Changing of the guard: Fr. Daigle replaces Fr. Milano at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church

PETER SILAS PASQUA ppasqua@postsouth.com
A cocktail/buffet party in honor of Father Cleo Milano was held at the home of John and Gwendolyn Gum in Plaquemine in June. Milano pastored St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church for 11 years. Friends and family expressed their appreciation for his service and dedication to the church parish and Plaquemine community. From left, Father Cleo Milano, his mother Jackie Milano and hosts Gwendolyn and John Gum. 
COURTESY PHOTO

PLAQUEMINE – Bishop of Baton Rouge Robert Muench announced the following appointments of Roman Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge priests effective on July 1, 2013, for a six-year term.

It includes Father Cleo J. Milano, as pastor of Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Baton Rouge, where he succeeds Father Miles D. Walsh, who is at the end of his second six-year term.

Milano has served as pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Plaquemine since July of 2002.

He is replaced by Father Greg Daigle.

Before his assignment as pastor of Immaculate Conception in Lakeland, Father Daigle was parochial vicar at Holy Rosary Church and St. Theresa of Avila Church in Gonzales, St. Aloysius Church in Baton Rouge and St. Patrick Church in Baton Rouge. He was ordained in 1993 at St. Joseph Cathedral by Archbishop Philip Hannan.

"This church is one of the most architecturally beautiful edifices in the entire state of Louisiana and Diocese of Baton Rouge," Daigle said. "It is the most beautiful house in Plaquemine. It is God's house."

"It is here that generations of Catholics have come to baptize their children, marry their beloved and receive Jesus in Holy Eucharist. It is a sacred place where we hear God's word proclaimed in Scripture, where we have confirmed our faith and where we have come to give our loved ones back to God in death. It is the most sacred ground in Plaquemine. St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church has a long history of deeply rooted Catholic faith and culture."

Father Milano was ordained in 1983 by the late Bishop Stanley Ott, Father Milano was pastor of St. Ann Church in Morganza and Immaculate Conception Church in Denham Springs before he was named pastor of St. John and St. Clement of Rome churches in Plaquemine in 2002. He has also been parochial vicar at Our Lady of Mercy and St. Mary of False River.

John and Gwendolyn Gun hosted a cocktail/buffet party at their home in Plaquemine honoring Milano, originally of Donaldsonville, in June. Friends and family expressed their appreciation of his service and dedication to the church parish and Plaquemine community.

"He is a marvelous person very dedicated to his work," Gwendolyn Gum said. "He was here 11 years. I guess you can say we treated him like family.

"It is like bittersweet. We are sorry to lose him as our pastor but we have opened our arms to the new pastor and wish them both the best."