There will be a memorial service, tonight, I am told for the pastor of Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Hammond, La. Fr. Everitt, of whom I know nothing but a member of his congregation, was murdered at a retreat in Waveland, Ms. His suspected murdered has been arrested.
Everitt has served as pastor of Holy Ghost and Our Lady of Pompeii Churches since shortly after Katrina. He was also a key leader at Holy Ghost School, the parish’s largest Catholic school, and had served many years back as an associate at St. Albert’s Catholic Church on the SLU campus.
The Bishop of Baton Rouge has already responded,
A Message from Baton Rouge Bishop Robert Muench
Beloved Clergy and Parishioners of Holy Ghost and Our Lady of Pompeii Churches,
“Weep with those who weep.” (Romans 15:15b)
I join each of you in expressing my utter shock and profound mourning over hearing the news of the murder of your revered pastor, Father Edward Everitt, O.P. This tragic loss of Father Ed’s life leaves a deeply-felt void in all our lives.
Together we pray to the Author of all life to provide Father Ed with the peace of eternal life. May our grief be seen in that perspective as we thank God for his valued life and priestly ministry. May the words of Jesus proclaimed in the Sunday Gospel two weeks ago resonate in our hearts: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Mt. 11:28). And may we be consoled by the words of St. Paul in the second Scriptural reading for this past Sunday’s liturgy: “I consider that the sufferings of the present time are as nothing compared to the glory to be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).
In the compassionate love of Jesus,
Robert W. Muench
Bishop of Baton Rouge.
Without deflecting from the community and congregation of Holy Ghost, our thoughts and prayers are with them at large, and with the individuals whom I know.
As brothers and sisters in Christ, we pray.