June 2018 SPECIAL EDITION June 2018 SPECIAL EDITION - Page 4

JUNE 2018 (continued from page 3) Did you expect to stay 14-years? Of all your vicars, which one(s) taught you most? I didn’t expect to live 14 years. As I said above, Father Billy taught me humility. Father Steve Bruno taught me that hard work and fun can go hand in hand. What were some of your most memorable experiences at VOL? Father Billy Reed was the Parochial Vicar when I arrived at VOL. Father Billy had advanced Parkinson’s Disease. He was a holy man. He was a terrible administrator but a beautiful priest. Father Billy taught me humility. He would call me rather often in the middle of the night to ask me to come to his room and help him to get off his toilet. Each time, he had been there for hours, trying to get off by himself so that he wouldn’t “bother” me. Hurricane Katrina taught me gratitude. Comparatively speaking, we were spared. We had approximately $300,000 of damages, but we were up and running quickly. I especially remember telling myself “Be grateful, Mike” during the almost ten hours it took me to clean out the refrigerators on campus. The smell was sickening. But, none of our parishioners died. School Masses always delighted me. Talking about God to our school children always made me feel like I was atop the world. Cajun Fest amazed me. The people, especially the members of the Men’s Club, always worked like Trojans for a full year but, at one and the same time, had a blast doing it. I remember standing on the fair grounds during a violent thunder storm which was destroying a year’s hard work. They guy next to me said, “Don’t worry, Father. We’ll get it done next week.” He was wrong. We were up and running the next day. PAGE 4 What was your most humbling experience at VOL? One cold February morning, I was outside praying. I saw Father Billy walking barefoot to church. He had his socks in his hand. He couldn’t get them on himself. When I got to church, I saw our sacristan, Pauline Plaisance, putting Father Billy’s socks and shoes on his feet. What will you miss most about VOL? The people. A fabulous and fun staff. Getting pied in the face at Cajun Fest. Will you be coming back to visit? Celebrate Mass? If Father Braud asks, I will rush over. What advice would you give to Father Braud, our incoming pastor? When I was president of the TV station in Nashville, I once asked Sarah Cannon, the real name of the country music star, Minnie Pearl, what was the secret to her success. Sarah said, “Mike, just love them and they’ll love you right back.” My advice to Father Braud is to follow Minnie’s advice. And don’t hesitate to cry when you’re leaving something good.