Assumption celebrates 100 years in church home
One hundred years ago, a Catholic pastor and his flock set an ambitious plan in motion. They aspired to build a church that would serve the congregation for future years and stand as a landmark in the town of Franklin.
That pastor was Father James Trainor at the Church of the Assumption in Franklin. Together with a building committee, Father Trainor hired a prestigious firm of architects and set about raising funds for the project. The result is the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the corner of Main and Iberia streets in Franklin.
On Saturday, the congregation will celebrate the 100th birthday of their church building with a mass celebrated by His Excellency Bishop Michael Jarrell of the Diocese of Lafayette, assisted by Father Lloyd Benoit, pastor.
Many area priests will con-celebrate, including Father George Simon and Father Michael Russo, former pastors; Father Oneil Landry and Father Wilson Matt, former associate pastors; and Father William Blanda, Father Bill Ruskoski, Father Clint Landry, Father Bill Melancon, and Monsignor Richard Green.
Following the mass, the parish will host a reception in the church hall.
The Franklin Catholic parish was founded in 1852, with several successive wooden church structures housing the Catholic faithful. The present building was begun under the direction of Father Trainor, but much of the finishing of the interior was completed by the two pastors who followed, Monsignor Jules J. Rousseau and Monsignor John H. Disch.
The stained glass windows selected by Monsignor Rousseau in Germany are a key element in the beauty of the Church of the Assumption. They are as fine as any in the state.
Above the high altar is the Crucifixion window. Along the sides of the church are a series of windows that portray the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
During the weeks leading up to the celebration, attendance has been excellent at guided church tours following weekend masses.
Elaine Karam, Patti Simoneaux and Renee Stirling are chairing the celebration, assisted by a long list of parishioners and friends.
A hardcover coffee table book illustrated with full color photographs celebrating the centennial of the church building is planned for release next summer. It will include a comprehensive history of the parish plus many illustrations from years gone by and the church interior today.