From The Font...
Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.
Over the course of the past fifty years, matters of the world - which theologians refer to as “horizontal” - have matched and even overtaken spiritual matters - which theologians refer to as “vertical.” These horizontal teachings of Jesus include love of neighbor and all that goes with it: Caring for the poor, works of mercy and compassion, Christian charity and “social justice.”
Today’s Gospel reminds us that spiritual matters must always come first. In part, that’s because eternity is just more important than this life which is passing away. Moreso, though, it’s important because without the “power” that the spiritual life gives us, our worldly efforts - all those horizontal things - will come to nothing. Remember that Jesus challenges Martha - who is busy - by telling her that Mary - who is sitting quietly - has chosen the better part.
In our own lives, we have to be willing to prioritize the spiritual and the vertical. Otherwise, we’ll find that our efforts to live the Christian life will fall flat.
As an analogy, we can think of the love that a married couple shows for one another in the small things. Something as banal as taking out the trash can be done because the trash smells or it can be done because the husband knows that the wife likes the house extra clean. That simple act of taking out the trash can be transformed into an act of love and service when it’s done with the right intention and the right mindset. Without that right spiritual component, though, the act loses all its value and becomes self-serving and meaningless in eternity.
When Jesus calls for us to store up “treasure in heaven,” He’s calling for us to make all of our actions - even the boring ones - eternal by the love and genuine faith that we show when perform them. But that begins with right intention and with prioritizing the spiritual over the worldly. That which is “vertical” must direct that which is “horizontal” if either is to be “treasure in heaven.”
Thoughts from Fr. Ryan
For at least the past nine years, I've been writing a short, weekly column for the parish bulletin. Usually, I share my thoughts on some significant matter of the day or an interesting experience or a misunderstood or misreported topic that came up in the news. This week, I wanted to write a little about myself just to say hello.
First, I was born in Alexandria in May of 1979 - about 37 years ago. My parents are both still living, thanks be to God! My mom is Cindy - she's originally from Michigan - and my dad is Charlie - he's a civil Engineer born in Alexandria and credentialed at LaTECH. I have two younger sisters: Stacy - who's a lawyer in Tampa - and Carlie - who's a logistics specialist at BASF in Houston.
I graduated High School from Bolton and went to LSU for a little while. I left LSU to begin my studies in Seminary and earned degrees from St. Joseph Seminary College in Covington (2001) and Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans (2005). Bishop Ronald Herzog ordained me as a Deacon on Elvis' Birthday in January 2005. In May, he ordained me as a Priest and assigned me to St. Francis Cabrini parish in Alexandria. I served for two years in the city and then headed up I-49 to Natchitoches. I was Parochial Vicar, then Vice-Rector of the Minor Basilica in Natchitoches. Then I was the pastor of Nativity of the BVM in Campti. Then I returned to Natchitoches as Rector of the Minor Basilica.
Since my childhood, I've had a nack for computers and I have worked professionally building computers and writing software. I've also loved to cook and to help my mom in the kitchen. My mother is a top notch cook who learned by necessity and taught me well. In High School and Seminary, I picked up guitar and piano. I'm terrible at both! I've also been trying to pick up the cello.
In addition to my work as a priest, I am involved in what Pope Benedict called the Evangelization of the Digital Continent. Together with my good friend, Fr. Chris Decker, I founded CatholicUnderground - which is a "new media apostolate." Simply put, we create radio programs, TV shows, podcasts and anything else digital that can be used to evangelize or catechize the digital generation. Our main program - the CU Weekly - is syndicated as audio or video throughout the Gulf South. I’m also working on a few new projects including a series on the Baltimore Catechism and a weekly audio program in which we interview interesting Catholics.
Let me just say that I'm privileged and thankful to be here in Tallulah and I am excited to get to know each of you! As I make mistakes, I hope you’ll give me the benefit of the doubt, pray for me and then come visit and let me know how I can improve. Along the way, let’s be unafraid to help one another grow in love of God of neighbor and let’s be prayerful for one another!
The Voice of the Basket
June Budget $8,000
June Income $7,096
June Actual Expenses $7,773
July Budget $10,000
July Income to Date $8,778
Collection July 30/31 $1,648
Weekly Budget $2,000
Stewardship… In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus concludes his teaching about those who are “faithful and prudent stewards” with that classic stewardship teaching: “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” Christian stewards recognize that God is the ultimate source of their gifts, talents, resources and aptitudes, and that God wants them to use these varied gifts in his service. This week might be a good time to reflect on our God-given gifts. Are we using those gifts to serve the Lord? If Christ came back to us unexpectedly tomorrow would we be able to give a full accounting of how we have exercised stewardship over these gifts?
Special Collection… Next week (Aug 13/14) our parish will take up a Collection for the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa. While those in the region are inspired by the faith, they face the challenges of high rates of poverty and unemployment, in addition to illiteracy and inadequate education. The Solidarity Fund supports essential pastoral projects throughout the continent that nourish the people of this growing Church. Please give generously in next week’s Collection.
Mass Intentions for the Coming Week
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Bruce Dorbeck/Andrews
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo For the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
- Mon No Mass
- Tue 5:30p In memory of John and Marie Johnson/family
- Wed 5:30p In memory of May DiTommaso
- Thu 9:00a* In memory of C. L. Keene/Martin (Mass offered at the Olive Branch)
- Fri 5:30p In memory of George Magoun/family
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Eva Reynolds/Crothers
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo For the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
Assistants at Holy Mass
- 8/6 5:30p
- Servers: N & C Hall
- Lector: MA Gilfoil
- EMHCs: A Farlow & M Rome
- 8/7 9:30a
- Servers: EL Marsh & C Marsh
- Lector: G Mbenkum
- EMHCs: B Smith & L Magoun
Let us Rejoice in the Lord!
Happy Birthday… Philip Scurria (Aug 6)
Happy Anniversary… Becky and Michael Lancaster (Aug 14), Shannon and Bart Wood (Aug. 15)
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 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 16 Pastoral Council Meeting – Parish Hall – following 5:30 p.m. Mass, all are invited to attend.
For Your Information:
PLEDGE TO HEAL...If you or a family member has been abused or victimized by a member of Catholic clergy or a representative of the Catholic church...Please believe in the possibility for hope and help and healing. Dr. Lee Kneipp, Clinical Psychologist, Victim Assistance Coordinator, Diocese of Alexandria encourages those persons to come forward and speak out. Dr. Kneipp is attempting to establish support groups in the central Louisiana area for the victims and family members. The focus of these groups is to further emotional and spiritual healing as an adjunct to therapy, in an atmosphere of others who understand the pain, betrayal, and fear associated with abuse. Dr. Kneipp can be reached at 318-542-9805. All phone calls are confidential.
“PROTECTING GOD’S CHILDREN” ...those parishioners who have completed this program for adults who work with children are reminded of the need to go on line at www.virtus.org for the latest training bulletins so that we can all stay current in our training mode. If you have had the on-site training and have not done so, you may want to register on-line.
The (bi-fold flyer), “Protecting our Children—Understanding and Preventing Child Sexual Abuse”, which includes Resources and Contact Numbers for reporting abuse, is located on the table at the entrance of church and is available for those who wish to take one.
The VIRTUS (tri-fold) flyer, “Protecting God’s Children – Teaching Touching Safety Quick Reference Guide” is also located on the table and is available for our parishioners.
The Diocesan Policy for the Protection of Minors can be accessed under Downloadable Documents in the Safe Environment section of the diocesan website: www.diocesealex.org.
The diocesan Code of Pastoral Conduct for Priests, Deacons, Pastoral Ministers, Administrators, Staff, and Volunteers can be accessed from the site or a copy may be requested from the Safe Environment Office.