass on June 10, 1956 at St. John the Evangelist Church in Plaquemine, La. Msgr. Gauthreaux served as Associate Pastor at St. Francis de Sales Church in Houma, Vicar Substitute at St. Michael's Church in New Orleans, Associate Pastor at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church in New Orleans, St. Leo the Great Church in New Orleans, St. Catherine of Siena Church in Metairie, and St. Mary Magdalen Church in Metairie. His pastorate began at St. Maria Goretti Church in New Orleans on June 1st, 1968. In addition to his pastoral assignments, he served in the Metropolitan Tribunal as Secretary, Pro-Synodal Judge, Examiner, Vice-Officialis, and Judge. He also served as Dean of the City-Park Gentilly Deanery and New Orleans East Deanery, as well as holding the position of Archdiocesan Censor, Professor of Pastoral Theology and Canon Law at Notre Dame Seminary, Vice-Chairman of the Ecumenical Committee, Spiritual Director of the Particular Council No. 2, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Confessor and Counselor at St. John Vianney Prep School, Moderator of the St. Thomas More Lawyers Association, Director of college level vocations and a member of the College of Consultors. Msgr. Gauthreaux was made a Prelate of Honor by Pope Paul VI in 1975. Until shortly before his death, Msgr. Gauthreaux was residing at St. Maria Goretti Parish, where he served as pastor for 53 years. He was preceded in death by his parents Paul Edward Gauthreaux, Sr. and Mabel Agnes Chriss Gauthreaux, a sister Blanche Marie Comeaux and husband Ralph Joseph Comeaux, Sr., and brothers Paul Edward "Toby" Gauthreaux and wife Betty Banta Gauthreaux, John Alfred Gauthreaux and wife Joan Eby Gauthreaux, Leonard Gordon Gauthreaux, Robert Gauthreaux (infant), niece Brenda Marie Comeaux, nephews Michael and Christopher Gauthreaux (infants), and great-nephew Derek Joseph Comeaux. Monsignor Gauthreaux is survived by his sister-in-law Jocelyn Myhand Gauthreaux of Addis, 24 nieces and nephews and their spouses, numerous great nieces and nephews, great-great nieces and nephews, and great-great-great nieces and nephews. Visitation will be held at St. Maria Goretti church on Friday, February 14th from 10 a.m. with a vigil service at 6 p.m. The visitation will continue through the night until the funeral mass. The funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, February 15th at 11 a.m., by The Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond. Pallbearers will be Joe Thibeaux, Gary Singletary, Joe Simon, James Young, Lester Thomas, and Ralph Clary. Honorary Pallbearers will be James Singletary, Raymond August, Alton Lombard, and Kenneth Boyd. A second visitation will be held at St. John the Evangelist Church in Plaquemine on Monday, February 17th from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will resume on Tuesday, February 18th from 8 a.m. until Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m., celebrated by The Archbishop Gregory Aymond. Interment in Grace Memorial Park, Plaquemine will follow. Pallbearers will be Mark Comeaux, Donnie Gauthreaux, John Gauthreaux, Chris Gauthreaux, Joe Thibeaux, and Joe Simon. At the age of 37, because of his expertise in Canon Law, Father Gauthreaux was called to Rome to assist with the writing of Vatican II laws of the Catholic church. At the age of 75, Katrina destroyed his church, rectory, and the adjacent Monsignor Gauthreaux education center. It was an emotional loss for Monsignor, who oversaw the re- construction of the 10.5-acre parish complex. In 2007, Monsignor Gauthreaux was named Distinguished Graduate of St. John High School, Plaquemine. He was chosen in 2013 to be Grand Marshal of the inaugural Krewe of Comogo parade, a parade formed to honor his beloved niece, Brenda. Father loved his family. Special thanks to The Archbishop Gregory Aymond, his brothers in the priesthood, his assistant and friend Father Cyril Buyeera, his dining partner Father Jon Koehler, his family of parishioners at St. Maria Goretti, his faithful staff, nurse parishioner Angela Agochukeu, and his own family of caregivers. A very special thank you to his dedicated and faithful housekeeper of 37 years, his very close friend, Gilda and her husband Joe Thibeaux, who helped care for Monsignor with love of family. He loved all of you. Many thanks to his team of doctors and staff at Ochsner Medical Center who treated Monsignor with care, respect, and nobility. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to St. John the Evangelist Church in Plaquemine, St. John the Baptist in Brusly, or St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church in New Orleans. 'Heavenly Father, we pray for your blessings through the intercession of our patroness, Saint Maria Goretti. May all of us be young at heart, vibrant in spirit, and strong in our faith, so that, like Maria Goretti, we may attain the happiness of heaven. Saint Maria Goretti, pray for us.' In Monsignor's own words, "My life as a priest has been a rich blessing to me as I thank God, my good family, and my special friends who were such an important part of my priesthood." And so, farewell our pastor, our brother, our friend, our uncle. Well done, good and faithful servant.
Published in TheAdvocate.com from Feb. 11 to Feb. 18, 2020
This article was last updated at 1:52 PM on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 by Tre Williams