From The Font...
“The master commended that dishonest steward”
Wouldn’t it just be easier if the Lord made the truth clear? Wouldn’t it be easier if we didn’t have to try to understand what God wants from us by sifting through parables, dozens of books of scripture with seemingly contrary and contradictory ideas? Wouldn’t it be easier if we didn’t have to put up with priests and bishops and popes and catechists and experts all of whom seem to be all too happy to tell us their version of what Jesus “really” meant?
Whatever may or may not be easier of preferable, the Lord chose to teach through parables and people... Today’s Gospel is often called “The Parable of the Dishonest Steward.” The story is simple enough - a man knows he’s going to be fired and so he uses the few resources that he has to bribe his way into a safer future… It’s when Jesus praises this theft and bribery that things start to get extra, super, really quite confusing…
The key to understanding the parable is two-fold. First, as with basically all of His many parables, Jesus is speaking at a time and in a place very, very different from our own. In a world with unemployment insurance and a welfare system, losing this kind of job isn’t quite the death sentence that it would have been for those who heard the story first hand.
Second, this parable comes in the middle of a series of teachings on the relationship between worldly wealth (mammon) and spiritual “treasures in heaven.” The message of the story is not meant to be a moral lesson like “do unto others…” Rather, it is meant to teach about the connection between worldly and spiritual wealth.
There are two classic interpretations, both of which compliment one another. Firstly, the parable is a call to use wisely the worldly wealth that we have access to - it’s not really ours after all, everything is a gift from God, right? Secondly, the parable is a call to work to store up treasure in heaven with the same vigor and ingenuity that the dishonest servant uses to build up treasure on Earth. In both cases, it’s understood that the dishonesty of the steward is not license for our immortality, but rather a call for creativity and prudence.
Thoughts from Fr. Ryan
With High School, College and Pro football in full swing, the summer lake season coming to a close and hunting season coming up, it would be easy for outsiders to look at us here in the Sportsman’s Paradise and say that we have got leisure down to an art form…
And that’s not a bad thing. Leisure is, after all, an essential part of a well-led life. Leisure is necessary if our intellectual pursuits are going to mature and our muscles are going to recover and grow from our athletic pursuits and our relationships are going to blossom in the presence of unrushed quality time. More than anything, leisure is where we spend time with ourselves. It’s where we think things through. It’s where we realize which aspects of our minds and our hearts and our choices that need to be adjusted and improved. It’s where we let our mind wonder so that God can direct us to things which we need to see - for our happiness and for our sanity...
What I want to propose, though, is that we here in Louisiana and in the United States may well have more fun and more free time than ever before, but most of us don’t have very much leisure at all. Rather, a great many of us have allowed ourselves to be duped into substituting entertainment as leisure. We have allowed our restful weekends to be consumed with busyness. We have allowed our vacations to become expensive and exhausting. Even that time of restful recovery after mowing the grass or doing some exercise is all too often invaded by the background noise of TV or the alarm on our phone that reminds us that we have something else to do. At no point, though, do we every really stop and simply allow ourselves to experience the human pursuit of leisure. Too few of us rest anywhere other than the bed.
If there’s one thing that we can do, and do quickly, to improve our personal and family life, it’s think long and hard about leisure as opposed to entertainment. We can replace Disneyland with a family camping trip… We can worry less about Deer Cameras and drama at the camp and focus on the simple joy of sitting in the stand in the quiet of the woods… We can turn off the TV and learn to enjoy the lack of background buzz... We can fight back against busyness invading our family time… We can declare personal or family leisure time to be device and distraction free…
Leisure can’t be replaced or shortcutted. There’s no way to rest the mind and the heart and the body at a football game or in front of the TV or while navigating the line at Islands of Adventure™. That kind of rest can only be found in the quiet freedom of leisure.
It’s challenging in our world today to establish a personal habit of leisure with all of the busyness of work and entertainment, but it’s essential. It begins with a simple choice to turn everything off and, at first, allow ourselves to feel like we’re wasting time or to feel uncomfortable with the lack of stimulation. Folks with more serious problems call this experience “Detox.” Whatever we call it and whatever it takes, let me assure you that there’s more to life than the buzz of hoping from work to “fun” to sport to “rest” in front of the TV.
Calendar of Events
- Confessions every Wed & Fri from 5p until Mass at 5:30p, 30m 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
- Sept 20 Pastoral Council Meeting – Parish Hall – following 5:30 p.m. Mass
- Sept 25 Youth Mass at 9:30 a.m. Mass
- Sept 25 Potluck Brunch following Sunday Mass -- Parish Hall -- all are asked to participate
- Nov 19 Thanksgiving Bake Sale - Parish Hall - 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.
For Your Information:
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION FOR OUR CHILDREN Classes will meet on SUNDAY following Mass (about 10:30 a.m.) in the Church Hall.
POTLUCK BRUNCH SEPTEMBER 25 All are incouraged to join in a Potluck Brunch to be held in the Parish Hall following Sunday Mass. We hope you will bring your favorite dish and share with us. Giving organization to the event is the Third Quarter (July, Aug, Sept) Social Committee which consists of Shannon and Bart Wood and Betty and Kenny Smith, co-chairs, MaryKathryn Book, Kendra and Dave Collins, Connie and Dan Copes, Dana and Randy Dukes, Kelsey and Jon Dukes, Margaret and Pat Gilfoil, MaryAnne Gilfoil, Ann Keene, Susie and Terry Murphy.
PASTORAL COUNCIL will hold its regular meeting on TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, at 6:00 p.m. (after 5:30 p.m. Mass) in the Church Center. All members are requested to make special effort to attend. Parishioners are encouraged to attend and contribute to the discussions. Members of the Council include Libby Bullard, Kendra Collins, Dana Dukes, Michael Lancaster, Stephenie Marsh, Terry Murphy, Betty Smith, and Blanche Wilks. Appointed as Trustees by the Bishop are Brian Johnson and Dale Magoun. Appointed by the pastor to serve as Finance Council Chair is Darryl Ellerbee. Additionally, serving on the Council in an ex-officio capacity as President of the Altar Society will be Cathy VanderVieren.
STEWARDSHIP OF TIME AND TALENT Would you like to serve our faith family as a Lector or as a Eucharistic Minister?? If so, please contact Libby Bullard (574-1736) for training. Parents…if you would like your child to be an Altar Server, please contact Cathy VanderVieren (341-2138) to arrange for training. Also, if any adults are willing to be trained as Altar Servers, Cathy would be willing to do that training as well
The Voice of the Basket
Weekly Budget FY 2016-17 $1,865
August Budget $7,460
August Income (Reg $8,100; Bldg $611) $8,711
August Actual Expenses $8,861
September Budget $7,460
Collection September 10-11 $1,880
September Income to Date $3,564
Stewardship Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time… The dishonest manager in today’s parable knew how to manipulate money to his own advantage. But the Gospel warns that one one can serve both God and Money. Which do I serve? Is my stewardship such that anyone can tell?
Special Collection Special Collection… Next weekend, we will participate in the Retired Priests collection for our priests who have reached retirement age after years of faithful and dedicated service to the Diocese. With costs continually escalating, the monthly retirement benefit for our 17 retirees must be adjusted periodically as well. I appreciate your generosity in helping to assure that the needs of our retired priests will continue to be met, and I ask that you also keep them in your prayers. (NOTE: This collection is retained in the parish and is not subject to Assessment.)
Mass Intentions for the Coming Week
- Sat 5:30p In memory of A.J.S.”Jackie” Jumonville/Family
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo For the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
- Tue 5:30p In memory of May DiTommaso
- Wed 5:30p In memory of Amelia Roussell/Florence
- Thu 9:00a* In memory of Eva Reynolds/Florence (Mass offered at the Olive Branch)
- Fri 5:30p In memory of Rosa Gremshell
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Paul VanderVieren/Florence
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo For the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
Assistants at Holy Mass
- 9/17 5:30p
- Servers: N & C Hall
- Lector: A Farlow
- EMHCs: P Wilks & B Wilks
- 9/18 9:30a
- Servers: B Sullivan/W Sullivan
- Lector: D Magoun
- EMHCs: N Ernst & M Ernst
- 9/24 5:30p
- Servers: N & C Hall
- Lector: Hall Boys
- EMHCs: M Rome & C VanderVieren
- 9/25 9:30a
- Servers: B Wood & C Donham
- Lector: Beene Children
- EMHCs: B Smith & KCollins
Let us Rejoice in the Lord!
Happy Birthday Happy Birthday… Bruin Johnson (Sept 18), “Bugs” Brown (Sept 23), Leslye Ellerbee (Sept 25)
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 religious education program, good weather for our farmers;
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 and Michael 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, Jean Cantrell, 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), Richard Chappuis (Johnson), Savannah Payne and her parents, Tim and Stephanie, 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), Savannah Payne and her family, 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, Chelsea Keene, 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.