COVINGTON, La. — Monday a beloved Covington priest was remembered for his devotion to his church and service to God. Father Otis Young was brutally murdered in what police believe was a random act one week ago.
Father Young retired in July due to health issues followed from a stroke after serving as the church's pastor for a decade.
His life was remembered while his death was mourned at a packed funeral service at St. Peter Catholic Church Monday.
"He was in many ways one who brought people together and was a great reconciler and for that we give thanks," New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond said.
Archbishop Aymond led the service.
"Jesus cries with us. He doesn't just cry, he cries with us," Archbishop Aymond said before the service.
St. Peter Catholic Church's current pastor, Father Daniel Brouillette, shared that Father Young joined priesthood later in life. He left his career as an accountant in his 40's when he felt called to become a priest.
"You can take the accountant out of the office, but you can't take the accountant out of the man," Father Brouillette said. "He was meticulous and he agonized over making decisions because he wanted to make sure any decision he made was the best decision for his parish."
Many felt the impacts of those decisions. Rosalie Phillips remembers Father Young visiting her when she was hospitalized with a brain bleed.
"He was the first one to come see me and I always remember that," she said.
Father Otis was brutally murdered a week ago along with his Pastoral Associate Ruth Prats, according to Covington police.
Archbishop Aymond encouraged parishioners in mourning to hold onto hope and faith.
"Violence and murder are not the final word. The final word is Jesus. He said to us very clearly that he is the resurrection and life. He said he will prepare a place for us in the Father's kingdom," Archbishop Aymond said.
When he spoke during the funeral service, Father Brouillette held up Father Young's scapular, a garment he wore around his neck everyday as a reminder of his commitment to his faith.
"We all know the matter of Father Otis' death. Need it not be repeated. Nothing was able to be recovered from his body. Nothing except the brown scapular," he said. "Where was the Lord when Otis was suffering that brutal death? The Lord was here. He was here."
Prats' funeral arrangements are set for next weekend. Visitation will take place at St. Peter Catholic Church Friday from 6 – 8 with a funeral mass scheduled for Saturday morning from 9 – 11.
We reached out to Covington police for more information on the scapular that Father Brouillette said was recovered from Father Young’s burned body, but we have not heard back.
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