From The Font
“What I say to you, I say to all: 'Watch!'”
When recent wildfires destroyed homes in California, hundreds of Millennial bloggers began writing about preparedness. They began to laud “preppers” who they had considered kooks just days before. When Noah was making ready, he was derided and even physically attacked. Watchfulness and readiness seem absurd until “the time” arrives. And “the time” may not arrive on-time. Y2K preppers, for example, stockpiled supplies for catastrophe that didn’t come in January 2000. But those same people were ready when ordinary power outages, storms and disruptions of normal life came.
Spiritual readiness is not all that different when seen from the outside. Prayer and quiet meditation and fasting seem like a foolish waste of time. There are “better,” “more important” or “more urgent” things to worry with right now. Which is just what those California bloggers thought until they were told to evacuate their homes and given 20 minutes to do so. Most of them wasted most of their time wondering what to take! They had no plan and they couldn’t focus their minds to decide what mattered and what didn’t. Baby albums, bank records and family heirlooms were burnt to a crisp while iPads and video games were saved. Many of the bloggers were shocked at themselves for their bad decisions about what to what to take. They urged others to think, make a plan and be ready.
The call to watchfulness which is constant in the Bible from Abraham to the Woman Clothed with the Sun is essential for us as well. Watchfulness grounds us in what matters and it reminds us to prioritize our lives rightly. It calls us to be aware of the fragile nature of life and just how quickly we find ourselves in need.
Advent must be for us a time of watchfulness. It must be a time in which we think about what it means to be ready - for the unexpected in this life and for the suddenness of eternal judgement at which we can find ourselves in a moment’s notice!
As our Lord says, it will come like a thief in the night, so be ready, be watchful, be on guard!
Thoughts from Fr. Ryan
This week, Bishop Talley has called all of the priests to gather with him for a “convocation.” If that word sounds familiar, you read it in this column only two months ago when I was gone for a week for a similar convocation of priests throughout Louisiana. As many of you know, I don’t like to be away from the parish and I’m here on my day off as much as possible. The bishop is aware that having the priest away is generally not ideal. At the same time, he is working hard to diagnose and address the problems that we have in the diocese with our priests. Many of those problems are rooted in our priests being isolated from each other. In the past decade, our priests gathered as a group fewer than ten times. That lack of communication created confusion, misunderstanding and a general lack of cooperation which has been a detriment to the parishes and people of the diocese as a whole. Bp. Talley is anxious to see the priests of the diocese working as a team and ministering with a shared sense of love for God and love for the Church. Speaking for myself, that is a wise goal. Most priests are natural leaders and unless those leaders have a shared sense of identity, they will divide and subdivide into camps and factions. All with the best intentions, these priests can begin to see themselves as individual spiritual leaders rather than coworkers with Jesus and that’s a big part of the reason the Church is in tough shape in the Western World.
Bishop Talley’s plan calls for our priests to gather more often, especially for this annual convocation event. He understands that year will be inconvenient having already had several of our priests away for a week at the New Orleans convocation, but he considers this event worth the inconvenience.
Every year, during the first week of Advent, the priests of the diocese will meet to pray and to plan for the good of the Diocese at every level. The event will take place Monday evening through Thursday Morning and will end in time for me to drive back here for our evening Mass on the 7th of December for the Holy Day of Obligation for the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Patroness of the United States of America on December 8.
I will have my phone with me during the convocation, but I’ll only be able to return calls between sessions and will only be able to return for serious emergencies. Please contact Ms. Ann before you contact me. If I see her on my caller ID, I’ll know it’s an emergency and try to take the call immediately.
Please pray for our priests. I know some of them have caused great pain here. Others have been a remarkable blessing. All of them are under great spiritual burden in this era of history and all of them need your prayers and spiritual exercises for their work for Our Lord. God Reward you in advance for your prayers!
Calendar of Events
- Confessions every Wed, Fri & Sat from 5p until Mass at 5:30p and on Sun from 9a until 9:30a 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
- Sunday Morning Catechism in the Hall after the 9:30a Mass unless otherwise indicated
- Dec 3 - Christmas On the Bayou ...
- Dec 8 - Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Holy Day of Obligation
- Dec 12/13 Advent Mission - Father Derek Ducote, presenter - following 5:30 p.m. Mass
- Dec 17 - Birthday Party for Jesus - following 9:30 a.m. Mass - Church Hall
For Your Information:
SUNDAY CATECHISM… will meet on SUNDAY following Mass (about 10:30 a.m.) in the Church Hall.
ANGEL TREE…Please check out the Christmas Tree in the Parish Hall where you will find Angels with ages of the children that we plan to “gift” this year as well as items that those children need and their sizes.
CHRISTMAS FLOWERS...if you would like to donate to the Christmas poinsettias and other Christmas decorations, there are envelopes at the entrance of church which can be used to include your cash or check and name of the person in whose honor the gift is being made.
CHRISTMAS ON THE BAYOU… this Sunday, December 3, has as its theme, “A Child is Born”. Arts and Crafts are at the site of the former Tallulah High School from 10 to 3. A parade will be at 4 p.m. beginning from Tallulah High School. A Christmas Concert at First Baptist Church will begin at 6 p.m. and several members of our faith family are participating in the concert. Fireworks from the Mississippi Street bridge will conclude the day.
THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY… Friday, December 8, 2017, is a Holy Day of Obligation and ALL Catholics should attend Mass. For your convenience, there will be Mass at 9 a.m. at The Olive Branch and at 5:30 p.m. at St. Edward. Please mark your calendars NOW so that you can make your other plans around that date.
ADVENT MISSION...Father Derek Ducote will be visiting with us to present an Advent Mission on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 12 and 13. The Mission sessions will be immediately following the 5:30 p.m. Mass and will take place in the church.
CHRISTMAS MASS TIMES… as Christmas falls on Monday this year, Catholics are obliged to attend Mass TWICE between Saturday 5:30 p.m. and Monday 9:30 a.m. It is possible, therefore, that if one usually attends the Sunday 9:30 a.m. Mass and the Christmas Eve Mass at 5:30 p.m., one would be attending Mass two times on Sunday to meet the obligation.
VINTAGE COOKBOOKS...in cleaning out some closets in the Church Hall, a box of 19.. St Edward cookbooks was found. If you would like to have one (or some), they are for sale at $5 each and are located on the table at the entrance of church.
The Voice of the Basket
- Weekly Budget FY 2017-18 $1,917
- October Budget $9,585
- October Income (Reg $10,675; Bldg $632) $11,307
- October Actual Expenses $8,783
- November Budget $7,668
- Collection November 25/26 $1,885
- November Income to Date $8,250
Special Collection This weekend’s second collection is our once-a-month Building Fund collection
Next weekend - Dec. 2-3 -- Help care for elders. “Thanks to support from the Retirement Fund for Religious, we are now in a much better position to care for our elders,” writes a religious sister. Your donation helps her religious community and hundreds of others provide for aging members and plan for long-term needs. Please give to next week’s Retirement Fund for Religious collection.
Mass Intentions for the Coming Week
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Paul VanderVieren
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo For the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
- Mon No Mass
- Tue No Mass - Priests’ Convocation
- Wed No Mass - Priests’ Convocation
- Thu 5:30p In memory of May DiTomasso Vigil of Holy Day
- Fri 9:00a For Father Ryan’s Special Intention Olive Branch-Holy Day
- Fri 5:30p In memory of Angela Lusk/Leoty Holy Day
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Marie Phillips Michele/Weaver
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo For the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
Altar Candles this week are provided by Cathy VanderVieren
Assistants at Holy Mass
- 12/2 5:30p
- Lector: L Bullard
- EMHCs: P & M Gilfoil
- 12/3 9:30a
- Servers: W Sullivan & A Collins
- Lector: B Sullivan
- EMHCs: B Smith & K Collins
- 12/9 5:30p
- Lector: MA Gilfoil
- EMHCs: A Farlow & C VanderVieren
- 12/10 9:30a
- Servers: EL Marsh & C Marsh
- Lector: A Oliver
- EMHCs: A Keene & Volunteer
Let us Rejoice in the Lord!
Happy Birthday Nick Hall and Chris Hall (Dec 7)
Happy Anniversary Dana and Randy Dukes (Dec 3)
In Our Daily Prayers…
Our Holy Father Pope Francis and Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI; our Bishop David Talley and Bishop-Emeritus Ronald Herzog. Our President, our Governor, our Mayor and our national, state and local elected representatives, our family and friends
Our parishioners who are sick, shut-in, or otherwise in need of our prayers: Pat Bullard, Connie Copes, Elizabeth Crothers, Susan Gilfoil, Billy Hodge, Bill Kennedy, Becky and Michael Lancaster, Dale Magoun, Kathleen Mills, Sue Rome, Juanita Storey, and Delia Trichell. Our parishioners who are under full-time care: Frances Kennedy, Andrew Lombardo, Sue Scurria. Also, Betsy & Jim Farrell and James Speyerer of Vicksburg, Consuelo Marsh of Lake Providence, and 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, Ruthie Boudreaux (Storey), Hattie Brown (Lancaster), Jerry Bullard, Colton Bullock (Farlow), Richard Chappuis (Johnson), Jackie Daniels (Lancaster), Carol Dipert (Rome), Reba Duncan, Renee Edwards and parents (VanderVieren), George Eisworth family (Dyer), Joe Farlow, Matt Farlow, Mike Farlow, Betina Finlayson, Madge and Don Finney (Dyer), Tracy Jones Fortenberry (Donham), Thom Gilfoil, Kathy Garley Hanlon (Gilfoil), Cooper Harris (R Wood), Alan Henley (Copes), Rudy Hernandez (Hodge), Bo Holloway, Lou Horath (Hernandez), Diane Johnson (Johnson), Jim Johnson(Dyer), Ben Lenhart (G Marsh), Megan and Jim Lensing (Gilfoil), LaLa Lopez (Hernandez), Will and Michelle (MS) McGuire (Gilfoil), Paul Meeks, Keith Melancon (Regan), Tucker Melancon (Johnson), Julia Moberly, Lindsay Mills, Debbie Mullin (Dyer), Wanda Murphy (Terry), Austin Parker (Wilks), Addison Petracca (S Marsh), Debbie Pettis (Rome), Wayne Pitre (Gilfoil), Dana Rogers (Dyer), Bailey Rome, Lee Rome, Tiffney Rome, Dianne W. Roper (Murphy), Linda Sanchez (Wilks), Andy Sevier, Chon Shiers and Deborah Shiers Stewart (Hall), Beverly Sibile (Gilfoil), Kelly Southern (Wilks), Lazette Thomason (Dyer), David Thompson (Wilks), Elaine Trimble (Rome), Teresa Vidrine (Wilks), Elizabeth Watts, Conner and Hudson Wood (nephews of Bart)
Our collegiates: Ethan Beene, Courtney Ernst, Norman Ernst, Anna Ginn, Matt Hall, Nick Hall, Chris Hall, Kathleen Oliver, Maddie Oliver, Blake Sullivan, Lori Sullivan, Brice Wood
Those Catholics residing at Christian Acres, Louisiana Transitional Center for Women, and our local Detention Centers and for their families and loved ones.
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.