Come, Lord Jesus! is the fruit of many years of prayer, reflection on Sacred Scripture, and experimentation.
Let me tell you the story – how Come, Lord Jesus! originated, developed, and became part of my life.
In 1959, after nine years of intensive training, I was ordained a Catholic priest for the Diocese of Lafayette. Graced with a love for prayer and Scripture and an ardent zeal, I sought to communicate these qualities to my parishioners. From 1959 until 1969, I worked with various programs – some that already existed and some I adapted.
In 1969 while at St. Anne Church in Youngsville as Associate Pastor, I was inspired to begin putting the most beautiful scripture tests I could find into a program. I began to experiment using these with various groups of people, youth and adult. I continued to experiment and develop the program throughout my assignment as Associate Pastor of St. Genevieve and Pastor of St. Lawrence Church in Mowata. Finally, when I became Pastor at Our Lady of the Lake Church in Delcambre, meeting with a youth group, I added Song, Spontaneous Prayer, and Spiritual Reading to complete the twelve steps of the program. Whereas previously I was not able to keep groups together by being personally present at each meeting, now the groups persevered in meeting without my being there. Some have been meeting now non-stop for 50 years! Glory to God! He did that! I was just an old lead pencil that He used to do it.
The Come, Lord Jesus! Logo Created
It was the Carmelite nuns who were enlightened to think of such a fitting image and creatively depict such a meaningful and inspiring logo for Come, Lord Jesus!. I simply submitted the name to them and they prayerfully processed it in their minds and hearts before the Lord. This personal image of the Church as the Bride of Christ with outstretched arms awaiting and longing for her heavenly Bridegroom as the Bright Morning Star is the logo that the Holy Spirit gave them. Glory to God – only He could have inspired such an expressive, captivating, and apt logo.
Endorsements from Bishops
Bishop Gerard Frey encouraged me to try its wings in the entire Diocese of Lafayette. I am indebted all the other bishops, Arch-Bishop Harry Flynn, Bishop Edward O’Donald, Bishop Glen Provost, and Bishop Michael Jarrell as well as Bishop Jude Speyer who also encouraged me and personally assisted in the spread of the program as first Bishop of the newly created Diocese of Lake Charles.
The Program Comes Together
In 1974, the program began to flourish. I found that this new 12-step format worked; members continued to meet week after week. New groups were started in other parts of the Diocese of Lafayette. These groups thrived, even without my close supervision. Forty groups began that first year; this number increased to 80 the next year, to 180 the third year and 300 in the fourth year. Soon after, 470 groups existed with 112 youth groups in Catholic Schools. 640 groups formed with over 6,400 members who experienced the program by 1979.
1979 - 2019
Through the years, the program was further perfected by the development of two additional volumes, Volume II – the study of the Epistles and Volume III – the study of the Old Testament readings. Commentaries were put into book form in order to assist in the understanding of the readings.
Supplemental programs (Light from Light, Come, Lord Jesus! for Families, Urgent Longings, Parent Intercessors, Lenten Journey, Advent Journey,) were developed. The Come, Lord Jesus! program was translated into Spanish.
In addition to weekly meetings, the spiritual growth and fellowship of members was further facilitated by regular Come, Lord Jesus!- sponsored seminars, workshops and conferences. Area Anniversary Masses and spiritual formation gatherings are held annually.
50 Year Anniversary of
Come, Lord Jesus!
The Come, Lord Jesus! Program commemorated 50 years of grace in 2019.
By Its Fruits
Come, Lord Jesus! continues to thrive, reaching many areas throughout the United States as well as in other countries. Most important is the spiritual transformation of its members into the very likeness of Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18). Members become persons of deep prayer. They come to know and live the Scriptures. They understand the spiritual treasures of the Catholic faith and are equipped to witness it to others in word and deed. They are distinguished by their love, for God, for one another, and for all of God’s people. They express that love through various forms of ministry.