Around 70 Filipino clergymen attended a good ol’ fashion South Louisiana seafood boil this past Wednesday afternoon, courtesy of parishioners from St. Gregory Barbarigo Catholic Church in Houma.
These men of the cloth are all members of Paring Bol-anon — a fraternity that consists of clergymen that are natives of Bohol, Philippines. St. Gregory’s Rev. Alex Lazarra is a member of the brotherhood.
They traveled from dioceses all across the United States and Canada to attend their 34th reunion, which was in Louisiana this year.
Houma was one of the stops featured on their tour that also included Chackbay, Slidell and New Orleans.
After a late morning mass, led by bishops of Paring Bol-anon, the group enjoyed a feast provided by St. Gregory parishioners in their gathering room behind the church.
The honored guests smiled as they enjoyed boiled shrimp, crabs, corn, and potatoes; a pig roast; Mr. Ronnie’s doughnut holes; a cake decorated with Paring Bol-anon’s emblem; and much more.
Denise DeHart, office secretary at St. Gregory, said she quickly realized all of the hard work she and her team did to put the event together was well worth it when she saw how happy all of their guests were.
She also noted that the occasion would “never happen again in our lifetime”, as Paring Bol-anon members pick a different state and/or country for their reunion each year.
“It was an honor and a blessing,” DeHart shared. “It was just a blessing to have them, and it's a blessing to have Father Alex as well.”
Check out these images captured by Times Staff Writer Drew Miller of the mass and seafood boil.