St. Amant community remembers Faith and Patience
St. Amant - One thing that you’ve got to love about Ascension Parish is how often the community as a whole comes together in times of need. Accidents happen, hurricanes hit, flooding occurs, and all you see are friends, neighbors and complete strangers standing side by side ready to assist. What sometimes is forgotten is how beautiful the parish can be when it comes to the art of remembering. The community doesn’t simply don’t forget the bad things. It recognizes them and ban together. That’s the Ascension way.
One such instance occurred on Saturday, Feb. 21, when the St. Amant Volunteer Fire Department welcomed the community to Black Bayou at noon to take part in a memorial of remembrance for two little girls who lost their lives three years ago in a tragic accident, Patience Lobell and Faith Catislaw. Their mother, Raelyn Enclade, was driving on a dark night when her car veered into the waters of Black Bayou. Frantically searching, both Enclade and emergency responders tried to get to her children, but unfortunately they were lost to the murky depths of the water. Fortunately Enclade was saved, along with two other child passengers, Kameron Jara and Alexis Welch.
For the three years since the accident, members of the St. Amant Volunteer Fire Department have joined to stand together and pray along with St. Amant Volunteer Fire Department Chaplain Ken Spivey. They throw flowers into the dark water and think back upon that tragic night.
“It was an awful time for everyone,” St. Amant Volunteer Fire Chief James LeBlanc said. “To try and save them all was our first priority, but realizing we couldn’t was a hard pill to swallow. We come here every year and remember those beautiful angels and think back upon how hard we fought to do all we could that night. The parish has continued to feel sadness, and we need to never forget their smiling faces.”
Enclade was beyond moved by the gesture; one she feels keeps her little girls alive in the hearts of so many.
“They were beautiful children and wonderful daughters,” Enclade said. “I can never truly explain how many people were there for me at the time, but to know how many still support my girls and myself after three years has past is beyond beautiful. They need to be remembered. They cannot be forgotten, as if we do that, we lose sight of who they could have become. And I believe they would have impacted this community and made me very proud.”
March 4 has been set aside as Faith and Patience Day in the parish. Enclade invites everyone to come and join her for a memorial balloon release at the cemetery where her two daughters are now laid to rest at Mt. Zion. The time is to be determined, but Enclade feels that the balloon release of 2012 was such an incredible moment for her recovery, that she wants to recreate that moment.
“I’ll release the details soon,” Enclade said, “but want the parish to save the date and join me as we send our love far into the heavens. Faith and patience equals hope. My hope is they know we still care and we will never forget.”