Guests are invited to a visitation at St. Bernadette Catholic Church on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. with a recitation of the Rosary at 7:00 p.m. led by Reverend Gregory Cormier and the Knights of Columbus. Visitation will resume in the church on Wednesday from 8:00 a.m. until the Funeral Mass at 10:00 a.m. Following Mass internment will be in St. John Cemetery in Lafayette.
Before he entered the seminary, he was a certified substance abuse counselor and was very dedicated to helping those who struggled with addictions. This was a compassion he would build upon with Ordination to the Holy Priesthood. He attended seminary at Holy Apostles in Cromwell, Connecticut. He was ordained on June 8, 1996. His assignments as a priest have included: St. Peter’s in New Iberia, St. Ann in Cow Island, Immaculate Conception in Forked Island, Sacred Heart in Pecan Island, St. Augustine in Basile, St. Stephen in Berwick and St. Bernadette in Bayou Vista.
His love for God’s People could be seen in his deep compassion for people and their struggles; his cooking for so many events and fundraisers (we will all miss his spaghetti and delicious cookies); his sewing of blankets for baptisms and other occasions to show how God’s love and mercy surrounds each of us; his love for the Sacrament of Confession so that others could find renewed hope and strength; his love of the Eucharist and the Mass and his desire to have others love the Eucharist; and his love and true devotion for Mary, our Blessed Mother, who he asked to pray for so many of his parishioners and friends. Despite having health issues, for a number of years, he always manifested a fervent love for the Lord as well as a sincere concern for his parishioners. He looked forward to celebrating Masses with his parish community and to improving his health so he could better serve others. In his own acceptance of his health struggles, he inspired others to rely on the omnipotent love and care of God, Our Father.
As he has commended so many souls to Almighty God, we ask God to lovingly accept this son and dedicated priest. As he passed away on the doorway of the Feast of the Good Shepherd, we ask the Divine Shepherd to receive this shepherd into Your Flock.
He was preceded in death by his parents, John J. Rogalla and Marilyn George Leach. He is survived by his brother, Anthony Leach and his wife Cecelia and his niece, Cassie. He is also survived by so many parishioners from all of his parish assignments whom he considered family.
In lieu of flowers, donations for Masses for his repose may be offered as well as donations to St. Bernadette Catholic Church in his memory.
Please continue to keep Father Bill in your thoughts and prayers, Saint John Mary Vianney put this so beautifully: “A good Shepherd, a pastor after God’s heart, is the greatest treasure which the good Lord can grant to a parish, and one of the most precious gifts of divine mercy”-