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A Mass of Christian requiem for the Rev. Michael J. Barras, age 76, will be celebrated at 2 p.m. on Friday, July 12, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Lake Charles, at the corner of Bilbo and Kirby Streets. The Rev. Glen John Provost, Bishop of Lake Charles, will preside and the Rev. Whitney Miller will deliver the homily. Father Barras, a retired priest of the Diocese of Lake Charles, died on Sunday, July 7.

Christian funeral mass for Father Barras on Friday
Pastor Michael Barras

The viewing will be Friday, July 12th from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Johnson Funeral Home. A rosary will be recited in the funeral home chapel at 1:00 p.m. prior to the procession to the cathedral. Burial will follow at Highland Memory Gardens, 6325 Common Street.

Born on October 20, 1947, in Lake Charles to Emile Mitchell Barras, Sr. and Therese Celine Pellerin Barras, he attended Immaculate Conception Catholic School and Landry Memorial High School before attending Immaculata Seminary in Lafayette in 1961. He attended St. Meinrad College in St. Meinrad, Indiana, where he earned a BA in Classical Studies in 1969. He received his theological training at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, where he graduated with a Master of Divinity in 1973.

Bishop Gerard Frey, Bishop of Lafayette, ordained Father Barras on May 19, 1973, at St. John the Evangelist Cathedral in Lafayette.

He celebrated his first Mass on May 20, 1973, at St. Martin Catholic Church in St. Martinville and on May 27, 1973, at his home parish of Immaculate Conception in Lake Charles.

During his priestly ministry, he has served as assistant pastor at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church in St. Martinville; Assumption Catholic Church in Franklin; St. Ann Catholic Church in Mamou; Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church in Lake Charles; the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Lake Charles.

He was pastor of St. Paul Catholic Church in Elton, administrator of St. Joseph Catholic Church, also in Elton, and later pastor of St. Joan of Arc in Oberlin.

He was a resident of St. John Bosco Catholic Church in Westlake and chaplain of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital in Sulphur.

During his time as a priest, Father Barras has served on the Clergy Welfare Committee of the Diocese of Lake Charles, as well as the Clergy Advisory Board and the Clergy Continuing Education Committee. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus.

Father Barras is survived by his sister Rita Barras Gayle, nephews Michael McClosky and Byron Gayle, and nieces Jennifer Watson and Amanda Caraway. He was also a “great uncle” to Kerstin McClosky, Jack and Anna Watson, and Abby, Elizabeth, Joseph, Luke, Andrew and Ella Caraway.

Father Barras was a third generation priest after the first bishop of the Diocese of Lafayette, the Rev. Jules B. Jeanmard (b. 1879) and Msgr. Jules A. Jeanmard (b. 1913). Interestingly, there is an age difference of 34 years between the three.

Grant him, Lord, eternal rest and let eternal light shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, by the grace of God, rest in peace. Amen.