From The Font
“Whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.”
Sheep theft isn’t quite the problem for us that it is for more agriculture-minded peoples… Still, it’s not hard to understand what Jesus is getting at in this metaphor. In short, anyone who tries to “enter the sheepfold” of the Church and, therefore, of Heaven, without passing through the doorway - the “gate” - of Jesus Christ has two problems. First, they are a criminal and that’s a problem. Second, they are not going to get what they want.
There are a multitude of counterfeit ways to heaven. Plenty of people promise happiness in all sorts of ways that have nothing to do with Jesus or with our true human nature. Some say that we can meet Jesus on our own terms and do whatever we want as long as we have “faith.” Of course, that word doesn’t always mean what we tell it to mean. Other folks claim that they can offer happiness through financial security or worldly success. It’s a natural Southern idea to find happiness through family and sports and outdoorsmanship and “passing a good time” as the Cajuns say. More and more people in our world think they can find happiness through collecting pleasures.
Of course, Jesus knew that these counterfeits would abound. Heck, there were dozens of fake Messiahs before and after Jesus arrived on the scene in Jerusalem. The counterfeits we will have with us always (c.f. the parable of the Weeds and the Wheat in Mt 13). It’s essential for us to be aware of the fakeness of these counterfeit ways to happiness and salvation. Not all of them are bad! Fun with our family is unmistakably good! So is financial security and worldly success. But they are good only when we realize that they are a foreshadowing of the blessings of Heaven. They are not why we’re here and they are not an end in themselves. They are a reminder of God’s love.
When we keep that firmly in mind, then we can give them the attention they deserve without losing sight of the necessity of being a disciple of Jesus, praying, fasting, doing works of mercy, repenting of our sin and spending our lives endeavoring to enter through the one true sheepgate!
Thoughts from Fr. Ryan
This weekend, Bishop Talley has asked all the priests to ask on his behalf for your generous consideration of his Annual Appeal. Let’s not pretend that the past isn’t the past. Our parish and our diocese have had some tough days. We’ve had some pastors who have disrespected the value of our attention and our generosity. We’ve even been lied to from time to time. There’s no point in denying all of that.
This tough history is a big part of the reason that I’m trying so hard not to spend what we don’t need to spend. Bishop Talley is likeminded. He has spent much of his life in service to the very poor and he has a very deep sense of respect for what it means when someone gives a dollar to the Church. He and I both believe that no pastor - be he a priest or a bishop - has the right to be flippant with other people’s money. Bishop has tightened up the belt at the Chancery significantly and he’s tightened the budget for coming years as well.
So when he asks us today, to give to the appeal, he’s not asking as someone who just can’t wait to spend, he’s asking as someone who sincerely values your gift… He’s also asking as someone who has already driven up here to Tallulah twice in his three months as our Bishop and has come to our area no less than six times already. And so he’s a man who values US more than he values our money. That says a lot.
This appeal primarily funds our seminarians. While it provides some budget for other programs, the seminarians are the biggest cost we have.
When Bp. Herzog held a town hall meeting last year, a gentleman from Winnsboro asked him: “Bishop, why should I give to support the seminarians when I have no reason to believe that any of those men are ever going to be assigned to this parish for the summer or as my pastor?” Bp. Talley has committed himself to giving a good answer to that question. He has appointed Fr. Dale Meade and Fr. John Pardue - both native vocations - to parishes in our area and has assigned Jacob Cass to be our seminarian for the summer. Bishop Talley is sending us very clear signals that he has heard our frustrations and intends to address them in a substantive way.
And so I have no reservations in encouraging everyone to make a gift to the Diocesan Bishop’s Appeal this year. I’ll be making a significant gift and I hope that you’ll ask the Lord for wisdom and direction before making your decision.
I couldn’t be happier with our new bishop’s thinking about finance. He’s cautious; he puts people before money; he follows the rules; and he holds his priests and employees accountable when they forget that every penny we have comes from someone who could find a very good use in their own life for it.
Whether we give or not, we ought to offer some meaningful time of prayer for the success of the appeal as it is an important part of the work we do for the Church. I’m asking every one of us to say one Rosary - that’s 20 minutes - for our Bishop and for his appeal. Thanks in advance for your generosity in spirit!
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 9 Altar Society Meeting – Parish Hall – following 5:30 p.m. Mass
- May 16 Pastoral Council Meeting – Parish Hall – following 5:30 p.m. Mass
For Your Information:
SAINTS ALIVE…ANGELS AT WORK… The Reception for our High School Seniors last Sunday was GREAT! and our thanks go to those who contributed food, to Mike who put the flowers together and to Ginny who gave leadership to the project!
MAY 7: WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS On May 7, the Catholic Church will celebrate the 54th annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations. Below is a Prayer for Vocations, written by Pope Francis.
Father of Mercy, who gave your Son for our salvation and who strengthens us always with the gifts of your Spirit, grant us Christian communities which are alive, fervent and joyous, which are fonts of fraternal life, and which nurture in the young the desire to consecrate themselves to you and to the work of evangelization.
Sustain these communities in their commitment to offer appropriate vocational catechesis and ways of proceeding towards each one’s particular consecration.
Grant the wisdom needed for vocational discernment, so that in all things the greatness of your merciful love may shine forth.
May Mary, Mother and guide of Jesus, intercede for each Christian community, so that, made fruitful by the Holy Spirit, it may be a source of true vocations for the service of the holy People of God. Amen.
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.
The Voice of the Basket
- Weekly Budget FY 2016-17 $1,865
- March Budget $7,460
- March Income (Reg $7,959; Bldg $530) $8,489
- March Actual Expenses $6,980
- April Budget $9,325
- Collection April 29/30 $1,537
- April Income to Date $9,261
Stewardship Jesus says, “I came that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Good stewards are grateful for the gift of life and joyfully share their abundance with others.
Mass Intentions for the Coming Week
- Sat 8:00p In memory of Paul VanderVieren
- 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/S Wood
- Wed 9:00a In memory of Rosa Gremshell at Olive Branch
- Thurs 5:30p In memory of Wayne Neuroth/Mill family
- Fri 5:30p In memory of Fred Wyly(death anniversary)/Magoun
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Conway Yarbrough/Murphy
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo For the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
Altar Candles this week are provided by Margo Corulla
Assistants at Holy Mass
- 5/6 5:30p
- Lector: C VanderVieren
- EMHCs: P & M Gilfoil
- 5/7 9:30a
- Servers: C Donham & M Wood
- Lector: D Magoun
- EMHCs: L Magoun & Volunteer
- 5/13 8:00p
- Lector: M A Gilfoil
- EMHCs: L Bullard & C VanderVieren
- 5/14 9:30a
- Servers: P Collins & C Woods
- Lector: B Sullivan
- EMHCs: P & B Wilks
- 5/20 5:30p
- Lector: P Gilfoil
- EMHCs: M Gilfoil & M Rome
- 5/21 9:30a
- Servers: C Sullivan & H Ellerbee
- Lector: K Collins
- EMHCs: N & M Ernst
Let us Rejoice in the Lord!
Happy Birthday Father Ryan Humphries (May 6), Colin Donham (May 7), Mary Anne Gilfoil (May 13), Eddie Mills (May 14)
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), Michael Stamper (Wilks), 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.