Richard named 2023 Distinguished Person of Year

Very Reverend Edward J. Richard, M.S., V.F., has been named the 2023 Distinguished Person of the Year by the DeQuincy Chamber of Commerce. Father Eddie, to many, will be honored at the annual Chamber Banquet on Thursday, Mar. 9, at the T. D. Cardwell Center.

Father Richard has been the pastor of Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic Church in Sulphur since June 1, 2011.

The appointment was made by The Most Rev. Glen John Provost, Bishop of Lake Charles on the recommendation of Rev. Joseph Bachand, Provincial Superior of the Missionaries of LaSalette, Province of Mary Mother of the Americas in St. Louis, Mo.

Father Richard, who had been a director and faculty member at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis since 1996, replaced Rev. Joseph Gosselin, the pastor at Our Lady of Prompt Succor.

Father Richard has served as Director of Pre-Theology/Vice-Rector; Professor of Moral Theology; Director of Spiritual Formation; Director of Human Formation; and Director of Worship at Kenrick-Glennon. He holds a Bachelor of Science (1978) from McNeese State University; a Juris Doctor (1983) from LSU; a Master of Divinity (1991) from Kenrick-Glennon and D.Th.M, Doctor of Moral Theology from the Pontifical Lateran University, Accademia Alfonsiana, Rome. His doctoral dissertation was on the subject of the influence of legal theory in the development of moral doctrine.

Father Richard entered the LaSalette Missionaries’ pre-novitiate formation in 1985 in St. Louis and entered the LaSalette Novitiate in 1986 in Washington, D.C. He made his First Profession of Vows on June 28, 1987 and his Final Profession on May 24, 1990.

He was ordained to the Diaconate on June 9, 1990 by The Most Reverend Jude Speyrer, Bishop of Lake Charles, at Our Lady of LaSalette Catholic Church in DeQuincy. Bishop Speyrer ordained Father Richard to the priesthood on Jan. 12, 1991 in Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic Church. Father Richard has served in a number of positions for the LaSalette Missionaries, at the provincial level, in Rome and in various parishes in Texas and Louisiana, including St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Catholic Church in Carlyss.

He speaks several languages (Spanish, Italian, and French) and has been published in many scholarly publications, professional journals, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (the secular newspaper of the St. Louis, Mo.), and the St. Louis Review (the newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Louis), among others. He is widely sought after speaker on numerous topics and has presented a number of scholarly papers on topics such as living wills, pro-life, Christian marriage, Theology of the Body, First Amendment, Church-State Relations, Legal and Political Philosophy, Bioethics and Evangelization.

Father Richard is the son of Shelba Linda “Shub” Rigmaiden Treme and the late Edward J. Richard, Sr. of DeQuincy. He is a 1974 graduate of DeQuincy High School.

He was featured in November, 2013 in Dave McNamara’s segment “Heart of Louisiana: Banjo Priest”. Here is a tidbit from that interview:

Now, on a Saturday evening after Mass at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Church in Sulpher, his band buddies join him in the church rectory for a bluegrass jam session. “We play at churches,” Richard said.

“The people I play with regularly play at nursing homes and so forth, so once or twice a week maybe we play. I try to practice too if I want to learn something new.” You can also spot Richard at area jam sessions and he’s recorded three CDs of his Holy Mountain music. It’s not unusual for priests to play music, but Richard probably sets the standard for banjo-pickin’.You can find a couple of his bluegrass albums on iTunes. They include “Jimmy Brown the Newsboy” and “Holy Mountain Banjo”.