Their journey took them through the San Gabriel Valley along Foothill Boulevard, at the time the only route east, and past old St. Frances of Rome Church, across the street from its present location. Instantly, “I fell in love with it,” says Father Ed, who decided that moment he would someday live in Azusa. And indeed he did, serving nearly 30 years at St. Frances of Rome — eight years as an associate pastor, eight as pastor, and the last 13 as pastor emeritus. A priest for 53 years, the 82-year-old Bellflower native is happy to continue to be of service — just as the people of St. Frances are to have him around.“Before I came, here, this was an active and vibrant community,” says the current pastor, Father Gustavo Castillo, who credits Father Landreau for helping to instill that kind of spirit in the parish.“Father Ed held a lot of retreats in the community and he worked on the leadership. He helped people believe in themselves and the gifts they had to offer. All of that has allowed me to be present to them and empower them to continue doing God’s will.”A graduate of Verdugo Hills High School, Father Landreau attended Loyola University, Los Angeles College (junior seminary) and John’s Seminary in Camarillo, where his education included three years of theological training in Burgos, Spain. After his ordination in 1957 he served in several parishes, including a period as administrator at Nativity in South Los Angeles. Then one day he learned that Cardinal James Francis McIntyre had chosen him to be the new associate at St. Frances of Rome. His immediate response: “Wow! I’m never leaving it!”When he arrived at his new assignment and Msgr. Robert Stein, the pastor, heard that he had studied in Spain, Msgr. Stein said to his new associate, “I’ll be pastor of the English speaking parish and you be pastor of the Spanish speaking.” He served as an associate until Msgr. Stein’s death in 1990, and was appointed pastor July 1, 1990.In 1998, at age 70, Father Landreau retired and became pastor emeritus. Believing it best to allow the next pastor time to settle into his position, he went on a long road trip across the U.S. visiting relatives. “Then,” he smiles, “I figured it was time to come home to Azusa. Even as a youngster I always wanted to live here. That childhood memory — I waited all those years until the archbishop said, ‘You’re going to Azusa.’ And I never doubted it would happen.”He has been delighted by how the people of his longtime parish have worked to make their church a welcoming home and created a nurturing environment. “These families over the generations have accomplished so much,” he says proudly. “‘Si, se puede.’ Yes, we can do it.”It helps, though, to have someone like Father Ed around, say parishioners and current pastor alike. “He’s a resource, a stable presence for the community,” says Father Castillo. “Father Ed allows the pastor to be the pastor.”