Fr. Paul Bienvenu grew up in St. Martinsville, Louisiana. He attended Catholic High School in New Iberia and graduated in 1982. During this time he was involved in the Boy Scouts of America, attaining the rank of Eagle. He attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge for undergraduate studies, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology in 1986. After graduation he began seminary studies for the Diocese of Lafayette. This involved a year of prerequisite work at Notre Dame Seminary and Loyola University in New Orleans. He then spent an academic year living and working at St. Stephen Church in Berwick on a practicum assignment. He returned to Notre Dame Seminary for four years of graduate work. During this time he spent one summer working at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans as a chaplain in their Clinical Pastoral Education program. His last summer before ordination was spent as a deacon intern at St. Anthony Church in Eunice, Louisiana. He graduated Cum Laude earning a Master of Divinity degree from Notre Dame Seminary in 1992. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 13th of that same year.
His first assignment was to Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Ville Platte, Louisiana as associate pastor for four years. From there he was assigned to St. Stephen Church in Berwick as pastor for four years. He was then assigned to St. Leo Church in Lafayette where he would serve as pastor for seven years. Four years into this tenure he was also given the pastorate of St. Patrick Church in Lafayette. He served as pastor of both churches concurrently for three years until he was assigned to the pastorate of Our Lady of Mercy Church in Opelousas, Louisiana. of that same year.