From The Font
"O my people, I will open your graves and have you rise from them.”
From St. Paul to Pope St. John Paul II, Christians have rejoiced to hear the second part of this little quotation; we all want to rise! At the same time, all of us are a little weary about where, exactly, we’re going to rise FROM. We would probably prefer to rise from our beds or from DisneyWorld - but not so much the grave.
Still, all of scripture attests to the reality that the grave is what justice demands of all the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve. We must die. Before the Christ, that death was a hopeless one. Now, it’s a hopeful death.
St. Paul was the first person in the New Testament to connect Baptism and death. St. Paul teaches that baptism is a spiritual precursor to our physical death and says “if we have died with Christ, surely we shall rise with him also.” It is for this reason that we Catholics are unafraid to hang crucifixes, confess our sins and - particularly for the next two weeks - veil the statues in our Churches. These things recall death. St. Benedict of Nurcia taught his monks to “keep death always before” them. That’s why monks and nuns tend to wear bulky habits in sombre colors. This is why we place the pall over the casket during the funeral… All of these symbols of death ought not to frighten us… Why? Because our Lord promises that we will rise from our tombs and receive joy which these bodies cannot contain!
This promise is the reality of God’s love, His goodness and His fatherly concern. God’s justice, though, must also be fulfilled. And so we must die… But God has chosen to rob our just punishment of it’s real string. As a parent might punish a child to do some chore and then realize that the child has already learned his lesson. That parent might transform the chore (let’s say “clean the kitchen!”) into something better than the original state of things (let’s say, “we’ll clean it together after we make brownies!”).
We as Christians owe a debt in justice which demands our deaths - but God has transformed our punishment into a marvel and so we need not fear death or the grave - they have lost their sting!
Thoughts from Fr. Ryan
As I mentioned several weeks ago, the seasons that we celebrate at Mass used to be far more intricate than the, perhaps, overly simplified calendar we weekuse now. Whereas now Lent is a single six-week block followed by a single seven-week block of Easter and then a months-long block of Ordinary Time, the time between Epiphany and Pentecost used to be a wonderfully organic patchwork of mini-seasons each with their own unique flair and sensibility which priests had to keep up with but ordinary Catholics could enjoy or pass over according to their preference.
The pre-Lenten season of Septuagesima was a three week long time of anticipation with the tradition of “burying the Alleluia” which wouldn’t be said or sung until Easter.
Then, from Ash Wednesday until the Saturday before the Fifth Sunday of Lent was Lent just as it is now.
This weekend, though, began Passiontide. These two weeks from now until Holy Thursday were marked by the veiling of the statues in the Church and by a few subtle changes at Mass (the Glory Be wasn’t said during this time, for example). These little changes accelerated during Holy Week which has changed very little.
Passiontide and Lent, properly understood came to an end on Wednesday Night of Holy Week, when the three days of Triduum began. These three days are the ones during which we follow Jesus in His Passion. On Holy Thursday, Jesus ate the Last Supper with His apostles and it is on this day that two important Masses are celebrated. First, the Bishop gathers with his priests and they recommit themselves publicly to their service of the Lord, the Church and the people. The Bishop takes this opportunity to bless the Holy Oils which will be used throughout the year… (This Mass is often scheduled on Tuesday or Wednesday of Holy Week in dioceses where priests are spread out.) The second Mass of importance is the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper which commemorates the events of the Last Supper and is the last Mass offered before the Easter Vigil. This Mass doesn’t actually end - it concludes with a Eucharistic procession to an altar of repose where the faithful can adore the Lord.
Good Friday commemorates the day the Lord laid in the tomb and so Mass is not offered. Instead, a long service of veneration of the Cross is offered.
Finally, all of the sombre days of Lent come to an end with the Paschal Vigil which begins with the quiet meditation upon scripture. Lent really becomes Easter when the Gloria is Sung! At that moment, we celebrate the resurrection and the Easter Feast begins.
Each of these little mile markers is good and important and helpful. Humans need these kinds of things. So, today, we enter Passiontide. In a week, we enter Holy Week. On that Thursday, we begin Triduum. And then - on Saturday evening around 8:45 - Easter will have begun!!
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
- April 7 Lenten Devotions & Movie Night (“The Passion of the Christ”), 5p
- April 8 Bake Sale - Church Hall - 10 to noon (see notes elsewhere)
- April 10-14 Holy Week
- April 15 Easter Egg Hunt - Church Grounds - time TBA
For Your Information:
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION FOR OUR CHILDREN … classes will meet on SUNDAY following Mass (about 10:30 a.m.) in the Church Hall.
PALM SUNDAY WEEKEND BAKE SALE….Next Saturday, April 8, we will have our parish-wide bake sale to support the repair work that was done on our buildings. Dust off your favorite recipes and plan to make your contributions to the event. We will have a list at the entrance of church for you to indicate the items and the quantity of items that you plan to prepare.
Please pass the word among your families and friends….Time - 10 - noon; Place - Church Hall
EASTER EGG HUNT… Mark your calendar for Holy Saturday...Time 10 a.m. ...Church Grounds… Stephenie Marsh and Kate Copes will provide leadership. Everyone is encouraged to provide dyed hardboiled eggs or plastic eggs with treats inside! Please have eggs to the church hall by 9 a.m. so that they can be hidden.
EASTER FLOWERS...Envelopes are at the entrance of church for anyone who would like to contribute to the flowers and decorations for Easter. Be certain to note if you wish to have flowers In Memory or In Honor of someone. Envelopes can be placed in the Collection Basket.
PROTECTING GOD’S CHILDREN… parish volunteers must be VIRTUS trained and go on line regularly at www.virtus.org for the latest training bulletins. Any questions or issues can be reported to the office. Printed resources are available on the table at the entrance to the Church. “Protecting our Children, Understanding and Preventing Child Sexual Abuse” includes Resources and Contact Numbers for reporting abuse. “Protecting God’s Children, Teaching Touching Safety Quick Reference Guide” The Diocesan Policy for the Protection of Minors and The Diocesan Code of Pastoral Conduct for Priests, Deacons, Pastoral Ministers, Administrators, Staff, and Volunteers are available in the Safe Environment section of the diocesan website at DioceseAlex.org or a copy may be requested from the Safe Environment Office (318) 445-2401.
PLEDGE TO HEAL...If you or a family member has been abused or victimized by a representative of the Catholic church or a member of the clergy, 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 establishing support groups in the central Louisiana area for 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 calls are confidential.
Lent: March 1 - April 15, 2017
Here at St. Edward, our traditional Lenten devotions will take place on Fridays:
- 5:00p - 5:25p Confession Available
- 5:30p - 5:50p Stations of the Cross
- 5:50p - 6:15p Holy Mass
Liturgy Assistants for Holy Week Holy Thursday C VanderVieren (Lector), L Bullard & A Keene (EMHC)
Good Friday C VanderVieren (Lector), P Gilfoil (Nar.), MA Gilfoil (Voice)
Holy Saturday P Gilfoil, MA Gilfoil & S Harris (Lectors), M Gilfoil & A Farlow (EMHC)
Every other Friday, Fr. Ryan will host a movie night in the Parish Center. He will prepare a Penitential Soup. Those would like are welcome to bring a simple salad.
- 4/7, "The Passion of the Christ" (126m)
- 4/21, "Risen" & Meat-lover’s feast for the Octave of Easter
The Voice of the Basket
- Weekly Budget FY 2016-17 $1,865
- February Budget $7,460
- February Income (Reg $7,927; Bldg $455) $8,382
- February Actual Expenses $7,081
- March Budget $7,460
- Collection March 25/26 $1,396
- March Income to Date $7,959
Stewardship When Jesus heard about the illness of His friend, Lazarus, He responded, “This illness is not to end in death;rather it is for God’s glory, that through it the son of God may be glorified.” Every aspect of our lives--our gifts as well as our sufferings--can,if surrendered to Christ, lead to blessing for ourselves and others.
Special Collection This weekend’s second collection is our once-a-month Building Fund collection.
Mass Intentions for the Coming Week
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Father Ferre for death anniversary on 3rd/Mills
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo For the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
- Mon No Mass
- Tue 5:30p In memory of SeSe Holstead for birth anniversary/family
- Wed 5:30p In memory of Curley Mills/family
- Thurs 9:00a In memory of Gus Gremshell (Mass offered at the Olive Branch)
- Fri 5:30p In memory of Michael Mills/family
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Paul VanderVieren/family
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo For the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
Altar Candles this week are provided by Louise Magoun
Assistants at Holy Mass
- 4/1 5:30p
- Servers: N & C Hall
- Lector: A Farlow
- EMHCs: M Rome & L Bullard
- 4/2 9:30a
- Servers: B Wood & C Donham
- Lector: A Keene
- EMHCs: N & M Ernst
- 4/8 5:30p
- Servers: N & C Hall
- Lector: P Wilks
- EMHCs: B Wilks & C VanderVieren
- 4/9 9:30a
- Servers: A Collins & M Wood
- Lector: S Harris(R), K Collins(N), A Oliver(V)
- EMHCs: B Smith/L Magoun
Let us Rejoice in the Lord!
Happy Birthday Harper Bedgood (April 2, 2012), Betty Smith (April 2), Carter Sullivan (April 2), Walker Sullivan (April 2), Henry Ellerbee (April 7), Ann Marie Marsh (April 8, 2013)
In Our Daily Prayers…
Our Holy Father Pope Francis and Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI; our Bishop David and Bishop-Emeritus Ronald. Our President, our Governor, our Mayor and our national, state and local elected representatives.
Our parishioners who are sick, shut-in, or otherwise in need of our prayers: Pat Bullard, Connie Copes, Elizabeth Crothers, Susan Gilfoil, Billy Hodge, Juanita Storey, Bill Kennedy, Becky and Michael Lancaster, Dale Magoun, Kathleen Mills, Sue Rome, Sue Scurria and Delia Trichell.
Our parishioners who are under full-time care: Frances Kennedy, Andrew Lombardo. Also, 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), Allison Crotwell (A Ginn), Jackie Daniels (Lancaster), Kyle and Marti Dukes Dill, Carol Dipert (Rome), Reba Duncan, Renee Edwards and parents (VanderVieren), George Eisworth family (Dyer), Pat Fairchild, 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), Ben Legendre (Gilfoil), Ben Lenhart (G Marsh), LaLa Lopez (Hernandez), Will and Michelle (MS) McGuire (Gilfoil), Keith Melancon (Regan), Tucker Melancon (Johnson), Marie Phillips Michelle (Hodge), Rhonda and Lee Miller (CCopes), Lindsay Mills, Loyd Moore (Donham), Debbie Mullin (Dyer), Wanda Murphy (Terry), Addison Petracca (S Marsh), Debbie Pettis (Rome), Yvonne Phillips (Hodge), Wayne Pitre (Gilfoil), Dana Rogers (Dyer), Bailey Rome, Lee Rome, Tiffney Rome, Beverly Sabille (Gilfoil), Linda Sanchez (Wilks), Andy Sevier, Chon Shiers and Deborah Shiers Stewart (Hall), Michael Stamper (Wilks), Lazette Thomason (Dyer), David Thompson (Wilks), Elaine Trimble (Rome), Rusty White (Bullard), Conner and Hudson Wood (nephews of Bart)
Our collegeates: Will Donham, Courtney Ernst, Norman Ernst, Anna Ginn, Matt Hall, Josh Hall, Kathleen Oliver
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.