Auguste "Nonco" Pelafigue

A week ago I enjoyed Southern hospitality in Arnaudville, Louisiana, in the heart of Cajun country. The day before I was at Loyola University in New Orleans where I spoke at the National Jesuit Brothers Committee's bi-annual meeting on the topic "From Paper to Podcasts: How the Apostleship of Prayer went from the 19th Century to the 21st Century in 10 Years."  I was on my way to Our Lady Queen of Heaven Parish in Lake Charles to preach at all the Masses and decided to stop in Arnaudville. 

In the past year a group of people from that small town contacted me because a well-beloved member of their community, who died in 1977 had been a member and promoter of the Apostleship of Prayer.  They had started the Auguste "Nonco" Pelafigue Foundation in order to honor his memory and promote his cause for beatification.  I talked to them about the Apostleship and showed them a monthly leaflet from our archives dating back to 1909 and others from the 1940's and 50's. The ones from the '60's and 70's looked familiar because Nonco had brought similar ones to their families.  We talked about how they could continue Nonco's work of promoting prayer for the pope's monthly intentions and devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  On our way to a local café, The Little Big Cup, for real Cajun food (I
had gumbo and a Po-Boy sandwich made with shrimp), we stopped at Nonco's house, a small shack with no running water where he slept and prayed and ate. I can't really say he "lived" there because he spent so much of his time walking around the area delivering leaflets, teaching catechism, and directing the local children in plays that they performed for the parish. 

I carry away happy memories of my time in Arnaudville and have begun to ask Nonco to intercede for the Apostleship as we try to carry on the work that was so dear to his own heart.