From The Font...
“Lord, will only a few people be saved?”
Only in the past hundred or so years has any Christian believed that salvation is easy or even automatic. Nowadays, it’s expected and assumed that our loved ones are already cracking jokes with St. Peter by the time the funeral takes place. Sadly, the entire body of scripture simply doesn’t teach that.
In the early Old Testament, from the time of Abraham through to the Babylonian Exile in the 590s & 580s BC, the Jews had no real understanding of eternity or immortality. They believed in Sheol, literally a “place of shadows,” wherein the soul dwelt in a kind of peaceful sleep. For the Jews of this time, any consequences or blessings that they had coming, they looked for in the world around them. The scriptures prior to the writing of Isaiah are full of references to blessings and curses associated with crop productivity, the birth of children and earthly wealth.
As the Lord began to make the way for Jesus’ arrival, the Jews began to develop a deeper understanding of the soul, immortality and the eternal nature of divine justice. By the time of Jesus, most Jews on the street had a sense of immortality, but it was still a shadowy kind of resting place without any sense of Heavenly joy or Hellish suffering.
When Jesus arrives on the scene, He gives us our first glimpse of Heaven and Hell. He puts the final pieces in place about the way in which divine justice is ultimately played out.
Our modern dogmatization of psychology has confused us some about the goodness of God and exactly how one gets in to Heaven or Hell. Using that modern way of thinking, salvation can be basically - but not really - understood by thinking about things in life which are “acquired tastes.” Some of the best things in life are terrible at first. Ethnic Foods, Opera and the like require a certain change within ourselves in order to enjoy. Well, so does Heaven. A life lived according to the prescriptions of Jesus is a making ready to enjoy Heaven. A life not well lived puts us at risk of getting there and being overwhelmed and horribly unhappy for eternity - which would be Hell.
Thoughts from Fr. Ryan
This past week, I had two parish council meetings in two parishes. At both meetings, people who love their Church parish raised concerns, proffered ideas and solutions and ultimately continued traditions of transmitting the faith. Sadly, in both of those meetings, it was easy for me to see that these traditions of maintaining the faith grew out of times of necessity when they struggled to understand and receive leadership from their pastors. It’s easy to look at other parishes or dioceses or even Protestant communities and think about how much greener the grass is over there.
Strangely, almost as if by design, the grass is never really greener. Surely, at this moment in history in the US, the grass is browner than it was fifty years ago. The optimism with which “The Council” was implemented has given way to the hard reality that most of those experiments have not really succeeded as we expected. Changes in the Sunday Mass, in CCD and RCIA and in the education of priests has not resulted in a more vibrant, numerous and energized Church. But this isn’t the first time in history that a big push following a big council didn’t play out as expected. If we look through history, we see that the Church has always - from Judas to today - been chock full of amazing Christians and goofballs alike! We’ve had good and bad popes, good and bad bishops, good and bad priests, good and bad nuns, good and bad monks, good and bad teachers, good and bad farmers, good and bad everybody… As I said, it’s almost as if it’s by design…
If we’re really a Catholic Church, though, we have to expect that. Catholic means universal. There’s a place for everyone. And everyone is who God intends to bring about renewal and revival in the Church. Remember that St. Francis of Assisi was just an ordinary merchant when God called him to get to work rebuilding the Church. St. Theresa of Avila was in a convent for little rich girls before God inspired her to get serious. St. Ignatius of Loyola was a soldier. St. Edward was a king. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and St. Jane de Chantal were both mothers and teachers whom God called to use those skills in a big way.
At this moment in history, every one of us - especially lay people in the Church - have a role to play in bringing about a new Catholic springtime. Despite the mess of our society and the anti-religious beliefs of some of our political parties, the Lord is always renewing His Church. And, with very few exceptions, that renewal has always begun with lay people. Priests and Bishops and Popes have rarely, if ever, been on the front lines of renewal…
Archbishop Fulton Sheen said it well: “Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes, the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops, like bishops, and your religious act like religious.”
It’s my hope and prayer that we see ourselves here at St. Edward as a people with a mission. We’re not just here to maintain; we’re here to strengthen and to reach out and to grow and to thrive!
The Voice of the Basket
Weekly Budget FY 2016-17 $1,865
July Budget $9,325
July Income (Reg $8,779; Bldg $607) $9,386
July Actual Expenses $7,430
August budget $7,462
August Income to Date $4,501
Collection August 13/14 $2,193
Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Gospel reading today starts with a question: “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” Jesus offers only a simple reply: Strive to enter through the narrow gate. Many will try to enter and will not be able. Good stewards know there is only one, narrow gate. Not everything will fit. This narrow gate has no room for our accomplishments. No room for our money. No room for our possessions. No room for anything else but those who’ve been good stewards of the Gospel. We can’t custom build our own gates either. There is only one, narrow gate that happens to be open for a time, but for how long? What is our plan of action to get through that gate?
Mass Intentions for the Coming Week
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Thomas Trichell for birth anniversary/family
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo For the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
- Mon No Mass
- Tue 5:30p In memory of Lillie “Mame” Jumonville/family
- Wed 5:30p In memory of Gus Gremshell
- Thu 9:00a* For the special intention of the Magoun family (Mass offered at the Olive Branch)
- Fri 5:30p In memory of
- Sat 5:30p In memory of John and Marie Johnson/family
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo For the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
Assistants at Holy Mass
- 8/20 5:30p
- Servers: N & C Hall
- Lector: A Farlow
- EMHCs: C VanderVieren & L Bullard
- 8/21 9:30a
- Servers: B Sullivan & W Sullivan
- Lector: B Sullivan
- EMHCs: B Smith & K Collins
- 8/27 5:30p
- Servers: N & C Hall
- Lector: M A Gilfoil
- EMHCs: P & M Gilfoil
- 8/28 9:30a
- Servers: B Wood & C Donham
- Lector: A Oliver
- EMHCs: P & B Wilks
- 9/3 5:30p
- Servers: N & C Hall
- Lector: S Harris
- EMHCs: M Rome & A Farlow
- 9/4 9:30a
- Servers: EL & C Marsh
- Lector: G Mbenkum
- EMHCs: N Ernst & M Ernst
Let us Rejoice in the Lord!
Happy Birthday Elizabeth Crothers (Aug 21), Will Donham (Aug 23)
Happy Anniversary Louise and Dale Magoun (Aug 25), Mary Jane and Sidney Johnson (Aug 26)
Flowers on the High Altar this week are given in memory of C. L. KEENE by family.
In Our Daily Prayers
The Holy Father, Pope Francis, and the leaders of our church, including Bishop Ronald Herzog; our President, and the leaders of our nation as they and other world leaders seek peace in the world; our Governor and our legislators; success of our building repair program for the church and fundraising to pay for the repairs; success of our religious education program, safe travel for all those on the highways; good weather for our farmers; our friends and family in the Philippines; our friends and family who have experienced loss from floods during the last week in south Louisiana
Our parishioners who are sick, shut-in, or in other need of our prayers: Pat Bullard, Connie Copes, Elizabeth Crothers, Susan Gilfoil, Josephine Hodge, Bill Kennedy, Becky Lancaster, Angela Vilardo Lusk, Dale Magoun, Stephenie and Lance Marsh, Kathleen Mills, Sue Rome, Sue Scurria, Delia Trichell
Our parishioners who are in the nursing home: Billy Hodge, Frances Kennedy, Andrew Lombardo, AND Jim Farrell, and James Speyerer of Vicksburg, Consuelo Marsh, Lake Providence, and our family members and friends, Geneva Russell
Our friends and relatives who need our prayers: Lee Adams (Smith), Ashley Weimer Alexander (Regan), Jenna Faye Allen (Florence), Margaret Baker (Magoun), Marie Farlow Bellard, Tommy Bishop, Susan Blackwell (Bullard), Ruthie Boudreaux (Storey), Hattie Brown (Lancaster), Jerry Bullard, Colton Bullock (Farlow), Sarah Cannon (Gilfoil), Jean Cantrell, Richard Chappuis (Johnson), Allison Crotwell (A Ginn), Jackie Daniels (Lancaster), Carol Dipert (Rome), Reba Duncan, Renee Edwards and parents (VanderVieren), George Eisworth family (Dyer), Joe Farlow, Rosemarie Finn (Hodge), Madge and Don Finney (Dyer), Tracy Jones Fortenberry (Donham), Thom Gilfoil, Kathy Garley Hanlon (Gilfoil), Jerry Ann Harmon (Hodge), Cooper Harris (R Wood), Alan Henley (Copes), Monroe Hill (K Dukes), Bo Holloway, Lou Horath (Hernandez), Kenlie Jackson (Dyer), Diane Johnson (Johnson), Jim Johnson(Dyer), Patsy Lancaster, Ben Legendre (Gilfoil), Ben Lenhart (G Marsh), LaLa Lopez (Hernandez), Ann Maxwell (Gilfoil), Will and Michelle (MS) McGuire (Gilfoil), Keith Melancon (Regan), Tucker Melancon (Johnson), Marie Phillips Michelle (Hodge), Lindsay Mills, Ashley Priest Moberly, Loyd Moore (Donham), Debbie Mullin (Dyer), Wanda Murphy (Terry), Alice Neuroth (Bullard), Addison Petracca (S Marsh), Debbie Pettis (Rome), Yvonne Phillips (Hodge), Wayne Pitre (Gilfoil), Dana Rogers (Dyer), Bailey Rome, Lee Rome, Tiffney Rome, Linda Sanchez (Wilks), Betty Sanders (Gilfoil), Andy Sevier, Michael Stamper (Wilks), David Sullivan (Hunter), Lazette Thomason (Dyer), Elaine Trimble (Rome), Elizabeth, Randy and Camille Watts and Betty Kurfiss, Conner and Hudson Wood (nephews of Bart)
Our college students Will Donham, Courtney Ernst, Norman Ernst, Anna Ginn, Emily Ginn, Matt Hall, Josh Hall, Eric Nguyen, Roland Nguyen, Kathleen Oliver, Lori Sullivan
Those Catholics residing at Christian Acres, Louisiana Transitional Center for Women, and Madison Detention Center and the families of all of these.
PLEASE LET US KNOW OF ANYONE WHO IS ILL OR HOSPITALIZED OR WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE A VISIT.
PLEASE HELP US TO UP-DATE OUR PRAYER LIST BY ADVISING US OF ANYONE WHO SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM THE PRAYER LIST.
Calendar of Events
- Confessions every Wed & Fri from 4:45p until Mass at 5:30p, 45m before weekend Masses
- Youth Mass on the third Sunday of the Month, Coffee & Donuts in the center after Mass
- Pastoral Council meeting monthly on the third Tuesday after the 5:30p Mass
- Altar Society meeting every other month on the second Tuesday after the 5:30p Mass
- August 21 Meeting of Parents of children in Religion Class--following Sunday Mass--Parish Hall
For Your Information
PARENTS MEETING Following Sunday Mass on August 21, Father Ryan and Louise Magoun will meet in the Parish Hall with all of the parents of children in our faith family so that plans can be completed for religious education during the coming year. Please make every effort to be present!
ON THE WEB St. Edward is working to establish a functional online presence. We presently have a Facebook page (Facebook.com/StEdwardTallulah). Fr. Ryan is sharing our parish bulletin and his Sunday sermons from his own website there weekly. We also have a shared calendar (Bit.ly/stedwardcalendar) and new email address (StEdwardTallulah@gmail.com). Please take note of the new section of the bulletin below the sections on finance and Mass assistants entitled “Contact Information.” Our pastor, Fr. Ryan, is also active on the web. He has a blog\webpage at FrHumphries.com entitled “Thoughts to Stir the Pot” and all are encouraged to friend, like or follow him on Facebook (Facebook.com/frhumphries), Twitter (Twitter.com/frhumphries) and Instagram (Instagram.com/frryan). (Sorry, Fr. Ryan does not use snapchat or whatsapp due to privacy and accountabilty concerns.)
CatholicUnderground About 10 years ago, a new type of technology called “Podcasting” was created which allowed basically anyone to create what amounts to a radio show and distribute it online. As an experiment, Fr. Ryan and his best friend, (now Fr.) Chris Decker, decided to give it a try. The program they created together was called “Catholic Underground.” In the past decade, the show has grown from an amateur audio project into a fairly sophisticated weekly video program syndicated around the gulf south and beyond. From its inception until his assignment at Immaculate Conception in Natchitoches, Fr. Ryan was a weekly panelist. Now, Fr. Ryan is on camera a few times per month. The show airs live on Sunday evenings at 7:00p CST. Live shows and past shows can be viewed at the website (CatholicUnderground.com) or via our Roku or iOS app. Live shows can also be watched on Facebook.com/CatholicUnderground. For those interested, an audio-only version of the program is also available at the website and on iTunes.
THE AUGUST ISSUE OF THE CHURCH TODAY WILL BE LATE THIS MONTH Because the printer that is used in Baton Rouge was completely flooded this past weekend, the Church Today will be late. It was already printed and ready to be shipped out Monday morning, but that didn't happen. It is being reprinted by another printer and will be out as soon as it can be gotten to you. Thank you for your patience.