Two weeks ago, the Rev. Roy Bourgeois made a quick stop to a Columbus post office before driving seven hours to his childhood home in Lutcher, La.
He was dropping off a letter bound for Vatican City.
Because of the contents of that letter, Bourgeois, a Catholic priest in the Maryknoll Order for 36 years, was fearful he was about to break the heart of his 95-year-old father, a lifelong Catholic who attends Mass every day.
Bourgeois, because of his support of the ordination of women priests, has been told by the Vatican that he faces excommunication this month. In his response to the church, Bourgeois said he has remained firm.
Roy was the only Bourgeois child to leave Lutcher, which is 35 miles west of New Orleans. The reckoning came in the living room, where he sat with his father, two sisters and brother.
Bourgeois, almost 70, produced a copy of the letter he mailed to the church.
He asked his family to read it carefully, then walked out of the room.
When the reverend was called back, his sister Ann was the first to respond.
"She simply said, Daddy, how do you feel about this?" Bourgeois recalled.
Roy Bourgeois Sr. cried.
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