Father Greg Daigle receives national award from NCEA

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South
Plaquemine Post South

Father Greg Daigle, pastor of St. John the Evangelist Church and superintendent of St. John Interparochial School, has been named a winner of National Catholic Education Association's "Lead. Learn. Proclaim." Award for 2020.

Father Greg was chosen Clergy Member of the Year for the Diocese of Baton Rouge in October, 2019, and his profile was submitted to the NCEA for further consideration.

His national honor was announced in January, 2020. He formally received his Diocesan award during Catholic Schools Week Mass on Wednesday, January 29, and will be honored at the Lead. Learn. Proclaim. Award dinner during the national NCEA convention in April in Baltimore, Maryland.

Father Greg was ordained in 1993 at St. Joseph Cathedral. He has served as pastor of St. John the Evangelist Church and superintendent of St. John Interparochial School for five years, and previously served as pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Lakeland, as well as in various ministerial capacities at churches in the Baton Rouge area.

He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Notre Dame in 1993 with a Master of Divinity, after obtaining a degree in music from LSU and spending several years as a professional vocalist. He attended Baton Rouge Catholic Schools for elementary and high school; he finished his primary education at St. George and graduated from Catholic High in 1977.

Since coming to Plaquemine, Father Greg has made a positive impact on St. John church and school, as well as the greater community. Father Greg is active in our administrative operations and is a frequent visitor to our campus. He revitalized the music programs at St. John School, and established the annual Epiphany Concert to raise funds for those programs.

In the five years since the first Epiphany Concert, this fundraiser has brought more than $100,000 to the school music program. St. John now has a Children's Choir for elementary school students, a Senior Choir for 12th graders, and the St. John Singers, a choir for high school students.

These choirs perform at school Masses and community events like the Iberville Parish Salute to Veterans.

Father Greg's desire to bring the St. John School community closer with the St. John Church community is another way that he has had a positive impact since coming here. Father Greg regularly celebrates Mass with the student body and encourages more students to become involved in the liturgy, and introduced several new celebrations at school, including a special Mass for the Exultation of the Cross.

St. John School now hosts parish Masses for all holy days of obligation during our school year at our chapel on campus, so parishioners can pray with our students as a Catholic school community.

Likewise, celebrations like our graduation ring blessing ceremony and our Baccalaureate Mass are now held at St. John Church during regular parish Masses so that students can celebrate the milestones with the Church community.

Father Greg recognizes the accomplishments of the students and school at parish Masses throughout the year and invites our alumni, faculty, and representatives to talk about Catholic schools at Masses during Catholic Schools Week. Students have also had more opportunities to perform service for the Church, such as working with parishioners to create the Church's beautiful Christmas nativity scene, which draws visitors from all around.

Contributed by St. John School