Arthur Avenue is my ancestral home of origin; etched in a support beam in the attic is 1904 the year this original center structure was built. My father carried my mother over the threshold in Lake Arthur, LA on the day of their Sacrament of Matrimony, August 13, 1941! He was twenty-four and she was nineteen years of age. Theirs was a continual presence in this home for 59 years. Ten children were born under her roof and eight were raised to young adulthood. The home has enveloped joy, music of all sorts and liturgical seasons, family visits, sleeping children, watermelon and homemade ice cream under the pecan tree, meals galore, first dates, Santa Claus/Easter Bunny, visitors of all kinds, shapes, color and nationalities, home Masses, birthdays, work, homework, tears, bridal and baby showers, farewells and profound sorrow!
She is now co-owned by my eldest and youngest brothers to whom I am eternally grateful. They invited me to be their caretaker which was a wise move on their part for I love them and her in that order! They know part of my heart is there, it never really left. We ‘Trinitarian Three’ work well together for they are like my father, a good and decent businessman whose word was his oath! These brothers are gentle, generous and witty! And, when they say they are going to do something, they do it! Therefore the home stays in pristine condition ready to receive all who make their way to her back door! She host just one person beautifully or a cast of thousands!
Enjoy ‘Arthur Avenue’ for it is my pure joy to remember, write, teach and pray all forward!’
Anna ‘Bernadette’ Monlezun-Pontón, fourth child of ten children, eldest of four daughters
“The Business and Domestic Collection of
Lee Joseph and Anna ‘Gertrude’ Hensgens-Monlezun”
is protected and maintained in stewardship by
Lee Joseph Jr. and Dominique Joseph Monlezun, LLC and Anna ‘Bernadette’ Monlezun-Pontón who curates and elucidates…2002 to present date!
The home is ordered, maintained, arranged, contents are categorized into Binders, photos and verbiage scanned into a data base and taught as a “Heritage Studies Series:
A Journal ~ “Property of Mr. and Mrs. Lee Joseph Monlezun, Sr.”
Lake Arthur, LA
“God Bless Our Home!”
‘The Baby Book!’
Who had the mumps! Who had the measles and when!!
The story begins here, the home altar, Reiners’ custom table with twelve chairs and the Blue Nook!
‘The Living Room!’
Paternal Monlezun/Peterson/Broussard/Miller lineages and vintage furniture crafter by the ancestors
‘The Girl’s Room!’
Maternal Hensgens/Tellers/ Reiners/Knoben lineages, stained glass window story culminating in St. Louis !
First home of parents 1941, The Hat Room, Alvin Joseph's Special Collection, Lake Arthur/Louisiana Special Collection
‘The Front Porch Room!’
Daddy’s artifacts of businesses, chairs from the picture show and Grandpa Antoine Monlezun’s wooden crosses and tools
‘The Original Bedroom!’
Correspondence Binders to parents 1936 to 2000, circle of family photographs, parents’ first rosaries and prayer books
‘The Original Facility with Vintage Clothing!’
‘The Back Room!’
Generations of Photographs, Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church Parish and Catholic School Education Collection
“EVENTS ON ARTHUR AVENUE ALL THE YEARS LONG”
ü Silent Retreats!
ü Quiet Days for ‘Silent Retreat Alums’ as Requested!
ü Arthur Avenue Heritage Tours!
ü “Place Based Heritage Education Connecting Classrooms and Communities”
4th and 5th Graders in Acadia and Vermilion Civil Parishes!
ü Traditional Extended Family Christmas Gathering!
ü Greater Family Reunions and Home Masses!
ü Homecoming Fiestas, Class Reunions and Alumni Gathering Place!
ü Weekly visit to ‘Tah-Tah’ and Retreat! Examples of Time Well Spent Over the Years!
§ The first three years after Mom’s death in 2000 I drove solo to Lake Arthur to spend mourning time in the home cleaning and making some semblance of order.
§ Then the good God sends my sister Constance Victoria to work as a Family Nurse Practitioner at the Lake Arthur Health Clinic and we ride together.
§ Commencing April 2006 Renee A. Reina, my paternal cousin, joins me on Arthur Avenue to assist in the joy and upkeep of the home for her family lost two family homes of origin in Hurricane Rita. She knows what it is to lose those precious dwellings overnight. Once a week we depart Lake Charles at 5:30 a.m., drive straight to St. Anthony Cemetery in Lake Arthur to pray at the family graves as the sun rises and it is so very peaceful (and check that the flowers/statues are straight up in the vases rotating Spring and Christmas!). Then on to 6:30 a.m. Mass among the dear hearts and gentle, faithful people of my youth. A very slow ride around the lake is a perfect post-Mass ritual watching the light dance over the Mermentau River, a slow drag down main street and home! Ah, ritual!
Proceed to: check all things electric, faucets, walk around and inspect indoors and out, water indoor plants, turn on all the lamps and watch her shine. We also snip flowers, pull weeds, sweep, pick-up along the fence, hose everything down including the Blessed Mother statue and swing with a strong cup of Italian coffee!
We read, think and journal to Gregorian Chant! I sometimes move among the rooms as each has a different view in the home and outside which connotes different memories. We hear the ringing of the church bells for The Angelus at noon and Vespers at 6:00 p.m. Now, that is special; this ancient ritual feeds my monastic spirituality like nothing else has, to date! We care for and pick the fruit right off the trees and nothing taste so delicious as each one when just ripe… I am filled with such warm recollections in my heart, thoughts of gratefulness and perfect contentment…
I love this, all of it, all the blessed days and years long!! God of our ancestors, help us cling to You!
Arthur Avenue Ancestral Home of Origin;
Jefferson Davis Parish;
United States of America;
Continent of North America;
The Solar System;
The Mind of God
(adapted from ‘Our Town’ by Thorton Wilder)
Lake Charles Diocesan Catholic Television Interviews Highlighting
“The Spirituality and Work of Heritage ~ Revencing Those Who Have Gone Before!”
Events in the Home and Room by Room
www.lcdiocese.org click Resources click ‘Glad Tidings’ click ‘Lead, Kindly Light’:
11 July 2010, 12 September 2010, 10 November 2013, 09 August 2015, 13 September 2015