As members of the Catholic family of faith, the parishioners of Our Lady Queen of Heaven will emulate Christian virtues of faith, hope, and love, by sharing our lived faith in the Spirit of Christ so as to strengthen the quality of life for our families into future generations as we pray, work, suffer and share hope together.
The southward growth of the city of Lake Charles triggered the establishment of Our Lady Queen of Heaven Parish. The industrial growth of Southwest Louisiana following World War II, and the activation of Chennault Air Force Base during the Korean War brought a wave of newcomers to the city. This brought about the need for a new church parish in the southern part of the city.
The Most Rev. Maurice Schexnayder, Bishop of Lafayette, issued a decree in May of 1957 establishing Our Lady Queen of Heaven Parish by dividing the existing St. Margaret Parish.
The Rev. Adrian van Hal, a retired Armed Forces Chaplain, was installed as the founding pastor, with the Rev. Joseph Bourque as an assistant pastor.
The next year a handsome red brick church building was dedicated, to serve the 300 families which made up the young parish.
The area continued its rapid growth, and changes were soon to come. Reverend van Hal was transferred to Opelousas in the fall of 1961, and the new pastor was Msgr. Irving A. DeBlanc, who had just completed a five-year assignment as director of the National Family Life Bureau, which was a part of the establishment of the National Catholic Conference in Washington, D. C.
Msgr. DeBlanc and Rev. Bourque began to plan an ambitious building program to care for the growing population of the parish.
Over the years this building program, supervised by Msgr. DeBlanc and an enthusiastic group of volunteer leaders, produced a physical plant that was to serve almost every aspect of the life of the parishioner.
In 1970 a fund drive produced a total of $390,000 to build a new, post-Vatican II Church on Lake Street, with a seating capacity of 930.
Other facilities soon followed including a 30-acre Catholic cemetery and mausoleum; a parish elementary school and middle school, fully accredited and with a staff of professional teachers, with pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and grades one through eight and a community center with a library, classrooms, exercise rooms, a gymnasium and meeting rooms.
Also, an aquatic center with a Junior Olympic-size swimming pool; a Catholic book store and a retirement center for senior citizens which completed the parish's philosophy of caring for its parishioners' physical and spiritual needs from the cradle to the grave.
Msgr. DeBlanc always credited his parishioners for all the things that were accomplished during his 30-year tenure as pastor.
"Our parishioners have always been ready to volunteer with their ideas, their time and their resources to undertake the things that they felt we should have," Msgr. DeBlanc pointed out more than once. "We have had as many as 600 volunteers who were willing to help," he said.
From the beginning the parish was blessed with a number of active and productive lay organizations which cooperated closely with the clergy and the paid staff. One of the first was Our Lady Queen of Heaven Council 4562 of the Knights of Columbus, chartered in 1958, with B. P. Babineaux as the charter Grand Knight.
Other organizations of importance are Court 1785 Catholic Daughters of the Americas and the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
Msgr. DeBlanc retired as pastor in 1992, and was followed by Msgr. Harry Greig, who had just returned from a three-year Vatican assignment.
Msgr. Greig was selected to become the Rector of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, however, and in July of 1995, the Rev. Milton P. Miller, who had served as an associate Pastor at Our Lady Queen of Heaven for a number of years earlier in his ministry, was named to succeed Msgr. Greig.
Rev. Miller presided over the 40th anniversary celebration of the parish, during which time a statue titled "The Family," by Elton Louviere, was blessed by Bishop Jude Speyrer.
The Rev. Aubrey Guilbeau served as administrator of the parish following the departure of Rev. Miller before the Rev. Msgr. Ronald Groth was named pastor. Effective July 1, 2005, Rev. Msgr. James M. Gaddy was named pastor.
Rev. Charles McMillin was named part-time associate Pastor in August 2003 and full-time in 2005. Rev. John Giles was pastoral associate until July 31, 2004. Fr. MacMillin was assigned to another parish and Fr John Giles passed away in August 2006. Msgr. Gaddy was assisted by Rev. Rommel Tolentino, Associate Pastor, until July 2007 when he was re-assigned. Fr. Nathan Long was appointed associate pastor effective July 1, 2007. He was replaced upon his new assignment in 2011 by Fr. John Huckaby. The Rev. Deacon George K. Carr has been assigned deacon to the parish since 1996.
From the beginning of the parish, education has been given special emphasis. Our Lady Queen of Heaven School, with an enrollment of nearly 700 students, is the largest Catholic school in the Diocese of Lake Charles, and its graduates perform well at St. Louis Catholic High School and other secondary schools.
The religious education program of the parish attracts hundreds of students from area public schools. The Early Childhood Center offers day care for infants from six weeks to four years old.
Prior to October 30, 2002, Our Lady Queen of Heaven operated two missions: Christ the King Mission, with a chapel and other facilities on Gulf Highway, and St. Martin de Porres Mission, also with a chapel and meeting hall, on Elliott Road. On October 30, 2002, a proclamation by Bishop Edward K. Braxton was effected that made these two missions separate parish entities