Father M. Jeffery Bayhi, a native of Baton Rouge, LA was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Baton Rouge on May 26, 1979 at St. Patrick Church in Baton Rouge, LA. He received his degree in Psychology at St. Joseph Seminary in St. Benedict, LA; his Masters of Divinity at Notre Dame in New Orleans, LA, and his Doctorate in Pastoral Counseling from Graduate Theological Foundation in Donaldson, IN.
Throughout Father Bayhi’s training, as well as his priesthood, he has been involved in various types of ministries. He has worked a great deal with the retreat movement on many different levels, including high school and college, parish missions, diaconate and priesthood retreats, and continuing education. Father Bayhi has also worked extensively in several prison systems, including the hospital for the criminally insane in central California, as well as being an associate pastor and pastor for many years in several rural Louisiana parishes. He has a special interest in youth retreat work, and has plans to build a retreat center through the Metanoia Corporation, which he established early in his priesthood.
Father Bayhi has written several books, the first being a book of reflections, "Then Comes the Morning", the second is "Paved with Souls" written on his experiences while working with Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta. He has also produced a video on Medjugorje: "Two Men's Journey to the Top," as well as a CD / Cassette entitled "Doing It Their Own Way" that is a contemporary meditation of the Way of the Cross which he and Aaron Neville co-produced and recorded.
Father Bayhi has been very fortunate during his priesthood to have traveled on many occasions to Medjugorje and Calcutta, both of which have had a profound effect on his own spiritual journey. He was Pastor of St. Jules Parish in Belle Rose, Louisiana from July 1984 until July 1995. At that time July 1995, he was named Director of Vocations and Seminarians for the Diocese of Baton Rouge. In June 2001 following the death of its founder Father Harold Cohen, Father Jeff was asked to carry on Father Cohen’s work with Closer Walk Ministries as their Chief Executive Officer. He remained Vocation Director for the Diocese of Baton Rouge until July, 2005.
Presently, Fr. Bayhi has been assigned Pastor of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Zachary and its mission church--Our Lady of the Assumption in Clinton, Louisiana--and plans on being CEO for Closer Walk Ministries for a very long time.
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