One thing remains a constant for Regina Viator each and every day: prayer.
Growing up, Viator was always surrounded by faith. While attending Mt. Carmel Academy, she had dreams of being a nun, to the point of dressing up as one with her friends at an early age.
Though she isn’t a nun, Viator is still helping others, one thing she enjoys doing even at the ripe age of 70.
As a volunteer for the Mom and Babe Boutique at The Unexpected Pregnancy Center in New Iberia, Viator is able to do what she always wanted — put someone else first.
“My first love was always to help other people,” Viator said. “ I decided to help here and help the women thinking of having abortions.”
Viator always wanted to have kids and she started volunteering at The Unexpected Pregnancy Center after a conversation with her first husband, John Allain, who died in a car crash when he was 33.
“I always told my first husband if we can’t have kids, we can always adopt,” Viator said. “It ended up when I married my second husband (Mike Viator), I adopted his kids and he adopted mine.”
Mike passed away from pancreatic cancer eight years ago and over the course of her two marriages and adoptions, she has nine children, ranging from 52 to 26 years old.
Viator said she and each of her husbands were heavily involved with their faith, teaching religion in high school.
Viator currently attends and volunteers at Our Lady of Prompt Succor in Coteau, where she now lives.
Viator’s faith began at an early age when her mom raised her and her five siblings.
“I had a devotion,” Viator said. “We always went to church.”
Viator joked that when she attended Louisiana State University, she knew where her chapel was before her dorm.
“I always valued that security where I could go to God and he was there,” Viator said. “I knew there would be peace at that type of time.”
Through the years, Viator has continued that dedication to ensure her children also valued God and His beliefs.
“It’s very important for me,” Viator said. “When you have nine children, you have one of everything. I have one that is a doctor, I have one that is a lawyer, I have one that is a street person. I have a little bit of it all, but you are always praying for them.”
Through her ups and downs, Viator said she thinks life has shown her to continue to pray for her children to be the best they can be.
“I’m not at the beginning of my life, but I know for me, prayer is important and it’s important for me to do those things,” Viator said. “To pray for children and pray for everybody … They need our prayers.”
From her children to everyone else, Viator doesn’t just pray for them once or twice a day.
“All day,” she said. “Prayer is important but not just for me.”
Viator said if everyone continues to pray and do that right thing, they are all going to go to Heaven.
“The only thing that is going to get you anywhere is knowing God and knowing that you are doing the right thing,” Viator said.