St. Margaret of Scotland Parish had its beginnings in 1940, when a chapel was built in the vicinity of the present church. The chapel was dedicated to St. Margaret of Scotland, and became a mission of Immaculate Conception Parish.
The Most Reverend Jules B. Jeanmard, Bishop of Lafayette, established St. Margaret of Scotland Parish by decree on July 16, 1945, and set up its boundaries to cover most of the southern part of Lake Charles.
The Rev. George A. Bodin, a native of Franklin, who had been ordained in 1938, and who was currently an Associate Pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish, was appointed as the founding pastor.
An outstanding physical plant was soon in operation. St. Margaret School was founded in 1949, with the Sisters Marinates of the Holy Cross as teachers. The first school year began with an enrollment of 154 students in Grades First, Second, and Third.
In 1951 a new church building was completed at the corner of Enterprise Boulevard and 17th Street. In 1956 two classrooms were added to the school and the playground expanded. Because of post World War II industrial expansion and the reactivation of Chennault Air Force Base, south Lake Charles had grown so rapidly that in 1957 Our Lady Queen of Heaven Parish was formed from the southern portion of St. Margaret Parish.
The Sisters Marinates of the Holy Cross moved into the convent constructed in 1959. In 1964 a Junior High wing was added to the school and renovations began on St. Margaret Church. The sanctuary area was updated to accommodate changes in the liturgy brought about by the Second Vatican Council. This work was completed in 1965.
In 1966 St. Margaret Parish established one of the first Parish Pastoral Councils in the Diocese of Lafayette during the pastorate of Msgr. Michael Benedict.
In 1988-89 the interior of the church was extensively remodeled. The result of which is the beautiful building we worship in today.
Currently ministering to 1800 families, St. Margaret of Scotland Parish is one of the largest parishes in the Diocese of Lake Charles which was formed in 1980. St. Margaret Parish, along with St. Margaret Catholic School, consists of many dedicated volunteers who offer their time, talent, and treasure to form our parish into a vibrant community of faith.
Our annual Calca-Chew Festival is held in the fall and is attended by thousands who enjoy lively Cajun music, delicious food and good fun. It is our major fundraiser and helps to defray expenses incurred throughout the year.
Two organizations are also contributors to the welfare of the parish and its many programs. St. Margaret Knights of Columbus Council 3208 was organized in 1949 with Adam Guillory as the charter Grand Knight, and has compiled a distinguished history. Our Lady of Fatima Court 1506 of the Catholic Daughters of Americas is distinguished in its support of the parish.
Our St. Vincent DePaul Society along with the Oak Park Food Pantry has assisted thousands of the less fortunate in our area.
Over the years the parish has been led by nine pastors:
- 1945 Msgr. George Bodin
- 1961 Rev. Cliff Gaudin
- 1962 Msgr. Michael Benedict
- 1972 Msgr. Fernand Gouaux
- 1974 Msgr. Charles Dubois
- 1983 Msgr. James Gaddy
- 1986 Rev. Henry Mancuso
- 1999 Rev. Aubrey Guilbeau
- 2003 Rev. William Miller