A Good And Faithful Servant

May 25, 2023 marks 60 years since the ordination of the late Father Robert L. Shreve. Let us join in prayerful remembrance of his example of devotion to faith and service.

Here are some ways to celebrate the life and ministry of our beloved brother, uncle, cousin, and friend, “Uncle Bobby!”

Father Robert Lee Shreve

“The world looks to the priest, because it looks to Jesus! No one can see Christ; but everyone sees the priest, and through him they wish to catch a glimpse of the Lord! Immense is the grandeur of the Lord! Immense is the grandeur and dignity of the priest!”

Pope Saint John Paul II

An Extraordinary Life

A native of Crowley, Louisiana, Reverend Robert Lee Shreve was born June 22, 1931 to parents Olaf P Shreve, Sr. and Lydia Fruge Shreve. The eighth of twelve siblings, he was a graduate of Lake Charles High School, where he was involved in the dramatic club, the marching band as a drum major and baton twirler, and competed on the track team.

He served in the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1953 and earned a BS from St. Philip Neri School in Boston, Massachusetts and a BA from St. Mary’s College in St. Mary, Kentucky.

Father Shreve was ordained to the priesthood on May 25, 1963, at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Lafayette, Louisiana by the Most Rev. Maurice Schexnayder, bishop of Lafayette after completing studies at Immaculata Seminary in Lafayette and St. John Seminary in Little Rock, Arkansas. His first Mass was at St. Henry Catholic Church in Lake Charles, Louisiana, which was his parish church.

As a seminarian, Rev. Shreve received the minor orders of porter and lector, exorcist and acolyte from Bishop Maurice Schexnayder of Lafayette. He was also awarded the first major orders of subdiaconate and diaconate from Auxiliary Bishop Warren L. Boudreaux of New Iberia.

He was later assigned as an assistant or associate at St. John Vianney in Bell City, St. Raphael in Iowa, St. John the Evangelist in Jeanerette, St. Henry in Lake Charles, Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary in Kaplan and St. Landry in Opelousas. He served as pastor at St. Lawrence in Mowata and St. John Vianney in Bell City, before being named pastor of St. Eugene Catholic Church in Grand Chenier. While at St. Eugene, in 1986 Rev. Shreve started a fundraising event known as the Alligator Harvest Festival.

In 1988, Rev. Shreve celebrated his 25th anniversary as a priest with a reception at our Lady Queen of Heaven Family Center in Lake Charles on Friday, May 20, and a Thanksgiving Mass at St. Eugene’s with a reception at the American Legion Hall in Grand Chenier on Sunday, May 22.

In 1991, Rev. Shreve was appointed chaplain to Lake Charles Memorial Hospital and Moss Regional Hospital in Lake Charles by the Most Rev. Jude Speyrer, bishop of Lake Charles.

He was also diocesan director of the Cursillo movement; served as a member of the Welfare Board of the Lake Charles Diocese; served as chaplain of the Doxey-Boudreaux VFW Post 1019; and was a member of the Sturlese American Legion Post 364 and Evans Mhire Knights of Columbus Council 8423. He also served on the board of directors of the Calcasieu-Cameron Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Rev. Shreve was in residence at Our Lady Help of Christians in Jennings until his death on February 24, 1996 at age 64. He is buried at Consolata Cemetery in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

You may submit additional photos of Rev. Shreve by emailing lane@laneluckie.com.

“The Christian meaning of death is revealed in the light of the Paschal Mystery of the Death and Resurrection of Christ in whom resides our only hope. The Christian who dies in Christ Jesus is ‘away from the body and at home with the Lord’ (2 Cor 5:8).”

Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1681

Join in Prayer

In your hands, O Lord,
we humbly entrust our brothers and sisters.
In this life you embraced them with your tender love;
deliver them now from every evil
and bid them eternal rest.

The old order has passed away:
welcome them into paradise,
where there will be no sorrow, no weeping or pain,
but fullness of peace and joy
with your Son and the Holy Spirit
forever and ever.
R/. Amen.

Gracious and loving God, we thank you for the gift of our priests. Grant them wisdom, understanding and strength to follow in the footsteps of Christ. Amen.

Support Future Priests

A seminary burse is set up in the name of Rev. Robert Shreve with the Diocese of Lake Charles. This a permanent fund set aside to provide income for the education and training of future priests.

The principal amount of the fund is never spent but invested, with the interest used each year for education expenses of those men studying for the priesthood for the Diocese of Lake Charles. Since the principal is never touched, this fund is truly a “gift that will give forever.” Donations made to any seminary burse will continue to support the education of seminarians in perpetuity.

Checks in any amount can be made payable to The Diocese of Lake Charles and mailed to:

Rev. Msgr. Daniel Torres, V.G.
Diocese of Lake Charles
P.O. Box 3223
Lake Charles, LA 70602-3223

Please include a note directing the donation to the “seminary burse for Rev. Robert Lee Shreve.” Also, in the memo portion of your check, please also specify that the gift is for this seminary burse.

“The priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus. When you see a priest, think of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Saint John Vianney

Visit Rev. Shreve’s Grave

Fr. Shreve is interred at Consolata Cemetery, located at 2300 Country Club Road in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Silk flowers may be ordered through Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church, by visiting this link.

Hymns from Rev. Shreve’s Funeral Mass

The Spotify playlist below is a selection of hymns from Father Shreve’s Funeral Mass on February 27, 1996.

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