From The Font
“If he refuses to listen even to the Church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.”
For the first time in history, we live in a world wealthy enough to comfortably ignore the evil around us. We know there’s crime and poverty and injustice and we’ve all tasted them to one degree or another, but they’re at enough of a distance that we can live our daily lives as if they didn’t really exist. Our degree of wealth - small by some comparisons, but nearly unmeasurable by others - means that we can safely ignore “the hope of a better life.” This is ultimately why Jesus warns that “it is difficult for the wealthy to enter into eternal life.”
It’s not that money or comfort or leisure time or a safe living environment or job security are somehow bad things - quite the opposite. They are blessings from God! But they also numb us to our actual condition. Every one of us is one hurricane, one traffic accident, one illness, one wrong-place-wrong-time away from losing all the effect of our wealth and comfort. When we consider our fragility, we realize our need for God. And this realization is at the heart of today’s Gospel passage.
Jesus knows that all of us will from time to time need correction. We’ll need to be assisted in our spiritual lives and in our moral lives and in our civic lives. And the best place for that assistance to come from is our friends - the people we love and trust. When we hear about the “Christian Community” or the Church as the “People of God,” we’re thinking about this network of fellow Christians who will love us enough to challenge us. Jesus prescribes that friends who love one another should go to one another and encourage one another to holiness, to righteous living, to the rejection of sin and the embrace. When this fails and someone remains in sin, then a small group should approach. When, and only when, that fails, then the Church - in the person of the pastor - should admonish the sinner or correct the one in error. If even that fails, then the person should be cast out until he comes to his senses. Of course, in a world where we can safely ignore the Christian message - this correction loses much of its power. But the power of a friend visiting another friend out of love and out of concern for his or her soul remains the best and most powerful tool we have to help someone into Heaven.
Thoughts from Fr. Ryan
This Thursday is the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross. It celebrates the finding of the Cross of Jesus, the nails and the Crown of Thorns outside of Jerusalem in the 4th century. (On our pilgrimage in May, we’ll actually see the nails and crown at the Church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme!) This feast has meant different things to different people at different moments in history. At some times, it has been the promise of victory over a dictatorial state or ruler. At other times, it’s been strongly associated with apocalypse. In our time, which is so violently and desperately skeptical of all things eternal... Which is witnessing the collapse of its entire philosophy and intellectual foundation… which is lost in a sea of meaningless words and an even more meaningless search for anything to avoid facing reality, the Triumph of the Cross is nothing less death knell for the stinkin thinkin of the so-called Enlightenment and a bright, shining lighted beacon of hope for those who are looking for something other than the numbness which this world calls happiness.
As I said on the cover, our comfort allows us to safely ignore God, but not forever. The finding of the Cross in Jerusalem four centuries after the Crucifixion is a real historical event and a metaphor for the world. Our culture is discovering that the last forty years - marked by artificial everything, labor-saving everything, make-life-easier everything hasn’t really done much of anything good. We’re fat. We’re lazy. Our kids lack work ethic and respect. In short, we’ve tried to replace the daily crosses of our humanity with modern living and it’s gone worse than we could have imagined. And now, we’re realizing that sanity and groundedness requires hard work. It requires blood, sweat and tears. It requires the cross. And not just any cross - it requires the Cross of Jesus.
This is happening. It’s not easy to see in our nation just yet. Our youngest generation is far more conservative morally and politically than Gen X or the Millennials. In places where old traditions are embraced, the young return to sanity with remarkable speed. Dioceses and Churches which embrace the ancient traditions of the Church (Latin Chant, altar rails, the priest facing the tabernacle rather than the people) are full of young families and vocations. Young people are rushing to join traditional religious orders which wear the cassocks and habits of the Bing Crosby era and which offer the old Latin Mass. In every era, we have to discover again the Triumph of the Cross. We have to discover that our human replacements for it simply don’t work. Since the 1960s, our American culture has tried to replace the Cross with Maytag, Prozac, Walmart, Microsoft, Apple and a hundred other things… They’ve all failed and we’re worse for the efforts. But the Cross always triumphs. Every time. I’ll offer Mass at 5:30p on Thursday (confessions from 5p until Mass). Whether you can join us or not, pray for the Triumph of the Cross in your heart and in the hearts of everyone in our community… It’s the only place we’ll find peace.
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
- September 12 - Altar Society Meeting – Parish Rectory – following 5:30 p.m. Mass
- September 12 - Pilgrimage Trip Meeting -- Parish Hall -- 6 p.m.
- 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 the Louisiana Priest’s Convocation
- September 24 - SUNDAY CATECHISM (for adults & kids) begins following Mass (about 10:30 a.m.) in the Church Hall.
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 next weekend, 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!
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)
PILGRIMAGE TRIP MEETING…Anyone who is (or might be) interested in joining Father Ryan for a Pilgrimage Trip to Italy in May 2018 should plan to be at the Church Hall for an informational meeting on Tuesday, September 12, at 6 p.m. Representatives of the travel group who will be organizing the trip will be in attendance to answer questions.
SPECIAL COLLECTION...Archbishop Jose Gomez, vice president of the USCCB, has asked for a special collection to be held next weekend (September 16/27) for the Victims of Hurricane Harvey. Funds given to the collection will support the humanitarian and recovery efforts of Catholic Charities USA and will provide pastoral and rebuilding support to impacted dioceses through the USCCB. The USCCB is working closely with affected local dioceses, Catholic Charities USA and St. Vincent de Paul, along with other relief organizations, to assess the needs on the ground. “Our hearts and prayers go out to the families that have lost loved ones and to all who have lost homes and businesses along with their sense of peace and normalcy,” said Archbishop Gomez. “Our prayerful and financial support is urgently needed.”
The Voice of the Basket
- Weekly Budget FY 2017-18 $1,917
- August Budget $7,620
- August Income (Reg $7,585; Bldg $504) $8,089
- August Actual Expenses $8,714
- September Budget $7,668
- Collection September 2/3 $1,917
- September Income to Date $1,917
Mass Intentions for the Coming Week
- Sat 6:00p In memory of Tommy Bagby/VanderVieren
- Sun 9:00a Pro Populo For the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
- Mon No Mass
- Tue 5:30p In memory of May DiTomasso
- Wed 9:00a In memory of J C B “Skeezix” Jumonville/family Olive Branch
- Thu 5:30p In memory of Curley Mills/Thompson & Mills
- Fri 5:30p In memory of Darryl, Sr and John Ellerbee/family
- Sat 6:00p In memory of A J S “Jackie” Jumonville/family
- Sun 9:00a Pro Populo For the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
Altar Candles this week are provided by Margo Corulla
Assistants at Holy Mass
- 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: Youth/TBA
- EMHCs: N & M Ernst
- 9/23 6:00p
- Lector: M Rome
- EMHCs: L Bullard & MA Gilfoil
- 9/24 9:00a
- Servers: EL Marsh & C Marsh
- Lector: P Wilks
- EMHCs: B Wilks & L Magoun
Let us Rejoice in the Lord!
Happy Birthday Lori Sullivan (Sept 11), Dan Copes (Sept 12), Natalie Kneipp (Sept 16)
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, Brian Johnson (in Houston), Bill Kennedy, Brian and Natalie Kneipp, 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 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), 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.