Jubilee of the Word Marathon hopes to re-energize community


Crowds of people are gathering at St. Martinville’s Town Square to read the holy bible for 100 consecutive hours. 

The Jubilee of the Word Marathon began as just an idea back in 2017. Leaders believe it’s turning into an annual time of renewal for the community.

The Jubilee of the Word Marathon is taking the word of the bible from the church and pouring it directly into the community. Worshipers from all over are grabbing lawn chairs and a bible to participate in what’s become this new tradition in the city. 

“The bible is something else. Every time you read a little bit of it, you learn something new every time,” said Norman Usie. He’s attended the event since it began three years ago. This year he signed up as a lector, hoping to share the context that can make a difference in someone’s life.

“I think it’s making people realize.. or wakening, to come back to relgion. Come back to church,” he said. From dusk to dawn, over 300 bible readers are taking turns of 20-minute intervals to recite. 

“We need life for our paths. Because of our pride, we want to do things for ourselves. We think we can figure it all out,” said Father Michael Champagne. Since the start of the now- annual marathon, they’ve received overwhelming feedback. It has launched more bible studies and reaching other cities in the state. 

“At Mcneese State University, the Catholic Student Center did their 100 hours. They were inspired by participating last year. So, they borrowed the bible and they did it. Also, in New Orleans on Carrollton Avenue,” he added.  

Champagne believes it’s important to take the church’s teaching beyond the building. Now anyone walking through town square for the next few days can stop an listen to the word of the Holy Bible if they choose. 

The Marathon concludes Sunday, March 10 at 4:30 p.m.

The lectors are from the 121 church parishes of the Diocese of Lafayette, as well as faith leaders from other denominations. A mobile confessional is also available for attendees. 

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