With the election of Pope Francis as the 266th Successor of Saint Peter, all eyes are joyously turned towards Rome as the world awaits his installation. Within New Orleans, there is a long list of persons, many of whom from old Creole Catholic families who over the decades have been recognized by the Holy Fathers for their service to the Church and to their communities.
Pictured above is the late Mr. Haidel John Christophe, President of the People’s Industrial Life Insurance Company and active civic and church worker, who in 1954 was made a Knight of the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great. He is shown receiving the decoration from Archbishop Francis J. Rummel. Also receiving that great honor in 1954 was Mr. Numa Joseph Rousseve, K.S.G.
The following is a list of some other New Orleanians whose work has merited recognition from the Holy See.
Knights of Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great:
Haidel John Christophe, K.S.G.; Carl Victor Duvigneaud, K.S.G.; Clarence J. Jupiter, K.S.G.; Victor Hayes Labat, K.S.G.; Numa Joseph Rousseve, K.S.G.; Norey J. Smith, Jr., K.S.G.; and W. Charles Keyes, Jr., K.S.G.
Knights of the Holy Sepulchere
Sidney H. Cates, III
Knights of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta:
W. Charles Keyes, Jr., K.M.
Recipients of the Medal Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice:
Mrs. Sophie Watts Aramburo, Miss Iona E. Berteaux, Victor H. Labat, Mrs. Florence Woodfork Lee, Mrs. Thelma Perrault Lombard, Clarence P. Thomas, Dr. Elliott C. Willard, Charles C. Smith, Frank Bivens, Sr.
Source: Photograph in possession of author.