Whenever I needed a listening ear, Bishop Fabre was there

    In February 2007, Bishop Shelton Fabre arrived in New Orleans as auxiliary bishop. I was in the process of finishing up my studies at Loyola University and preparing to enter the seminary.
    During the course of my years at Notre Dame, I had the privilege of serving Masses with him, assisting him at confirmations as an emcee and getting to know him through some social interactions.
    More than anything I have appreciated the number of times he made himself available to me to talk about when I had questions about the seminary and even in the very early days of priesthood.
    No matter what the situation Bishop Fabre always had such a calming demeanor. When I would approach him with a question he would pause, take his glasses off to think and then after some thought he would offer some advice.
    Each time we talked it would end with a, “not sure that is what you were looking for, but I hoped it helped.”
    The advice given was always sound and well thought out. I still think back to some of those nuggets that he gave to me and, at times, I find myself sharing the information with others.
    We really grew close through Father Michael Jacques. Bishop Fabre and Father Michael shared a wonderful friendship, and throughout the years they would allow me to join them for dinner or to go to the movies. These occasions always provided me an opportunity to laugh and enjoy their friendship. It also gave me the chance to see the more at-home personality of Bishop Fabre.
    These different interactions showed me what a good, well-rounded person he was but also gave me something to strive toward.
    In his press conference at the chancery he said he hoped people saw “a man who prays and was approachable.” I don’t know what other people will say about him but I can say I think this statement summarizes Bishop Fabre very well.
    Whenever I served as a master of ceremonies for him or even as a deacon assisting him at the altar, you could see the depth of prayer come alive. He has a liturgical style that is fueled only by prayer and a love for the Lord. Yet, he is not a man who has removed himself from being among the people. As a shepherd  he also takes time to get to know those he is leading and help them along on the journey of faith.
    I am so very grateful to God that my time in seminary overlapped with his 6 1/2 years here in New Orleans. Even more I am grateful that he took the time to be a mentor, a father and a counselor to this young seminarian and now priest. I only wish New Orleans would get to keep him, but may God always sustain him as he goes to serve as the chief shepherd of Houma-Thibodaux.
    Bishop Fabre, thank you for your kindness and concern and know that we will pray for you in your transition. May God always be with you through every situation you encounter and always remember those of us you leave behind in prayer.
    Father Daniel Green is parochial vicar at The Visitation of Our Lady Parish in Marrero.

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