Surprising Father Randy, a "Falcon for Life"
Father Randy Cuevas has been the Chaplain at STA for a total of 14 years, so his reassignment to Baton Rouge effective July 1 has hit the Falcon Family rather hard.
"We wanted to do something unexpected," said Principal Jose Becerra. "We wanted to show him in some way how much he has meant to us and what better way than to celebrate Mass together. Father Randy celebrates Mass here at STA with us every week, but we wanted to go to 'his house'."
With some helpful coordination from the office staff at St. Albert the Great Catholic Student Center at Southeastern Louisiana University, the STA student body loaded onto buses for the short trip to SLU for 12:30 daily Mass. "We knew that Father Randy heard confessions before Mass so we had a short window to get into the Church," said Becerra. "And then we waited." Shortly before Mass was to begin, Father Randy came to the door of the confessional, stopped short with a puzzled look on his face and exclaimed "oh no, did I forget something?"
"Father Randy was so happy to see us all there! The look on his face was priceless," said junior Emily Owens. "I was so glad to be a part of surprising him."
Father Randy took it all in stride, laughing as Mass began about what a surprise to see the whole school there, "except for the seniors who have to take exams this week." When Mass ended, he was presented with a plaque featuring a photo of the school, thanking him for his many years of service, guidance and support, and declaring him a "Falcon for Life." He briefly spoke to the students, saying they know where to find him and he will always be there. He also congratulated them on getting out of class for awhile!
"I'm glad we could come together as a school to celebrate all the work that Fr. Randy has done for STA at a Mass, which is the central act of worship for Catholics, and no better place to give thanks," commented sophomore Jacob Deliberto. "Father Randy was a phenomenal Chaplain for our school and he will be missed."