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Ascension of Our Lord pastor retires

LAPLACE — Fr. Walter J. Austin celebrates his retirement upon his 40th Year of Ordination.  He was ordained on May 16, 1981 as an Archdiocese of New Orleans priest. He leaves after 15 years with Ascension of Our Lord Catholic Church parish in LaPlace and is remembered with fondness as a great homilist who will always be a part of ‘our story’.

Rev. Walter Austin was born in New Orleans in 1950 and raised in Harahan. He is the oldest of three siblings, having both a younger brother and sister. His father and mother are deceased. Father Walter’s education includes St. Rita Elementary School, St. John Prep High School Seminary, St. Joseph Seminary College (where he received a BA in history) and Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans (where he received a master’s in divinity).

Professionally, he has served at St. Francis deSales New Orleans as a Deacon, St. Joan of Arc in LaPlace and St. Clement of Rome in Metairie as Parochial Vicar, and Pastor at Sts. Peter and Paul in New Orleans, Prince of Peace in Chalmette, and Our Lady of the Lake in Mandeville. In 2006, he was assigned to Ascension of Our Lord Church.

Austin retired as the State Chaplain for the LA National Guard in 2010. His part-time ministries have included ANO Dean of St. John-St. Charles Deanery 2013-2019, Chaplain at St. Charles Catholic High School in LaPlace, Mount Carmel Academy in New Orleans and Cabrini High School in New Orleans. He was known as Colonel Walter J. Austin in the United States Army during his military career from 1989 to 2010. He served faithfully and honorable for this country both in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom and during Hurricane Katrina in the New Orleans Superdome. He received numerous awards and commendations which include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Army Service ribbon, LA War Cross, Louisiana Emergency Service Ribbon and the Order of St. Barbara.  He will retire as a resident in New Orleans.