Saint Francis de Sales Parish is located on Louisiana Highway 1 at the Rapides-Avoyelles Parish line. The community of Echo dates to the mid 1800s and is located near the banks of the Red River almost twenty miles south of Alexandria. Historically, the community is named for the “echo” of the whistles from paddlewheel steamboats that once plied the river to transport valuable cotton shipments to New Orleans.
Established in 1894, St. Francis de Sales was for a long time a mission of St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Alexandria. The first priest who served the mission was Fr. L. B. Limagne. This was circa 1890 according to rectory records. The first church building was completed in 1906 and the current church building was dedicated in 1970 by Bishop Charles Greco.
Saint Francis de Sales parish continues to be a vibrant community of Catholic faith. The parish has approximately one hundred twenty-five families and enjoys a rich heritage of both American and French traditions. Members of the parish include both senior parishioners and a large number of young families.
The life of the parish includes activities and services involving the Knights of Columbus and the Ladies Altar Society; Lectors, Extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist, RCIA, Ushers, Altar servers; the adult choir, the children’s bell choir, Grade 1-11 religious formation classes; the Echo Mardi Gras krewe, various men’s and ladies’ cooking teams, and the annual Saint Francis Church Fair each autumn season.
Baptisms and Weddings
Stations of the Cross
each Lent on Wednesday evening with Mass
Devotion each May and October before Masses
Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament
for Holy Days and Select Solemnities.