Monday, March 23, 2009

Why We Went to Thibodaux

I'd never been to Thibodaux before, though I'd heard about it in many Cajun songs, most notably in "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)." So yesterday we all got into our car and drove down to the Bayou Lafourche. We went because a former student of mine at Notre Dame Seminary, P. J. Madden, was saying mass at St. Genevieve's Church. He's heading back to Ireland soon, and I wanted to make sure I saw him "in action." He was great, and I was told by several parishioners after mass about how much they are going to miss him. I also have never received communion from a former student, so that was very special. P. J. was someone who decided to be a priest later in life, and I have always been struck by his ability to exemplify the positive components of Catholicism through his actions. Sort of reminds me of Tim Russert in that sense, someone who "walks the walk." Here's a picture of P.J. from 2004:
Even my kids, who are typically bored to death by priests during mass, said he was entertaining. I think this is because he explained the rituals, and his enthusiasm for the liturgy was contagious.

After mass we drove through the campus of Nichol's State University, which was a beautiful campus. Then we headed to Zam's Swamp Tours.

For $20 for adults and $10 for kids, we saw plenty of alligators. This one was 14 feet long:
I would like to head back to Thibodaux during the sugar cane harvest. I'm interested in the process of turning the cane into white sugar. Similarly, on my list of things to do is to better understand how crude oil becomes gasoline, vasoline, etc.


LatinTeacher said...

You don't want to be down there after the harvest when they pile the bagasse by the side of the road and it begins to rot. That's not as much fun.

Anonymous said...

My daughter goes to Nicholls State and I love my trips to Thibodaux. Such a precious town. It's also nearby all of the plantation homes, so make an overnight trip and stay at one of them.

LatinTeach's right, cane harvest is sloppy and you have to share the roads with those big cane carrying trucks that resemble the debris trucks post K.

LatinTeacher said...

And there's the smell.