From The Font
“... a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own..."
America is a melting pot - a multicultural mishmash where people are encouraged to make or remake themselves into whatever they want to be. There’s no such thing as an American race united together with a single heritage, culture, history, lineage and land.
That multi-mish-mash is entirely at odds with the people to whom St. Peter is writing in our second reading. Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) was an arabic land with a shared culture, language and history. There were divisions to be sure, but that’s why St. Peter is reminding them that they are a chosen race and a holy nation.
The bit about being a royal priesthood is also foreign to our modern sensibilities in that for us religion is something that we have to choose personally. But in most ancient cultures, religious authority was associated with families and clans just as royal authority was. Jewish priests were chosen from the Tribe of Levi. They weren’t chosen because they were particularly holy or devoted - but because of their leadership and their connections.
St. Peter is trying to reconnect these people to their own history in order to show them that the new reality which the Church of Jesus would establish was a fulfillment of what was, rather than a rejection of it. The chosen race and royal priesthood of Jesus would still be chosen and royal - but it would be a race united by faith rather than blood and genetics. This new holy nation was going to be an intentional nation rather than a political one.
These kinds of ideas are the basis of our culture and our lives from the earliest moments of our lives and so it’s basically impossible for us to imagine how much of a game changer these ideas are! And they haven’t all worked out perfectly… Having a multicultural chosen race means that some folks will be bigoted. Having an intentional holy nation rather than one based on blood means that some people will over-estimate the power of their intentionality… That leads to the nonsense of transgenderism and its associated anti-human, anti-rational lunacy. Despite the risks, though, the Lord’s realignment of race, nation and priesthood is one of those things that we have to think about often when we read the Scriptures so as not to misunderstand.
Thoughts from Fr. Ryan
In Matthew’s Gospel, the Lord tells us that Judgement comes down the charity we showed in this life. He will say to those on his right… you found me thirsty and gave me drink… you visited me in prison… He will say to those on his left.... you found me thirsty and gave me no drink… Leaving aside the theological nuances, Jesus takes this whole works of charity thing VERY seriously.
For a long time, priests have overemphasized works of charity or have downgraded them to works of Justice... I don’t get why we would want to replace the greater virtue of Charity with the lesser virtue of Justice. There’s something not good there. That said, works of Charity matter and here in Tallulah, we have lots of opportunities. We have poor people. We have elderly folks, widows and widowers. We have a nursing home to visit. We have a hospital and we have several jails. Although it took a little while to get going, I am able to offer Mass for all the inmates at our women’s prison and for the inmates in building #4 at our men’s facility. There are plenty of folks who are not being served adequately just yet, but we’re establishing new relationships and that takes time. We usually have only 5-6 men attending Mass on the first Tuesday of every month at the Men’s prison. The ladies do better with about 25-30 attending Mass on the fourth Wednesday evening of each month.
These Masses are obviously much simpler than the Masses here at St. Edward. I bring a “Mass Kit” in with me that includes the linens, vessels, bread, wine, etc that I need and I set up on a desk or a lunchroom table. I offer the Mass of the previous weekend and preach to them about their specific situation and how God can use trials, difficulties and suffering to help them and to help others. Some are very attentive and some aren’t.
One of the things that most folks have to face in prison is that without a TV, a phone or the internet, free time is hard. Boredom is one of the real struggles of inmates and many folks turn to reading and prayer as the best ways to pass the time. As such, Rosaries and Books are the two main requests from both the men and the women. Rosaries are fairly cheap when I buy them in bulk. Books are pricier.
A few months ago I encouraged our parishioners to pray for all of our local prisoners. Some of you made donations to our prison ministries. Those donations were used to provide Rosaries to our prisoners and to provide a few specific book requests (usually bibles). Of course, we have money in the parish to provide for these donations, but I do want to at this time announce the possibility of making donations specifically to our prison ministry.
It’s my hope in the future - sooner rather than later - to be able to extend an invitation to parishioners to join me as I go into the prisons to serve the inmates, but we’re not quite there yet with our chaplains. Until then, those who would like to help our inmates financially are encouraged to do so!
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
- May 16 Pastoral Council Meeting – Parish Hall – following 5:30 p.m. Mass
For Your Information:
DEACON DEREK DUCOTE is being ordained as a priest of the Diocese of Alexandria on Saturday, June 17, 2017 at St Francis Xavier Cathedral, Alexandria. On the weekend of June 24/15, FATHER DERRICK will be in Tallulah for the weekend. A number of people have expressed an interest in contributing to an Ordination gift for our friend which will be given to him while he is visiting St Edward. If you would like to contribute to this gift, please contact Michael Lancaster for more details. If you plan to contribute via a check, please make that check payable to Michael.
PASTORAL COUNCIL..will hold its regular meeting on TUESDAY, MAY 16, 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. Members of the Council: 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 is Cathy VanderVieren. Parishioners are encouraged to attend and contribute to the discussions.
MASSTIMES.ORG. If you are traveling in the United States and wish to know about the Mass schedule and the locations of the Catholic churches in your destination area, please call toll free 1-800-627-7846 or visit www.masstimes.org
DIOCESE OF ALEXANDRIA IS ON FACEBOOK… If you want to stay informed, inspired, and maybe even voice your opinion about what is happening in the Catholic Diocese of Alexandria, join us on Facebook. Daily posts to the diocesan Facebook page include news, pictures of events, inspirational messages, scripture readings, and articles about church issues. Be the first to know what is going on in the diocese. Sign up as a fan today!
2017 FLOWER CALENDAR is on the bulletin board at the entrance of church. Please consider special events in your life or that of your family and consider putting flowers on the altar at least once this year for one of those events. If each family put flowers just one week, we would have fresh flowers for the entire year. Just pencil your name or intention in on the calendar and the church office will call to remind you of the date.
The Voice of the Basket
- Weekly Budget FY 2016-17 $1,865
- April Budget $9,325
- April Income (Reg $9,860; Bldg $681) $10,541
- April Actual Expenses $7,641
- May Budget $7,460
- Collection May 6/7 $2,189
- May Income to Date $2,189
Stewardship “The one who has faith in me will do the works I do, and far greater than these,” Jesus tells his disciples. That’s quite an assignment for us as Christian stewards!
Special Collection This Mother's Day weekend, a one-time special collection will be held to assist with a mosaic project on the dome of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC. 100% of the proceeds from this collection will assist with the completion of a mosaic design of the Holy Trinity on the central and final dome of the major basilica. Open 365 days a year, the Basilica is host to nearly one million visitors annually, attracting pilgrims and tourists alike from across the country and around the world. It is often referred to as the American Catholic Church.
Mass Intentions for the Coming Week
- Sat 8:00p In memory of Conway Yarbrough/Murphy
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo For the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
- Mon No Mass
- Tue 5:30p In memory of Colin Williams/Thompson & Mills family
- Wed 9:00a In memory of C. L. Keene/Morley at Olive Branch
- Thurs 5:30p In memory of Gus Gremshell
- Fri 5:30p In memory of Curley Mills/family
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Eva Reynolds/Thompson & Mills
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo For the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
Altar Candles this week are provided by Blanche Wilks
Assistants at Holy Mass
- 5/13 5:30p
- Lector: M A Gilfoil
- EMHCs: L Bullard & C VanderVieren
- 5/14 9:30a
- Servers: P Collins & C Woods
- Lector: B Sullivan
- EMHCs: N & M Ernst
- 5/20 8:00p
- Lector: P Gilfoil
- EMHCs: M Gilfoil & M Rome
- 5/21 9:30a
- Servers: C Sullivan & H Ellerbee
- Lector: K Collins
- EMHCs: N & M Ernst
- 5/27 5:30p
- Lector: A Farlow
- EMHCs: L Bullard & MA Gilfoil
- 5/28 9:30a
- Servers: EL & C Marsh
- Lector: A Keene
- EMHCs: B Smith & K Collins
Let us Rejoice in the Lord!
Happy Birthday Mary Anne Gilfoil (May 13), Eddie Mills (May 14), Dale Magoun (May 15), Daphne Beene (May 20)
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, Matt Farlow, Betina Finlayson, Madge and Don Finney (Dyer), Tracy Jones Fortenberry (Donham), Kathy Garley Hanlon (Gilfoil), Cooper Harris (R Wood), Alan Henley (Copes), Rudy Hernandez (Hodge), 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), Lindsay Mills, Debbie Mullin (Dyer), Wanda Murphy (Terry), Addison Petracca (S Marsh), Debbie Pettis (Rome), Wayne Pitre (Gilfoil), Dana Rogers (Dyer), Bailey Rome, Lee Rome, Tiffney Rome, Linda Sanchez (Wilks), Andy Sevier, Chon Shiers and Deborah Shiers Stewart (Hall), Beverly Sibile (Gilfoil), Lazette Thomason (Dyer), David Thompson (Wilks), Elaine Trimble (Rome), Rusty White (Bullard), Jeremy Wilkins and family(Afghanistan), Conner and Hudson Wood (nephews of Bart)
Our collegeates: 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.