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About us


Thensted Center is a trusted community anchor in the heart of Cajun country. Since 1982, we have cared for residents in St. Landry and Lafayette civil parishes and the surrounding area.


Our center was founded by Sister Margaret Hoffman, RSCJ, of neighboring Academy of the Sacred Heart and named for Jesuit priest known for his local service. 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, ARC of Acadiana, Experience Works, and several local elementary schools, public offices, and public officials.


We embrace all members of the community, regardless of race, creed, ethnicity, or gender.  Our programs and services are direct responses to the documented needs of our neighbors.


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 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. We are delighted to be the "2021 Agency of the Year" as well!


Did You Know?



In our region:


  • 46% of children and one quarter of senior citizens live in households with income below the poverty level.

  • Nearly half of seniors (45.6%) have 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.

Data sources:

U.S. Census Bureau

Early Childhood Risk and Reach Report (2016) from Tulane University and the Louisiana Department of Health

The Land of Inopportunity (2020)

from Save the Children

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