Submitted by the SAHS
Making history will be the new Augustin Metoyer Memorial Parkway. The renaming of a portion of the former Hwy 493 (between highways 1 and 119) was enacted this year by Gov. John Bel Edwards and the Louisiana legislature as introduced by Sen. Louie Bernard. An unveiling ceremony for the new signage is planned as part of the St. Augustine Catholic Church’s Creole Festival Oct. 8.
The unveiling ceremony pays tribute to a man who put Isle Brevelle on the map. Isle Brevelle is an unincorporated area south of Natchez between Cane River and Bayou Brevelle. Here, Augustin Metoyer (1768-1856) led the establishment of a faith-based community and creole culture,which now spans across Louisiana and the nation. The Augustin Metoyer Memorial Parkway passes through property he once owned.
At 10 a.m. Oct. 8, one of the four new road signs will be unveiled at the bridge over Cane River nearest the church. Following the unveiling will be a dedication and blessing by Church Pastor Father Charlie B. Ray and Deacon the Rev. Dr. Mark Guidry.
The idea of naming a road on Isle Brevelle after the community’s founder came to resident Emile Metoyer in a daydream. He said, “Everywhere we go we see streets named after important community people. Like a dream, it came to me that we must recognize our founder.” After hearing his idea, the St. Augustine Historical Society (SAHS) led and financed the endeavor.
Dcn. Guidry writes, “Our forefather, ‘Grandpere Gustin’ was a good and faithful man. He was a devout Catholic and he followed God’s calling to establish a church for his family, relatives and other Catholics. What began as his 1803 plantation chapel later became a mission church in 1829. In 1856, his calling was fulfilled, when it became a parish church. Shortly afterwards, he passed away.” Dcn. Guidry continues, “So, what started as a calling has become a great legacy of faith and a Creole culture that has spread across America. We are blessed that Grandpere Gustin followed his calling and fulfilled God’s will.”
Attributed to Grandpere are the words, “In one way or another, I am sure that having a house of the good God in our midst, our people will live a better life, will love one another, and will live in harmony.”
Today, on the national register as a creole cultural center, St. Augustine Catholic Church is a thriving and growing parish that continues to call the faithful to worship and to fulfill God’s work in the community.
The unveiling ceremony will be during St. Augustine Catholic Church’s long-standing annual church fair, referred to as the Creole Festival in celebration of the community’s heritage. After the dedication, a gathering of descendants and friends will attend the festival and enjoy the food and fellowship. The festival features creole culture, cuisine, faith, family and friends. The community is famous for its meat pies, tamales and other great cultural foods.
Helping finance the new signage and unveiling ceremony are the Rev. Dr. Mark Guidry and Ethel Marie, Sen. Louie Bernard, Attorney Mark Delphin, Dr. Rand Metoyer, Emile Metoyer, Ed and Jennifer Colbert, Rebecca Metoyer Jones, Archie Metoyer Paint and Body, Benedict and Jannie Meziere LaCour, Brent and Mary Conant Shelby, Thomas and Kathie Roque, Vera Severin, Mary Frances Jones, Theresa Conant Demery, Kimberly Antee Martin, Anita Metoyer Evans, Sherri Conde, Rose Delphin Eugene, Wilfred Delphin, Julie Delphin, Van LaCour Jr., Gloria Jones, Sam and Anastasia Christophe, Kevin and Janet Jones Caldwell, Dianne V. Moran and Blaise Lacour.
Submitted by the SAHS