MANDEVILLE - Travel Girl Stephanie Oswald was lucky enough to spend some time with Father Mark Lomax, who shared some of the highlights of the historic Mandeville treasure known as Our Lady of the Lake.
"I was a deacon here 39 years ago,” Fr. Lomax said. “Being here is a blessing.”
This spiritual oasis on the North Shore is steeped in history going back to the Civil War.
"The pastor was beat up by the Confederates, who took his horse, and the next day the vicar was shot by the Yankees,” he said. “And we think we have a hard time now!”
It's a parish known for its compassion.
You don't have to be Catholic to appreciate the beauty here, but if you are looking for a place to pray, it's a magnificent option.
"This church was built in 1952, and it replaced a little wooden church that was in disrepair,” Fr. Lomax said.
Stories from the Bible are told with stained glass, imported from Germany, And the crucifix hanging above the altar also has a unique back story.
“The corpus on the crucifix is 300 years old,” he said. “It was made in Spain, and it was originally in one of the Spanish colonial churches here in Louisiana.”
The church burned down, but the body of Christ was saved.
Even after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Our Lady of the Lake persevered, and the vibrant church community is showing no signs of slowing down.