Beloved priest, Father Mark Beard, dies in car crash near state line

Beloved priest, Father Mark Beard, dies in car accident near state line
Published: Aug. 2, 2023 at 8:12 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 3, 2023 at 11:29 AM CDT
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AMITE, La. (WAFB) - Rev. Mark Beard was killed in a car crash on Wednesday, Aug. 2, according to the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge.

Rev. Beard was the pastor at St. Helena Catholic Church in Amite.

Authorities with the Mississippi Highway Patrol say that the single-car crash happened near the Louisiana-Mississippi border around 1:24 p.m.

Beard was traveling south on Interstate 55 when his vehicle left the roadway and into the median before striking a concrete culvert, causing the vehicle to overturn one mile from the state line.

Bishop Duca asks for prayers for Beard and his family, parishioners, and friends who mourn his loss.

“Father mark and I have actually been friends since we were in kindergarten. Within 15 -20 minutes the word was spreading like wildfire...because he’s so loved. One thing he says in his talks is that we come in on one day and we leave on another and...obviously August 2nd was his day to leave, and we just didn’t get to tell him bye,” said Geri Guarino, one of Father Beard’s life-long best friends.

Father Beard delivered the benediction at both of Gov. John Bel Edwards’s inaugurations and he was the priest of the church in the governor’s home parish of Tangipahoa.

“Even though for the last, almost 8 years now we’ve been in Baton Rouge, he’s been our pastor. And we’ve had a close relationship with him, frequent visits back home to see him but also him coming to baton rouge to spend time with us at the governor’s mansion,” said Governor John Bel Edwards.

It is with profound sadness that we regret to inform you of the passing of our beloved friend and priest, Fr. Mark...

Posted by Saint Helena Catholic Church on Wednesday, August 2, 2023

The Diocese of Baton Rouge released the following details about memorial mass and funeral arrangements for Fr. Mark Beard:

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