Gonzales, LA – City of Gonzales Mayor Barney Arceneaux honored a 29 year-old tradition on Tuesday morning, November 3, as Ascension Parish residents filled the Gonzales Civic Center for the annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast.
The theme for this year’s event was simple, but poignant, Love One Another. After a welcome from Judge Guy Holdridge the presentation of the colors by members of the City of Gonzales Police Department Honor Guard, the Pledge of Allegiance led by Leslie Jackson and the singing of the National Anthem by Iris Schexnayder, Father Jerry Martin with St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church led attendees in the morning’s invocation.
This year’s guest speaker was Bishop Robert Muench with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge. In keeping with the event’s theme, Bishop Muench called on everyone to think about how they are going about loving one another in simple day to day acts of kindness. Bishop Muench reminded all in attendance that actions shown from the heart, especially in times of strife, speak louder than words ever can.
Mayor Barney Arceneaux offered remarks of his own, also in keeping with the theme of love, when he was next to address the packed to brimming Civic Center.
“Each of us has the ability to make a difference in another person’s life, and the best part about it is that it doesn’t cost us a penny to do it. It simply costs us time to take notice of those around us. But how do we love one another, especially when situations are put in front of us that make it difficult to do so? The answer is easy. The kind of love we should show is based on an action. We see this demonstrated by our own heavenly Father many times. For example, ‘God so LOVED the world that he GAVE his only son.’ Loved. Gave. Those are words of action. They allow us to truly do something, rather than talk about doing something. Our love for one another is best displayed in our actions towards each other. Just the smallest of actions, when meant and heartfelt, can have the most amazing reactions.”
Mayor Arceneaux went on to give people ideas on ways to show love, rather than simply saying the words. He spoke of smiles being contagious and of how visits to the sick and elderly help to reinforce their faith. Mayor Arceneaux reminded people to take the time to truly listen to the needs of another and to say things when you mean them. He reminded the audience to be kind, patient and honest and to look past the flaws within one’s enemies in an attempt to view them as friends. He spoke of the importance of volunteering in one’s community.
“Love and kindness are never wasted,” said Mayor Arceneaux. “They truly do make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless the giver, you.”
Throughout the event, music was provided by First Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, with singing from Reverend Chris Plant. His uplifting voice and songs added to the theme of the event, as just as Mayor Arceneaux stated, smiles became contagious and love filled the room.
Mayor Barney Arceneaux wishes to extend his thanks to all who made this year’s Prayer Breakfast possible.
The Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast is an annual event held each year on the first Tuesday in November. For more information on how you can take part next year, contact the City of Gonzales City Hall building by calling 225.647.2841.