Monsignor Richard Mouton passes away
By Claire Taylor
June 21, 2017
|The Rev. Msgr. Richard von Phul Mouton is pictured in this 2010 file photo.|
|Monsignor Richard Mouton is shown in this 2006 file photo during the St. Thomas More High School graduation.|
Monsignor Richard von Phul Mouton of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette passed away Wednesday. He was 86 years old.
Mouton died at 2:21 p.m. Wednesday at Lafayette General Medical Center, according to his brother, Frank Anthony Mouton.
Funeral arrangements are not complete but will be handled by the diocese, he said.
"The monsignor would be the first to admit he didn't walk on water," Ted Power, former Daily Advertiser publisher, wrote in response to Mouton's passing. "But he was a man with immeasurable passion for his faith and he spent his life driven to instill that passion and faith in others."
Power said Mouton could be intimidating.
"Yet, behind that persona was a man who could lift spirits and provide perspective.
He recalled a Mass Mouton said in 2005, the Sunday after Hurricane Katrina.
"His homily," Power said, "comforted parishioners and refugees who filled St. Pius beyond capacity. And his closing hymn that day, 'We Will Build a City of God,' left many with tears in their eyes or streaming down their cheeks."
According to "My Journey: By the Grace of God," Mouton's own memoirs, he was ordained to the priesthood in 1955 and served at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Abbeville a short time before going to Rome for about two years to study. Upon his return, Mouton was assigned to Immaculate Conception Parish in Lake Charles.
He earned a master's degree in 1962 at Notre Dame and attended the Second Vatican Council in Rome.
From 1965 to 1973, Mouton was stationed at St. John the Evangelist Cathedral in Lafayette. In June 1967, he was appointed superintendent of the schools.
In November 1973 he became pastor for the first time, at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Abbeville.
Mouton accepted the pastorate of St. Pius X Parish in February 1987. By 1999, ground was broken for construction of St. Pius Elementary School.
He also was involved with St. Thomas More High School in Lafayette and was on a committee from 2002 until 2006 working to buy more land for the school.
He left St. Pius in 2007, when he moved into what he knew as the Archbishop's Apartment next to the Cathedral, where he remained until his death.
When Mouton was pastor at St. Mary Magdalene Church two parishioners approached him in 1976 with allegations about the Rev. Gilbert Gauthe, according to Jason Berry, an investigative reporter at the time with The Times newspaper. Mouton, he wrote, confronted Gauthe and required him to see a psychiatrist.
Gauthe pled guilty to 34 counts of sexually abusing children and served time in jail.