On September 12th, the feast of the Holy Name of Mary, as well as the 125th anniversary of the founding of Eunice, Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel, along with the three pastors of Eunice, consecrated our city to God through the Mother of God under her title as Our Lady of Eunice. Parishioners, elected officials, and guests attended from throughout the city. View a video of the Mass here.
The following is an excerpt from a Presentation and Dedication composed by Fr. Clinton Sensat:
You are neither blind nor naïve. You know there has been an increase in crime, an increase in violence, an increase of hatred, an increase of poverty in our city. You know that many have walked away from the faith taught by Jesus Christ Himself by walking away from the Church. You know that a shadow has fallen upon our home. We, the pastors of Eunice, intend to do something about it. We have already begun, in our preaching, in our prayers, in our call to repentance. But this shadow is bigger than us. So we are calling upon the strongest intercessor we have. We are calling upon the help of the Queen of Heaven and Earth, who is also the Queen of Eunice.
The image of Our Lady of Eunice is visiting each of the three parishes in Eunice. As the statue comes to your parish, bring your needs and the needs of our city to the Virgin Mary, so that you and she together can go before God and plead for His goodness and grace. Continue praying after the statue leaves your parish. Continue praying after September 12th. Eventually, by our donations and the work of our hands, we hope to build a shrine to Our Lady of Eunice on St. Thomas More’s property, at an easily accessible spot, so that all of us can visit the image and pray for our city. But more important even than donations, even than work, even than the shrine itself, are prayers. A new and pretty building would be a blessing. But a deeper conversion of Eunice is our primary goal.
We are not alone. The entire court of heaven sees our struggles, our trials, and our sufferings. And with a mother’s love, Our Lady of Eunice will come to our help, if only we have faith, if only we have hope, if only we are ardent and persevering in our prayers. Our Lord has told us that if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we could move mountains. The Virgin Mary has made snow fall in August, has made roses bloom in December, has made healing waters burst forth from a trash heap, and has made the sun dance in the sky. Between Him and her, surely we can move our home out of the darkness and into His wonderful light. We, your fathers, love you. We are not sleeping at our post. We will fight for our beloved city, and we ask you to fight beside us. We ask for your help, for your donations, for your work, and for your prayers. And may the prayers of Our Lady of Eunice work miracles here, as she has worked elsewhere. Because Mary does not love Rome or Guadalupe or Lourdes or Fatima more than she loves Eunice. But perhaps they have trusted her more than we have.
Or perhaps in a hundred years people will make pilgrimage here, just as they do there.
Our Lady of Eunice, pray for us.