“She was service personified,” Billie Matthews said about her friend and former Diocesan Stewardship Council member Fran Landry.
Landry was honored posthumously last August with the 2015 Diocesan Stewardship Council Award for an entire lifetime of exceptional Stewardship.
In 2001, Landry, along with five others, helped establish the first Diocesan Stewardship Council under the direction of another longtime friend, the late Msgr. Richard DeStefano, who was then the director of the newly reorganized diocesan Stewardship Office.
The group, armed with the U.S. Bishops’ Pastoral Letter on Stewardship and Scripture, began the work of catechizing – first themselves – and then the rest of the diocese on the scriptural and church teaching of Stewardship.
They did that by creating the first diocesan Stewardship conferences where Landry played a lead role. She not only created and gave presentations, but also made the coffee and cleaned up the kitchen.
“She was a moving power of that event. She worked on the program and decorations. She worked with the council on the agenda,” Matthews said.
Landry was so enthusiastic about the conferences that she would invite everyone to a party at her home after the event.
“They were always so upbeat and inspiring,” Matthews said of the post conference gatherings. “You were so fired up that you could not wait to get started working on the next conference.”
Landry served on the Diocesan Council for many years before moving on to other Stewardship efforts – like Catholic Charities’ annual Breakfast with the Bishop and the St. Joseph Altar at St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica.
Landry had a great love for her parish and was a charter member of St. Jude Thaddeus in Beaumont where she was involved in the parish’s formation.
“She was very active in the development of the chapel, education building and the Family Life Center,” said her husband Gene Landry.
In the parish’s early years, she was a member of its Pastoral Council. In that capacity, she helped establish the religious education program and the Mother’s Day Out program.
Landry was also a long-time member of the Ladies of Jude and a member of one of its sewing groups.
Landry’s work for that group is displayed in St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica’s Blessed Sacrament Chapel as one of its 14 kneeling pillows.
Landry passed away in January 2015, but her Stewardship legacy – like the stitched St. Bartholomew pillow she created for the Basilica – remains.