Catholic Ministry is Always a Part of Life – Clarion Herald

➤ Age: 60 years old
➤ First mission: Our Lady of Lourdes, Slidell
➤ First Mass: June 5, 10:30 a.m., Notre-Dame de Lourdes, Slidell.

The words his mother said when he and his siblings played outside stuck with Deacon William Mumphrey: “Go play with Jesus.

Elizabeth “Betty Ann” Marchand was her strongest example of the Catholic faith – running everything with the spirit of Jesus. Marchand regaled her children with stories of walking down gravel roads to attend daily Mass as a child in Gonzales, Louisiana, praying the Rosary with her family and annotating her Bible and religious books to better understand the Catholicism.

“It was all for Christ through the Catholic prayers she read,” Deacon Mumphrey said. “When I grew up and was in seminary, I realized that was mom’s life – whatever the church did. With seven children, she might not have given me as good of an education as I did in seminary, but she did well. The seminar helped me better understand why she did what she did.

Growing up, Deacon Mumphrey was surrounded by a Catholic presence – there were even a few parents who were nuns – as he hunted and fished near Lake Maurepas and attended Sunday school and played CYO sports.

Coming from a large family, he was expected to marry, but Deacon Mumphrey instead immersed himself in church ministry.

“I served God and did a lot of things in the church,” Deacon Mumphrey said. “I wanted to know what the church taught and what God wanted me to do. I did Cursillo, Renew and Faith Sharing. … I had a call, but I rejected it. I was living this life of godliness and I didn’t have time to date and get married.

His father, Benedict, instilled an honest work ethic for an honest dollar, and Deacon Mumphrey began working at Winn Dixie at age 17, allowing time for church ministry. When he moved to Valero Energy in Norco, he had to reduce his involvement in church ministries.

“I realized that I was missing things in the ministry,” he said. “Therein lay my joy – my ministry became more of a joy than my desire to get married – and I had to explore it.”

He spoke to a missionary priest about his calling and realized that his career path was still ahead of him. He therefore entered the Séminaire Notre-Dame.

Since last summer, he has worked as a deacon with Father Wayne Paysse, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes in Slidell, serving at funerals and baptisms, witnessing to the importance of the sacraments to people and their desire to serve God.

“Being able to live it, do what I was called to do is very fulfilling,” he said. “It was a great learning experience for when I’m a priest. It made me a better person. The diaconate experience brought back the joy I had in lay ministry.

He said Father Paysse taught him to maintain a strong relationship with God and to maintain a state of prayer.

“Keep your eyes on Jesus,” he said. “Father Paysse said to offer a respectful response – respect others in your words. On the business side – always be organized. As a priest, it’s not always routine. You can be called at 2 a.m. You have to be able to change over time. »

Deacon Mumphrey looks forward to serving people in the way they need, “whether it’s celebrating the sacraments or eating well or doing a Bible study or RCIA where I can share the Good News of Christ to help lay people live out this temporal order and change society. Watching this unfold is something that excites me.

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