Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Marrero is on New Orleans’ “West Bank.” The West Bank is actually south of New Orleans, and east, and west. I know, things get confusing in the Crescent City. Anything on the other side of the Mississippi is “west.” 🙂
This congregation, like Gethsemane Chalmette and Bethlehem New Orleans, are former LCMS congregations. They still enjoy a good relationship with Trinity LCMS in Algiers and even share a school.
The school at Good Shepherd, Concordia Lutheran School has 140 students, but they have capacity for 240. Prior to Katrina they had 233. Enrollment is growing. With registrations rolling in, the closure of some other schools and some programs for low-income students, they believe they will hit 200 in the fall.
Prior to worship, I dropped in on 7am mass at Our Lady of Prompt Succor in Westwego, also on the West Bank, about five minutes from Good Shepherd. Father Buddy Noel has become a friend. He serves Our Lady, and also Holy Guardian Angels in Bridge City, LA, a short ten minutes away. He also serves as the Archbishop’s Ecumenical Representative. After mass we had coffee in the parsonage and talked all things ecumenical in this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
When I arrived at a good Shepherd, they were setting up for worship. Pastor Bob Gnuse and President Gil Avery walked me through the day with outstanding hospitality. Bob heads up the religion department at Loyola. Below, Venetia Bryant-Meekins sets up for communion and musicians warm up.
After worship we had a huge Cajun spread with gumbo, jambalaya, red beans and rice, French bread, king cake, pralines and more. Everything was homemade, including the king cake and pralines. Mercy. I’m going to need a more aggressive exercise regimen. I was too busy eating to take photos, but I did get this gem. Mark asked me if I wanted a little hot sauce. Apparently it packs a punch. 🙂