Monsignor Robert Gabriel "Bob" Angelle

Father Bob
Arnaudville's First Priest!

Born August 23 1931
Ordained May 22, 1956
It is interesting to note that  when Bob Angelle attended church as a young boy in Arnaudville, the Mass at St. John Francis Regis Catholic Church was by a priest from a French-speaking country.  Even these priests sometimes viewed the Cajun people as ignorant because they could not read or write French.  Consequently, when  Bob told his father that he felt called to the priesthood, his father did not believe him, and felt his son to be insulting God because a Cajun was unworthy of being a priest.  In 1956,  Father Bob was ordained - the first Cajun priest from Arnaudville in its 103-year history as a church parish

Born in Arnaudville on August 23, 1931, the second child of six to Bryant and Marie Mistrot Angelle, Robert Gabriel "Bob" Angelle did become a priest and in December 1970 was made a Papal Chamberlain by Pope Paul, with the title of Reverend Monsignor.

Father Bob has been awarded the following College Degrees:

  • B.A., Philosophy, St. Joseph Seminary (1953)
  • B.S., Education, Loyola of the South (1957)
  • M.S., Divinity, St. Joseph Seminary (1958)
  • M.S., Chemistry, Notre Dame University (1960)
  • M.A., Mathematics, Louisiana State University (1964)
After a  brief assignment as Parish Priest in New Iberia, Father Bob was assigned to Landry High School in Lake Charles (1963) where he served as Math Department Head, Assistant Principal, Religion Teacher, until 1968, when he was made Principal.  He oversaw the building and consolidation of Landry and St. Charles Academy into the new St. Louis High School, which opened in 1970.  It is now the only Roman Catholic High School in the Diocese of Lake Charles.

In February, 1974, Monsignor Bob Angelle was assigned Pastor in Kaplan, Louisiana, and Bishop's Vicar for Education for the Diocese of Lafayette.

In February, 1976, he was made Associate Vicar for Administrative Affairs for the Diocese of Lafayette, and in January, 1978, was made Vicar for Administrative Affairs, Diocese of Lafayette, which post he relinquished June 15, 1979, to devote full time to Education.

Monsignor Angelle has been a member of many professional organizations -- ecclesiastical, clerical, civic, religious and educational -- on  local, state, Diocesan, and national levels; has served as Director of Bishop's Services Appeal for 1976 and 1977, and as Diocesan Budget Director and Diocesan Personnel Director.  

He served in 1977-80 as Southern Regional Representative of the National Executive Committee of CACE (Chief Administrator of Catholic Education).

In January, 1980, was made Vicar General for the Diocese of Lafayette and on February 18, 1981, was appointed Executive Director of Louisiana Catholic Conference - Church Ministry Division.  

On May 22, 1981, Monsignor Angelle was appointed a Prelate of Honor by Pope John Paul II.  

He served as Pastor of Saint Mary Parish in Lafayette, Louisiana, where he led his parish family into becoming a model parish for whom stewardship has become “a way of life.”

Monsignor Robert Gabriel Angelle retired from active ministry in the Diocese of Lafayette on October 26, 1998.   Since then, Monsignor Angelle has been presenting missions, speaking at national, regional and Diocesan Conferences throughout the United States.
What is a Priest?

Priests are mystery men.  They come in assorted sizes, ages, weights and collars.  They are found everywhere -- speeing along, perspiring over, walking by, kneeling on, praying over, laughing with, preaching to, treaching  about, pardoning for, and playing baseball with.  Little children run to them; teen-agers marvel at them; aged folk turn to them; lay people treasure them; non-Catholics stare at them, and Mary watches over them.

A priest is Prudence in a T-shirt; Fortitude with a breviary in his hand; Justice on a ball diamond, and Temperance at any party.  He is Faith with a blueprint; Home with a sense of humor, and Charity with a golf club in hand.

A priest may be anything from a contemplative monk in a monastery to a magazine editor on Wall Street, from a labor mediator to a TV personality, from a student to a professor.  Formerly known as the boy-around-the-corner, he is a member of each family, yet belongs to none.  He penetrates secrets, shares sorrows, heals wounds.  He has the trust of a child, the kindness of a best friend, the sternness of a top-sergeant, the darling of a tight-rope walker, the authority of an encyclopedia, the versatility of a commando, and the salesmanship of a Fuller Brush man.

A priest is a humble creature -- a mystifying worker at all professions.  His hours are the longest; his salary the smallest; his Boss the best!  He likes good pastors, the smiles of children, a good sermon, a home-cooked meal, and the name "Father."

A priest is all things to all men in the sight of God.  He may be misquoted, mistaken and misunderstood, but he'll always forgive -- because, he's a mediator; a peacemaker, a go-between heaven and earth.  It's no wonder God loves him.

He's a man standing at an altar, clothed in holy clothes, who while being aware of his own nothingness speaks to God for us and to us for God.  And although his greatest act is to offer sacrifice, his most consoling one is to say to me, "Go in peace--your sins are forgiven."

Father Richard Hennesay, S.S.S., editor of "The Eucharist" magazine, found this article on a sacristy wall in a downtown New York church.  It first appeared in OUR SUNDAY VISITOR, March 10, 1968.
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