Roberts Cove HeritageCONNECT!
“He is responsible for nurturing the dream of reuniting the people of the Cove with their heritage and their
roots. His personal search for relatives led to the reunions and special celebrations that was the genesis for Germanfest!”
+Special Commendation for the First Germanfest 1995 dedicated to Reverend Charles Zaunbrecher!
1) ‘Germanfest’ in Roberts Cove, Louisiana
The First Full Weekend in October of Every Year!
2) ‘Germanfest Folk Singers!’
3) ‘German Heritage Museum’ ~ Heritage Workshop!’
4) ‘St. Leo IV Church Tour from the Pew!’
5) ‘So! You Want To Organize a Family Reunion!’
Letters of Profound Gratitude:
‘Germanfest Folk Singers’: 2010, 2017
‘Germanfest Association’: 1995, 2003, 2009, 2019
5 October 2010
Dear Ones ~ Germanfest Folk Singers and Musicians!
What glorious and lovely days indeed! Thank you for your heart, voice, being and soul in the two performances during Germanfest 2010!! The ancestors were rewarded for delivering your Novena straight to The Father Himself…they heard your singing at the top of your voices all the way to heaven! It was beautiful, exuberant, full, lively, on key and in rhythm! You should be especially proud of yourselves. And, you held your books up and never stopped smiling and enjoying the words you were praying forward for all…we are truly the Body of Christ making joyful sounds unto the Lord! You evidenced that this weekend past!
I appreciate Josie and Rusty’s work in organizing all for all! It is an annual pilgrimage toward the first and subsequent rehearsals plus the performances.
Renee and I visited with Joseph and Anna Kormesser after our last Sunday rehearsal. They were in fine spirits and were praying for us as we pray for them. I sang the ‘Benediction Song’ to the tune of Edelweiss and, well, his face was angelic as he is Austrian you know!!
It was wonderful seeing Blaise and Bernardine Leonards in the audience right up front and center singing and smiling and weeping with joy. We pray them forward appreciating their years of membership and heart for all things of their beloved Cove. Vincent Zaunbrecher, you gave your all for our So Ein Tag with ne’er a blink but steady as she goes!! Now we sing songs of prayer for them and all who need our one-voice-supplications as they face medical challenges known and unknown.
Thank you Simone and musicians for your fine rhythm and smiles! You fill us out albeit in a tight space! Simone, thank God your hand is being seen by an orthopedic surgeon and pray all will go well before, during and post-surgery Tuesday 26 October. You were beaming as you enjoyed your ‘family’ while holding us in rhythmic focus.
I continue to direct through the night in my sleep as I loved every minute …and, love each
of you my Greater Family! Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and our precious Roberts Cove Germanfest 2010.
Lead, Kindly Light!
Anna ‘Bernadette’ Monlezun-Pontón, Director, Germanfest Folk Singers
Daughter of Anna 'Gertrude' Hensgens-Monlezun who loved her Germanfest Folk Singers!!
Dear Ones, 24 October 2017
For Germanfest performances 2017 every one of you sang and swayed and smiled to the songs of our ancestors and you did it beautifully, joyfully and together!!
The 'tormentas' of wind, rain, floods and heat (and a lot of it!) could not keep us and hundreds more from gathering under the Big Tent for the celebration of Holy Mass as well as our two performances.
Wolf Kayser, piano accordion player, was so happy and gracious to lean forward and help us doing a wonderful job while Simone Dubois smiled from the audience so pleased and proud of each one of you who exhibited a happy and full sound!
In gratefulness to you and for you I have requested of dear Marietta Leonards-Sikat to send out this mailing which includes the Germanfest Homily 2017 of +Bishop Glen John Provost so eloquently penned and proclaimed; he is pleased to share it with you.
Danke Schoen! Thank you! Merci Beaucoup! Mil Gracias!
May The Lord, mighty Lord, bless and keep you forever granting you perfect peace in every endeavor!
Lead, Kindly Light!
Bernadette M. Pontón, Director ~ Roberts Cove Germanfest Folk Singers
27th Sunday Year A 2017 German Fest Roberts Cove
“When vintage time drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce.” Matthew 21:34
“Over a hundred years ago, settlers from Germany came to this area to set up their farms, begin their families, render the land productive, and carry on their traditions. They battled pestilence, crop failures, inclement weather, humidity, heat, mosquitoes, and a wide variety of setbacks which constitute the semi-tropical environment of Southwest Louisiana. As more than one person from Roberts Cove has shared with me over the years, can we imagine the shock of a German coming from the relatively temperate climate of the Rhineland to the relentlessly hot, muggy and disease infested marshes of Louisiana? Indeed, it must have given them pause. I remember my old housekeeper, Clara, telling me that her mother would often say that she would love to get her hands around the neck of the person who had sold them the property for their farm!
Of course, that said, the Germans did more than just make a good show of it all. They prospered. Through hard work and an uncompromising faith—we must not forget that element—they succeeded.
In the Gospel of today, the landowner wants the produce of his vineyard. He sends out servants to get what is owed him from the tenants. The tenants are resistant. They abuse the servants, even beating and killing them. The landowner finally sends his son. The tenants are delighted. They think in killing the heir to the property they will somehow have a right to it. But the landowner returns to get justice and leases out the land to someone else who “will produce its fruit” (Matthew 21:43) (1).
Clearly the parable is intended as a warning. The kingdom of God is vineyard. It is given first to those who will claim it as their own and neglect to give God what is His due. They will even kill His only Son. God in turn gives the inheritance to others who will give God what belongs to Him.
The faith, the Catholic faith, which the Germans of Roberts Cove so steadfastly preserved, is as much their inheritance as is the land on which they live. The faith is what has helped to make them who they are. That faith has supported them in the most challenging of times. And this faith is a firm belief that God has redeemed the world through the sacrifice of His Son. That sacrifice brought new life, because the death in that sacrifice was not a permanent death but one that led to Resurrection.
I think it is that tenacious and intrepid faith that sustained the Germans of 1880 and sustains them still. It cannot be lost. It should be prized, protected and proclaimed as the treasure in the field that having been found brings the treasure hunter to sell all he has to purchase the land. It is the sort of faith that turns the heaviest of setbacks into something new and redemptive. With faith any obstacle can be surmounted and any disappointment transformed into victory. In the words of the psalmist, “Those who sow in tears will reap with cries of joy” (Psalm 126:5) (2). That is the song of the new tenants. That is the refrain of Roberts Cove.”
ROBERTS COVE GERMANFEST ASSOCIATION
3 October 1995
Dear Family-Team-Support-Members of Germanfest 1995,
Cheers, Kudos, Congratulations and Danke!! What a successful first! That you for precious time spent on sacred ground celebrating our ancestral heritage.
I am so proud of the Team Support Members who gave their all in thousands of hours of love put into hard work. And the Fathers smiled on you for the rains went elsewhere not to dampen your cheerful hearts. It was the most organized, efficient, beautiful, delicious and joyful celebration that we have attended wherever we have lived!! And we have enjoyed many!
The anticipation began to build when we were detoured from going the ‘old way’ and followed the many cars to a wonderful huge field; I seriously looked for a hay wagon for the commute to the big white tent! The ‘forever view’ to me were the red balloons on the graves across from the church which signaled my heart that I was on holy ground of those who have gone before and that all was well. The mural-cut-outs were a pure delight, the ribboned rice sheaves and costumed-smiling attendants, the pilgrimage chapel standing as a sentinel by the old oak tree was a wonderful sight to behold, all with polka music wafting the open air! The folklore hall was my favorite. I felt such pride upon entering the beautifully decorated space with my thirteen year old son and seeing all the photos, my grandparents included, the exact one which hangs in his room. Boy, was he impressed!
The sense of pride is deep and steady; it always has been for my mother, Anna Gertrude Hensgens-Monlezun has always shared ‘the stories’ of her beloved Roberts Cove days with her family, relatives and friends. To share such a day with my husband and son was truly gratifying for the circle comes full and the story lives on.
Thank you for your great gift!
Lead, Kindly Light!
Hector, Antoine and Anna Bernadette Monlezun-Pontón
This letter was written to the Germanfest Association the day after Germanfest, my first since 1999, the year my mother was diagnosed with cancer. The chalice used at Mass belonged to our founder Father Peter Leonard Thevis and the Thevis Family served at the altar.
October 6, 2003
Roberts Cove Association
Danke! Danke! Germanfest 2003 was gloriously culminated on sacred ground for reverencing family that have gone before, that live today and those who will come
after us!The Celebrant hit the nail on the head when he thanked all those present for their Catholic faith and, in that it seemed 99.9% of Mass participants received Holy Communion, it is a
glorious gift to be embraced, living this faith of our fathers and mothers! As the meaningful chalice was raised and the ‘Thevis’ family served at the altar, I was overwhelmed by The Father’s
love for us by covenant of Word and Eucharist and that Roberts Cove is a manifestation of our ancestors covenant with us by their sacrifice, love through faith, family and
Danke for the organization and commitment to the plan year after year all the year long in the spirit so admired. We are our ancestors, we carry the blood through our namesake and that is a continual source of pride and a sense of humble duty as a continuum code for living. Germanfest is a manifestation, as families the world over, gather to celebrate faith, family and harvest; life-giving sustenance for our soul and body which constitutes and is the fulfillment of the Body of Christ on earth, this side of heaven!
May our families who have gone before continue to light our path as we reverence them by good example, family bonds that can never be broken, faith lived by study and good example.
May Clara Habetz, as she sets aim on her ninetieth birthday in 2004, be blessed with the knowledge that her life’s work with adult and child are perpetuated through all good works of faith, hope but most of all, love!
Lead, Kindly Light! In appreciation,
Anna ‘Bernadette’ Monlezun-Pontón, eldest daughter of Lee Joseph, Sr. and Anna Gertrude Hensgens-Monlezun
12 October 2009
Thank you! Danke! Mil Gracias! Merci Beaucoup!
Germanfest 2009 was an experience like no other. Thank you for the opportunity to present in the Folklore Tent a “Family Heritage Sequence: To Gather! Preserve! Make Relevant! Sustain!” “To the south is our Benediction Chapel under the ancient oaks where in 1980 6,000 descendants of the 41 original German immigrants knelt in humble gratitude to our Lord of all continents. Behind me to the west is St. Leo IV church built by our ancestors on sound faith as our place of worship, across to the north is our beloved cemetery where our loved ones are resting and to the east is our very special German Heritage Museum where we find the connections to all we love and hold dear! Here like arms around us we are encircled by Our Father and our people; we are home!” This was just my opening statement!!
I look forward every year to building toward this grand festival of heritage, faith, family and the dignity of work! It has become the highlight of my year.
Thank you Rev. Fr. Keith Bordelon , Mr. President, Board, Directors, Coordinators, Volunteers/Families and Patrons for the thousands of myriad details that are tended as well as year round planning with commitment and zeal for we are our ancestors and they would be extremely proud of each and every one of you! I am.
Lead, Kindly Light!
Anna ‘Bernadette’ Monlezun-Pontón
House of Hensgens/Reiners!
October 2019 ~ printed in the Germanfest Newsletter
SING IT OUT!
'Germanfest Folk Singers' of Roberts Cove, LA sing from the heart in grateful remembrance of songs learned at the family table keeping time with utensils, around the flag pole with hand over heart and in church where we learned to genuflect!
We appreciate the opportunity to sing year after year never taking this gift on the sacred ground of St. Leo IV's for granted and look forward all the years long to that first August rehearsal beginning another year!
Thank you 'Germanfest Association' for your support in every way and to the crowds under the Big Tent for two days of waving and singing and swaying, smiling and applauding from the heart.
We love you and thank God for the freedom to celebrate in dedication and remembrance to those who have gone before, who are with us and who will come after us.
Danke Schon! Mil gracias! Merci beaucoup! Thank you!
Lead, Kindly Light!
Bernadette Monlezun-Ponton, A Grateful Director
“Each of us has been warmed by fires we did not build.
Each of us has been nourished by wells we did not dig!” Author Unknown