Benny Cenac Jr Provides Scholarship

Benny Cenac Jr, Houma Philanthropist, recently made  a donation that will make the 2017-2018 school year at Vandebilt Catholic High the first of many for the Arlen “Benny” Cenac, Jr. Sacred Heart Scholarship Fund. The donation of $50,000 per year is directly provided from Arlen “Benny” Cenac, Jr. and his foundation, The A.B. Cenac Jr. Foundation.

The Sacred Heart scholarship is inspired by Fr. Andre Coindre who established schools for the poor children in Lyon, France. He later founded the Brothers of the Sacred Heart to run the schools he began. Fr. Coindre showed concern for the dilemma of orphaned children by making available to them the education that their families could not give them as well as provide them with a trade. The goal of the Sacred Heart Scholarship is to offer quality Catholic education to children from families that might otherwise not be financially able to afford one. Benny Cenac Jr,  Houma Philanthropist and CEO of Cenac Marine Services, has long been a supporter of local education.  He believes investing in the education now, means a brighter future for our area in the future.

The amount of $50,000 will be dedicated towards tuition assistance of children from families in financial need. The awards will range from $1,000 to the total cost of tuition per year and may extend multiple years while a student is enrolled at Vandebilt Catholic High. The criteria for being eligible for this grant will be based on need, desire, recommendation and selection.

With this generous contribution, students are already being rewarded with the ability to receive or continue receiving their Catholic High School education. Tears of joy along with heartfelt thank you cards have been received by the foundation from the families of these young men and women. For one reason or another, these households are unable to afford to send their children to Vandebilt Catholic High but through Mr. Cenac’s gracious impact he has helped nine families change their lives forever, just this year. We look forward to seeing the impression this scholarship fund has in the years to come. “The influence of a great education is something that cannot be replaced. I want to make sure I am doing my part in helping these young adults achieve greatness along with building strong core values of integrity and excellence,” said Benny Cenac Jr, Houma Businessman and supporter of local education efforts.

Fr. Andre Coindre

Father Andre Coindre, founder of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, was born in Lyon, France, in 1787. Devoting his life to the restoration of the Church following the Reign of Terror at the end of the French Revolution, his chief mission became the moral, intellectual, and religious development of young orphan boys left in distress by the consequent disintegration of family life.

Father Coindre had envisioned a community of brothers trained to work with the poor through the establishment of schools; in 1821 that dream became a reality with the formation of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart. After Father Coindre’s death in 1826 and at the end of Father Francis Coindre’s administration, Brother Polycarp, the first Brother Superior General, assumed leadership of the struggling community. His tenure was marked by a period of tremendous growth. By the time of his death in 1859, the Institute had grown to over 400 Brothers in 70 schools.

In January of 1847 at the request of Bishop Portier, five missionary Brothers of the Sacred Heart arrived in Mobile, Alabama, to begin charitable and educational work. With a presence in the United States, the congregation began its transformation into a worldwide institute, spreading throughout North America in the South, New York and New England areas and into Canada.

The Brothers live by their Sacred Rule of Life #13:  To be a member of the institute today is to be believe in God’s love, to live it, and to spread it. It is to contribute as religious educators to the evangelization of the world particularly through the education of youth.

The Brothers of the Heart of Jesus will also frequently remember these words of Jesus Christ: “I have come to bring fire to the earth. How I wish it were blazing already.”

For more information on the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, click here.  For more information on Benny Cenac Jr, Houma Philanthropist, and his work, click here.