St. Joseph Abbey to reopen Sunday: ‘We will have our hearts back’

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Photo Courtesy St. Joseph Abbey website

ST. BENEDICT, La. (WGNO) – Months after a flood destroyed St. Joseph Abbey and Seminary College, the church will hold its first Mass since the flood Sunday.

The first service at the historic church will start at 7:30 a.m. Father’s Day.

According to the church’s website, floodwaters from the Bogue Falaya inundated the Abbey and Seminary with roughly two feet of water on March 11 and caused more than $30 million in damage.

Church officials said 31 buildings were damaged.

File photos show damage caused by floodwaters at the St. Joseph Abbey and Seminary College

File photos show damage caused by floodwaters at the St. Joseph Abbey and Seminary College

The abbey, which was founded by Benedictine monks in 1889, is perhaps best known for the pine caskets made and sold by monks at St. Joseph.

Justin Brown, O.S.B., and the monastic community.

“The church is the heart of our lives here,” Abbot Justin Brown said. “You sometimes take for granted that we readily have access to this beautiful, peaceful church. Not until it’s missing from your daily life, do you realize how much it means to not only us, but also the community at large. The many inquiries I receive asking when it will reopen are a testament to the passion parishioners have for the Abbey Church. Having it back will be like having our hearts back.”

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