Fr. Gary celebrates 40 years
By Katherine Miller
CROWLEY – On Sunday, June 7, a host of Fr. Gary Schexnayder’s family and friends gathered to attend the fortieth anniversary of his ordination.
A special Mass was held in Schexnayder’s honor at St. Michael the Archangel Church in Crowley, where he serves as pastor.
Co-celebrating the Mass along with Schexnayder were Fr. Whitney Miller, Diocese of Lake Charles; Fr. Bill Ruskoski, St. Joseph Church in Rayne; Fr. Mike Arnaud, Nativity of Our Lady in New Iberia and Fr. Avelino Vale of St. Michael Church in Crowley. Deacon Rodless Leleux of St. Michael Church was also present to celebrate the event.
Musical selections were provided by the Agape Singers. Many friends and family members also had special parts in the Mass.
Several items important to Fr. Schexnayder were brought to the altar during the celebration including the American Flag, a happy face and his favorite books, “The Sacramental Rules,” and “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.”
During an homily made by Schexnayder, he thanked all those in attendance.
He continued, saying, “Since the third grade, I have had an interest in the priesthood. After all these years, I have tried to keep my focus and be the best representative of the Gospel that I can possibly be. I became a priest to serve God and to serve you.”
A reception was held immediately following the Mass in the newly renovated Church Hall on the church grounds.
Schexnayder was born in Arnaudville in July of 1942 and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Sacred Theology from Catholic University in May of 1967. After a summer internship at Our Lady of Help of Christians in Jennings under Msgr. Charles Marin, he attended Catholic University in Washington, D.C. He was ordained a priest on June 7.1969 at St. Francis Regis Church in Arnaudville by Bishop Warren Boudreaux.
After serving as a Pastor of various area churches, Fr. Schexnayder became pastor of St. Michael Church in November of 2002.