This is an article about my life that I wrote for the Lake Charles Serra Club:
Respectively for the Serra Newsletter: I’m Trey Ange of Lake Charles, Louisiana studying at St. Joseph Seminary College in St. Benedict, Louisiana and I was asked to share a bit about my life and how I got here.
I was baptized at Our Lady of Good Counsel in 1983 and as a child, I looked up to my Paw Paw, Deacon Garrett Caraway, at St. John Bosco in Westlake. Growing up as the oldest of eight, I helped my parents raise a lot of kids in a family of ten. We are very close with our extended family, a large Catholic populace in the Lake Charles area. I have always loved the culture, food, music, dancing, people and spirit of the South Louisiana area, which is unique and unmatched to many places around the world.
My parents homeschooled me and my siblings, until my eighth grade year when I attended St. Margaret’s Catholic School and then St. Louis Catholic High in south Lake Charles. I loved every minute of my Catholic education and clearly identified myself as a Catholic. In college, I grew to love my faith even more and became closer to Christ through the Newman Club near McNeese State University, back at Our Lady of Good Counsel parish. It was a time of growth for me, with guidance from Father Alan, Deacon Viau and Sister Shirley. It was there I realized that I could never leave the faith, or I would be completely lost.
This was helpful knowledge, when I graduated from McNeese State in 2006 and moved to Austin, TX. I was there to pursue film business, but I soon found out that my selfish ambitions were just driving me hard against the grain and down the wrong path. I was all alone in the big city and I had no one to cling to but God – and He did not let me down. I gave my life to The Lord and asked Him to take it and do what He wanted with it. At the time, I did not know what else to do with my life, so I thought that I would enter the seminary. I tried to look at entering for the Diocese of Austin, but I was not at peace with it. I thought God was telling me “No” but He was actually saying, “Not yet.” So, I continued to date women and form friendships in the fast-paced city.
Eventually, I accepted a job in March 2007 as Project Coordinator at the Diocese of Austin and worked there for four years. I also volunteered my time for Christ Renews His Parish retreats and mostly, the Catholic 20-somethings Ministry. Alongside many great friends who were my age, we supported and challenged each other, which was crucial to my journey. My life was put on the fast track in Austin, but I buckled up for a momentous ride that would take me even further into my faith and venture into a deeper love for the Catholic Church.
In the summer of 2010, I visited Lake Charles for the Fourth of July weekend. I showed up to Saturday afternoon confession and Mass at Our Lady of Good Counsel, remembering my times there at the Catholic Student Center. I felt a connection to my roots, a place of belonging. I knew where I came from, where I belonged and that God was calling me. During that mass, the gentle tug that I felt on my heart changed how I looked at my life. It helped me to see that I was being called to return home to Lake Charles and apply for the seminary.
My parents and entire family were overjoyed after I returned home in April 2011. I visited Rome and the beautiful, holy Vatican City during the summer with my cousin Fr. Bubba May, and a large Ange crew. Mama Mia and Papa Sam Ange wanted us to see Sicily and Italy, to discover and understand more about our Sicilian roots and heritage.
The community has welcomed me and given me much support and prayers. Thank you, Serrans for all you do to help our journey. I am blessed to be with you and the entire faithful of the Diocese of Lake Charles, including St. Paul’s Community in Elton, where my first summer assignment encouraged my call.
Now I’m studying The Church and the priesthood at St. Joseph Seminary, and I have developed a great respect and admiration for those who travel to another Diocese away from their original home, doing so with a missionary spirit. God has called us to serve Him in many different ways, but His Church is everywhere. Whether you are in Texas or Louisiana, at Rome or at home – Mother Church is here with open arms.