St. Thomas More Church was built in 1980. The church is fairly large and can comfortably seat 500 people. Each side of the church is flanked by five long, beautiful stained glass windows depicting details from the life of our Patron, Saint Thomas More. The sanctuary was designed by Chris and Kristie Hollier and painted by artist Keith Estilette. Numerous contemporary statues adorn the sanctuary and vestibule.
A major renovation was completed in 2016 which included a large, commissioned mural painted by artist, Brian Theriot on the ceiling above the altar and sanctuary, new pews and lighting, new tile flooring with an inlaid mosaic depicting our patron, Saint Thomas More, a new altar with custom inlaid mosaics, and a newly-painted ceiling depicting the night sky - adorned with a multitude of stars on a deep blue background. A spacious Nursery is available for parents with young children to enjoy Mass in comfort.
Our 24-Hour Chapel, located in the Administration Building, is a tranquil retreat where visitors may stop by anytime and spend time in quiet prayer with Our Lord. It is accessible either through the Administrative Office or through an outside entrance on the south side of the Administration Building in the Marian Prayer Garden.
Oratory of Our Lady of Eunice
In 2019, while on a silent retreat at St. Meinrad's Archabbey in Indiana, Rev. Clinton Sensat (pastor of St. Thomas More Church at the time) encountered a shrine to Our Lady of Monte Cassino. Fr. Sensat had been praying for the city of Eunice, which had been experiencing an increase in violent crimes, and was deeply moved by the story of how Our Lady saved the town of Monte Cassino from smallpox. He felt convinced that the Virgin would be willing to help our city of Eunice, as well.
He got in touch with numerous parishioners, who all supported the idea. After researching the history of Eunice to see if any important dates connected to Marian feasts, he discovered that the city was founded on September 12th, feast of the holy name of Mary; even more appropriate, 2019 was the 125th anniversary of the founding of Eunice. Plans were quickly put in place, and an image chosen and crowned. Green, the color of hope, was connected with Our Lady of Eunice from the beginning. On September 12, 2019, Bishop Deshotel solemnly consecrated Eunice to God through Our Lady.
Plans were made to build a small building to house the statue. Following the Code of Canon Law, it was designated an "oratory". On September 12, 2020, the statue was carried on foot in procession for four miles throughout the city, invoking God's mercy and Mary's prayers. Construction began in 2021, and the Oratory was blessed December 12, 2021 by Bishop Deshotel, who also renewed the solemn consecration of the city in the new Oratory.
The image of Our Lady of Eunice is crowned in gold and green, and clothed in a white dress with an over-robe somewhat between gold and green. She is in a green alcove behind a golden arch covered in green and white floral decorations. All of these elements are meant to designate hope: green, the color of growth and springtime; gold, which doesn't corrupt and is a sign of eternity; white, the color of purity and holiness. But green is her special color, an image of the new growth in love, faith, and peace for which we hope through her prayers. Around the sides of the Oratory are depicted the Six Saints of Eunice. First, the three representing the three church parishes: St. Anthony of Padua, St. Mathilda, and St. Thomas More. Next, the patron of our Catholic school, St. Edmund. Then, the patron of the civil parish (county for non-Louisianans), St. Landry. Finally, St. Agnes, who was our patroness when we were a chapel, before we became a full parish, and who is still honored as basically a co-patron of St. Thomas More. Above the depiction of each saint is an image of the Blessed Virgin under a title somewhat connected to the saint:
-Above St. Anthony is Our Lady of the Angels, the Franciscan title for Mary
-Above St. Thomas More is Our Lady of Walsingham, the great English devotion to Mary
-Above St. Mathilda is Our Lady of Kibeho, in honor of Eunice's great Black Catholic community
-Above St. Landry is Our Lady of Guaadalupe, representing the many Hispanic Catholics in our civil parish
-Above St. Edmund is Our Lady of Good Help, the only approved apparition of Mary in the United States, when she appeared to Adele Brise in Wisconsin, sending her to teach children
-Above St. Agnes is Our Lady of Mercy, the centeries-old devotion to which Our Lady of Eunice is most connected.
Eventually we hope to depict the motto of Our Lady of Eunice above her statue (on the white arch): Spes Nostra Sub Deo - Our Hope Under God.
The Parish Social Hall is a large, multi-purpose facility built in 1987 and is an excellent choice for registered parishioners to host a wedding reception. Having been completely renovated in 2012, the beautiful facility can comfortably hold approximately 300 people and is equipped with a caterer's kitchen and large bar area. The Social Hall may be rented by registered parishioners. Our Social Hall is frequently used, as it is also a place where we hold Family Fun Day, Vacation Bible School, Parish Organization events, bible studies and classes, and Volunteer Socials.
St. Thomas More Catholic Parish is honored to share our beautiful facilities with its registered parishioners. For information about renting the Parish Social Hall, or using any of our other facilities, please call our office @ (337) 457-8107.
Caterer's Kitchen equipped with two ovens plus two 4-burner stoves/ovens, a microwave oven, two double-door commercial refrigerators, one freezer, triple commercial sink, and three tray warming table.
Our LSUE Catholic Student Center is housed on the beautiful campus of Louisiana State University at Eunice. Located on Center Street, behind the Manuel MX buildings and next door to Bengal Village, the CSC is a great place to meet new Christian friends, get a better understanding of your Catholic faith, and most importantly, develop a closer relationship with Christ. A Eucharistic Prayer Chapel is open during business hours for adoration and prayer.
Fr. Sam Fontana, Pastor of St. Thomas More Catholic Church, serves as Chaplain of the CSC.
Weekly Masses are celebrated every Wednesday at noon in the Center, with a free lunch provided immediately following for those attending.
There is always something going on at the CSC, so stop by anytime and get to know us. We love visitors!