About us


Thensted Center is a trusted community anchor in the heart of Cajun country. Since 1982, we have cared for under-served residents in St. Landry and Lafayette civil parishes. Our center was founded by Sister Margaret Hoffman, RSCJ, of neighboring Academy of the Sacred Heart and named for Jesuit Father Cornelius Thensted of neighboring St. Charles College. Now an independent non-profit organization, Thensted Center maintains collaborative relationships with both congregations. Our partnerships have expanded to include Catholic Charities of Acadiana, Food Net, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Affiliated Blind Louisiana, Experience Works, and several local elementary schools, public offices, and public officials.


Thensted Outreach Center embraces all members of the community, regardless of race, creed, ethnicity, or gender.  Our programs and services are direct responses to the needs of our neighbors in the civil parishes of  St. Landry, Lafayette and St. Martin.


We extend our hospitality to community groups who convene in our meeting space, including the local Al-Anon support program, a local Boy Scouts chapter, the Knights of Peter Claver, the Ladies of Auxiliary, and three local schools. As a special community service to families grieving the loss of loved ones, Thensted Center offers welcome and consolation by serving as a post-funeral gathering place.


Recognized as a place for unconditional welcome and life-giving support, Thensted Center was selected as "2012 Agency of the Year" by United Way of St. Landry-Evangeline.


Did You Know?


In our region:


  • 42% of children and one quarter of senior citizens live in households with income below the poverty level.

  • Nearly half of seniors (45.6%) are limited by the challenges of one or more disabilities.


  • More than one third (36%) of Kindergarteners require academic interventions to catch up with peers, a percentage considered high risk compared to other civil parishes. 

  • ​Combined education, health, and economic indicators place children in our region in the highest overall risk category.

(U.S. Census Bureau and Early Childhood Risk and Reach Report, 2016, Tulane University and the Louisiana Department of Health)