From The Font
“What can one give in exchange for his life?”
What indeed! This question is the center of Satan’s plan for each and every one of us. What can he convince us is worth it? What can we be fooled into believing is so good in this short life that it’s worth trading in for eternity.
Of course, the devil’s best play is to confuse us about proportions. He wants to convince us that this life is a much bigger deal than it is simply because it happens to be taking place now instead of then. But if NOW is so much more important than THEN and NOW is full of natural disasters and human evil and injustice and violence and back pain and disappointing season finales and missed promotions and runner-up trophies… Well, if NOW isn’t just fantastic and THEN is so much less important than NOW, then everything seems pretty awful… Are we surprised, then, that so many folks describe themselves as hopeless - even when they’ve taken their antidepressants? Are we surprised that the USA is one of the saddest and most depressed cultural groups on the planet at any moment in history?
We’ve bought the lie than the NOW is a bigger deal than the THEN and we’ve recognized that the NOW isn’t all that great. But we don’t have to buy into the lie! We don’t have to hang our hopes on the NOW! What’s amazing to me is that if we start to hang our hopes on the THEN and we start to live our lives for the Lord, the bad in the NOW falls into context and we begin to see all the good here and NOW. BUT if we hang all of our hopes on the THEN, the good in the NOW is not what we depend on for happiness - it’s an expression of the happiness and hope we have for the THEN. We don’t have to try and exchange something in exchange for Jesus’ gift to us. We wouldn’t succeed if we tried. Rather, we can have it all only by realizing that the NOW, good as it might be, is fleeting. Like happiness and peace, it’s only possible to have it as a side effect, not as an end goal in itself. The Gospel today is a clear call for context and proportion. We have to see things as they are and not as we would like them to be. When we allow the Lord to clear our eyes, we recognize the wisdom of His teaching and His law.
Thoughts from Fr. Ryan
This Friday, Sept 8, I won’t be able to offer Mass at the usual 5:30p time. I’ve been invited by Fr. John Pardue, the pastor of St. Patrick in Ferriday to join the priests of this area - which we refer to as the “Eastern Deanery” - for a Holy Hour and a supper in Winnsboro.
At the very beginning of the Church, every significant community was served by a Bishop. As the Church grew, Bishops set up shop in larger towns and established little mission chapels in surrounding towns which they would visit. As the Church grew more, Bishops appointed priests and deacons to assist them with spiritual (priests) and charitable (deacons) work. For the past 500 years or so, the Church has organized Herself into dioceses which are run by a Bishop. Each Bishop is the Vicar of Jesus Christ in his area. He establishes Churches and Chapels according to his judgement about the spiritual needs of the people in his area. Those Churches and Chapels are organized into “Parishes” which are generally led by a priest who takes the title “Pastor.” Several parishes may be organized into a grouping called a “Deanery” which is generally led by a “Vicar Forane,” commonly called a “Dean” who serves as the Bishop’s representative in a given area. The Dean is sort of in charge and sort of not. He’s meant to be the Bishop’s representative, but not to replace the Bishop. He has a series of specific duties which are given to him by the Bishop and which can be changed or adjusted at the Bishop’s instruction.
Our Dean is Fr. John Pardue of St. Patrick’s Church in Ferriday. His telephone number at St. Patrick is (318) 757-3834.
While Fr. John has all sorts of specific duties regarding canon law and finance and oversight and the like, he is also the first call if someone’s pastor - in this case, me - doesn’t do his job properly. So if I mess something up, You come see me. If I don’t make things right for you, then you call Fr. John. If Fr. John can’t make things right, then you call Fr. Chemino at the Chancery Office, (318) 445-2401. If Fr. Chemino can’t help, then you call the Bishop.
This process is a big deal, especially right now, because Bp. Talley is trying to help us (re)establish a sense of localness in the governance of the Church. All of us out here know how different it is to be a Catholic in Tallulah than in Alexandria or Bunkie. By keeping our governance as local as possible, Bp. Talley is making sure that the best decisions are being made by the people with the most skin in the game and with the best information and perspective. In short, this isn’t bureaucracy for its own sake - it’s logic and reason applied to leadership.
Fr. John isn’t just our Dean to solve problems, but also to help organize our efforts across a regional area. And so if you have ideas or feel strongly that you can help with a program or organization which extends beyond our parish, please feel free to speak with him about that as well!
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
- September 1 - First Friday Devotions after 5:30p Mass
- September 12 - Altar Society Meeting – Parish Hall – following 5:30 p.m. Mass
- September 17 - Potluck Social for the Third Quarter following Sunday Mass -- Parish Hall
- September 19 - NO Parish Council in Sept as Fr Ryan will be attending a Priest’s Convocation
- September 24 - SUNDAY CATECHISM begins following Mass (about 10:30 a.m.) in the Church Hall.
- September 23 & 24 - Blessing of Hunters and Sportsmen after Mass
- September 30 - Mass Schedule Returns to Normal, Mass at 5:30p
For Your Information:
MASS SCHEDULE FOR SEPTEMBER… Please mark your personal calendars for September when Father Ryan will be helping out at Waterproof and St. Joseph while Father Peter K is on vacation. Our Weekend Masses for September will be Saturday at 6 pm and Sunday at 9 am.
THIRD QUARTER SOCIAL… will be a Pot Luck Brunch following the Sunday Mass on September 17th. The Third Quarter (July, Aug, Sept) Social Committee - 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, Margaret and Pat Gilfoil, MaryAnne Gilfoil, Ann Keene, Natalie and Bryan Kneipp, Susie and Terry Murphy will have the tables set up, the A/C going, etc so dig out a favorite recipe to bring and enjoy!
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.
PRAYER FOR HURRICANE SEASON… O God, Master of this passing world, hear the humble voices of your children. The Sea of Galilee obeyed your order and returned to its former quietude; you are still the Master of land and sea. We live in the shadow of a danger over which we have no control. The Gulf, like a provoked and angry giant, can awake from its seeming lethargy, overstep its conventional boundaries, invade our land and spread chaos and disaster. During this hurricane season, we turn to You, O loving Father. Spare us from past tragedies whose memories are still so vivid and whose wounds seem to refuse to heal with the passing of time. O Virgin, Star of the Sea, Our Beloved Mother, we ask you to plead with your Son in our behalf so that spared from the calamities common to this area and animated with a true spirit of gratitude, we will walk in the footsteps of your Divine Son to reach the heavenly Jerusalem where a stormless eternity awaits us. Amen (Fr. Al Volpe, Cameron Parish, LA, originally dedicated to the victims of Hurricane Audrey in 1957)
The Voice of the Basket
- Weekly Budget FY 2017-18 $1,905
- July Budget $9,325
- July Income (Reg $9,253; Bldg $760) $10,013
- July Actual Expenses $9,763
- August Budget $7,620
- Collection August 26/27 $1,474
- August Income to Date $7,585
In today’s second reading, St Paul exhorts the Romans to TOTAL stewardship. Brothers and sisters, he urges, “...offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.”
SPECIAL COLLECTION This weekend’s second collection is our once-a-month Building Fund collection
STEWARDSHIP OF TIME AND TALENT Would you like to serve our parish as a Lector or as a Eucharistic Minister? If so, please contact Libby Bullard (574-1736) for training.
Mass Intentions for the Coming Week
- Sat 6:00p In memory of Sarah and Charlie Phillips (anniv)/Hodge
- Sun 9:00a Pro Populo For the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
- Mon No Mass
- Tue 5:30p In memory of E. A. “Jim” Jumonville/family
- Wed 9:00a In memory of Gus Gremshell Olive Branch
- Thu 5:30p In memory of Angela V Lusk/Nettles Family
- Fri NO MASS as Father will be at a Deanery event
- Sat 6:00p In memory of Tommy Bagby/VanderVieren
- Sun 9:00a Pro Populo For the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
Altar Candles this week are provided by Betty Smith
Assistants at Holy Mass
- 9/2 6:00p
- Lector: M Rome
- EMHCs: L Bullard & L Magoun
- 9/3 9:00a
- Servers: P Collins & C Wood
- Lector: A Keene
- EMHCs: N & M Ernst
- 9/9 6:00p
- Lector: P Wilks
- EMHCs: B Wilks & L Bullard
- 9/10 9:00a
- Servers: C Sullivan & H Ellerbee
- Lector: A Oliver
- EMHCs: K Collins & B Smith
- 9/16 6:00p
- Lector: P Gilfoil
- EMHCs: MA Gilfoil & M Gilfoil
- 9/17 9:00a
- Servers: W Sullivan & A Collins
- Lector: B Sullivan/Youth
- EMHCs: N & M Ernst
Let us Rejoice in the Lord!
Happy Birthday Sug Regan (Sept 4), Kathleen Ellerbee (Sept 8), Lori Sullivan (Sept 11)
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 who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey 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, and Delia Trichell. Our parishioners who are under full-time care: Frances Kennedy, Andrew Lombardo, Sue and Joe Scurria. 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), Jackie Daniels (Lancaster), 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), 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), Bob Thomas (Bullard), Lazette Thomason (Dyer), David Thompson (Wilks), Elaine Trimble (Rome), Jeremy Wilkins and family(Afghanistan), 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.