Maurice Schexnayder

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Maurice Schexnayder
Bishop of Lafayette in Louisiana
In office1956–1972
OrdinationApril 12, 1925
ConsecrationFebruary 22, 1951
by Archbishop Amleto Giovanni Cicognani
Personal details
Born(1895-08-13)August 13, 1895
St. John the Baptist Parish
Louisiana, USA
DiedJanuary 23, 1981(1981-01-23) (aged 85)
BuriedCathedral of Saint John the Evangelist in Lafayette, Louisiana
DenominationRoman Catholicism
ParentsAdam and Jeanne Marie (née Dupleix) Schexnayder
EducationSt. Joseph College Seminary
Alma materSt. Mary Seminary

Maurice Schexnayder (August 13, 1895 – January 23, 1981) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Lafayette in Louisiana from 1956 to 1972.


Maurice Schexnayder was born in Wallace, Louisiana, to Adam and Jeanne Marie (née Dupleix) Schexnayder.[1] After attending schools in Wallace and New Orleans, he entered St. Joseph College Seminary near Covington in 1916.[1] He then attended St. Mary Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland, before furthering his studies at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.[2] He was ordained to the priesthood in Rome on April 12, 1925.[3] Following his return to Louisiana, he served as a curate at St. John the Evangelist Church in Plaquemines until 1929, when he became chaplain of the Newman Club at Louisiana State University.[2] He also served as state chaplain of the Knights of Columbus (1932–1944) and pastor of St. Francis de Sales Church in Houma (1946–1950).[2] He was named a Domestic Prelate in 1947.[2]

On December 11, 1950, Schexnayder was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Lafayette and Titular Bishop of Tuscamia by Pope Pius XII.[3] He received his episcopal consecration on February 22, 1951 from Archbishop Amleto Giovanni Cicognani, with Bishops Jules Jeanmard and Louis Caillouet serving as co-consecrators.[3] In addition to his episcopal duties, he served as pastor of St. Michael Church in Crowley.[1] Upon the resignation of Bishop Jeanmard, Schexnayder was named the second Bishop of Lafayette on March 13, 1956.[3] During his tenure, he built a new chancery building, expanded Immaculata Minor Seminary, established thirty-one parishes, and ordained eighty-one priests.[1] In 1961, he established St. Eugene Catholic Church in Grand Chenier in Cameron Parish. One of the newer church parishes in the Diocese of Lake Charles, St. Eugene is one of the most isolated of the thirty-six church parishes in the diocese.[4] Schexnayder attended all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council between 1962 and 1965.

After sixteen years as bishop, Schexnayder retired on November 7, 1972.[3] He died over eight years later, aged 85. He is buried at the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "SCHEXNAYDER, Maurice". Louisiana Historical Association.
  2. ^ a b c d Curtis, Georgina Pell (1961). The American Catholic Who's Who. XIV. Grosse Pointe, Michigan: Walter Romig.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Bishop Maurice Schexnayder".
  4. ^ Truman Stacey of the Diocese of Lake Charles for the Jubilee Year 2000.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Jules Jeanmard
Bishop of Lafayette in Louisiana
Succeeded by
Gerard Louis Frey