From The Font
“The days are coming...”
Waiting played a significant part in the spirituality of the Jews and of most Christians. Unlike our modern era, everything in life meant waiting. Certain foods and flavors could only be gotten at certain seasons. Entertainment meant waiting for the fair or the traveling drama troupe (or even just next Tuesday at 6). Talking to other people meant a long walk. Even the seasons meant waiting unless your family was wealthy enough to afford candles or lamp oil. For us, everything is immediate. No question can’t be googled, no order rushed from amazon and no entertainment can’t be found on our phones, tablets and PCs. We don’t do well with waiting. But for basically everyone other than us, waiting was a big, big part of life and it had powerful spiritual meaning.
When we wait - imagine we’re waiting without power and without internet - we’re forced to think and imagine and to rest and to spend time with ourselves. We get to know ourselves. When the Lord tells us to wait on Him, He’s not saying that our time isn’t valuable or whatever He’s saying that the waiting, itself, has purpose. Prayer is, in some ways, just waiting. It’s making ourselves open to the Lord’s providence.
Advent is a season which is all about waiting. We’re waiting for the end of days. We’re waiting for that Virgin to conceive and bear a son and name Him Emmanuel. We’re waiting for the star to come to rest over the manger in Bethlehem. We’re waiting for those jazzy wise men to get the gifts to the Baby Jesus. And as we wait, we do well to realize that the time between now and then isn’t just marking days - it has it’s own internal worth. Waiting matters… We need to spend time with ourselves and with the Lord doing nothing at all.
Of course, there are other messages that we can find in our Gospel for today - but we’ve heard most of those so many times that they have become nostalgic or even banal. But having the courage to rush headlong into the Holiday season by doing nothing! - that’s something that we probably haven’t considered and it’s something that we probably should.
Thoughts from Fr. Ryan
This week, the priests of the Diocese will be gathered in Alexandria for our annual convocation - literally, a “calling together.” Part of the reason for this is socializing and fraternity. Priesthood can be a very lonely life, but not for the reasons you might think. Most priests spend plenty of time around people of all sorts and you generously welcome us into your lives and families. The lonely part is that like judges or academics in a rare kind of science, priests are fairly rare and almost no one who isn’t a priest understands what it’s like to live that life. It’s hard to feel like someone understands my experience other than a brother priest… I wouldn’t say for a minute that I’m lonely. Quite the opposite. I love my life here in Tallulah. I’m very, very happy here. But I keep up with other priests from all over and that satisfies my need for fraternity.
Beyond simple socializing and friendship, this convocation allows the priests to share stories, anecdotes, hopes, concerns and frustrations specific to central Louisiana and to our Catholic population. Sure, the folks of New England are rightly concerned about Cdl. Wuerl and the US Attorney - but is that something the people of Tallulah are actually concerned about? What about the people of Pineville or Bunkie? Racism is the topic of a new pastoral letter from the USCCB. Does that letter ring true locally in our parishes or is another approach needed here?
Bp. Talley has been concerned about the mindset that is common in the Gulf South in which each community tends to think of itself as the center of activity and not as a part of the universal Catholic Church. It’s a dangerous temptation to be sure. The local versus the universal is a much more important question than it seems to be. After all, so long as I preach the truth, does it really matter if we do things a little differently than St. Joe or Winnsboro? And as regards Advent decorations or pastoral council meetings - the answer is clearly that it doesn’t. But when we get too local and lose sight of the reality that this place is the universal Catholic Church founded by Jesus Christ made present in this community and not just the folks of St. Edward - we can find ourselves thinking that our preferences or our interests are more important than the Catholic Faith. It’s a subtle, but powerful temptation.
As all of our priests gather this coming week, it’s a temptation that will be on our minds because the Catholic Church in the world is growing. It’s actually growing quite quickly. But the Catholic Church in the United States and Europe is shrinking… One can and should ask why that is!
One can and should ask, too, how we’re going to respond to the new concerns about the scandal of homosexuality among the clergy and the failure of bishops to govern abuser priests and to govern themselves over the course of the past sixty years. Some people - including some clergy at the top of the universal Church - seem to think that this problem is localized to the US and yet it’s actually more a reality in every area the Church is shrinking and it’s conspicuously absent in those places where the Church is thriving…
There are lots of things to discuss. I hope you’ll pray for all priests and bishops this week.
Calendar of Events
- Confessions every 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
- December 2 First Sunday...Traditional Latin Mass...noon
- December 2 Christmas on the Bayou... Parade & Concert at First Baptist Church
- Dec 3 - Dec 7 No Mass - All Priests in Alexandria
- December 8 Holy Day of Obligation...The Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Mass on Friday at 5:30 p.m. or Saturday at 9:30 a.m.
- December 8 First Friday
- December 16 Birthday Party for Jesus
- December 17 & 18 Advent Mission at 6 p.m. by Deacon Greg
- December 18 NO Pastoral Council meeting in December
For Your Information:
ANGEL TREE...Our “wish list” for 45 deserving individuals has been compiled and the tree in the Hall has Angels on it with those wishes. You can make your selection of what you would like to do for the upcoming Christmas season. As you select an “Angel”, please make note of the number on that Angel and list it along with your name on the “List” near the tree so that we will have a means of contacting people if we wind up with any gaps in our “wish list”. Our thanks to Dana Dukes for her leadership in this process.
ADVENT MISSION…Deacon Greg Ollick will be giving leadership to our Advent Mission,”Bringing the Kingdom Home This Christmas”. Our sessions will be on Monday, December 17, and Tuesday, December 18 at 6 p.m. in our church. We will take our spiritual vital signs and learn how they can help us develop a deeper and more intimate relationship with the God who loves us the way we are, but refuses to leave us there. He wants more for us; he wants us to become just like Jesus!
FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION... Saturday, December 8 is a Holy Day of Obligation for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception which is the Patronal Feast of the United States. Every Catholic MUST attend Mass both for the feast and for the Sunday. Masses for Immaculate Conception will be Friday, Dec 7 at 5:30p, Saturday, Dec 8 at 8:30a and Saturday, Dec 8 at 5:30p. Masses for the Sunday are Saturday, Dec 8 at 5:30p and Sunday, Dec 9 at 9:30a. The reason for Holy Days of Obligation reaches all the way back to our Jewish roots of sanctifying time. The Lord chose certain days to set apart as Holy. We only have 7 Holy Days of Obligation in the entire year and 313 days free from Obligation. Please make every effort to honor Our Lord and His Mother on this day of prayer for our Nation.
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.
CHRISTMAS ON THE BAYOU… Parade at 4 p.m. and Christmas Concert at First Baptist Church at 6 p.m. Father Ryan will the narrator for the evening and several of our faith family will be in the choir. These events will conclude with the fireworks display in the area of the Mississippi Street bridge.
RETIREMENT FUND FOR RELIGIOUS...do you remember the sisters, brothers, or religious order priests who made a positive difference in your life? Today many are elderly and need assistance. Their religious communities struggle to meet retirement needs while continuing to serve the People of God. Please give to next week’s second collections.
Our Return to the Lord
- Weekly Budget FY 2018-19 $1,917
- Oct Budget $7,668
- Oct Income $7,249
- Oct Expenses $8,078
- Nov Budget $7,668
- Collection Nov 24/25 $1,565
- Nov Income to Date $8,758
Stewardship ”Be on guard,” Jesus warns in today’s Gospel, “lest your spirits become bloated with indulgence.” Let us heed His warning and follow the advice of St. Paul, conducting ourselves in a way pleasing to God, overflowing with love for one another.
Special Collection This weekend is our once a month building fund collection. Next weekend’s second collection is for Retirement Fund for Religious.
Mass Schedule & Intentions for the Coming Week
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Sarah Phillips/family
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo for the Living & Dead members of our Parish
- Mon No Mass
- Tue through Thursday -- No Mass as all priests are at Maryhill
- Fri 5:30p Vigil of Feast of Immaculate Conception -- In memory of Gus Gremshell
- Sat 9:30a Feast of Immaculate Conception -- In memory of Colin Williams/Mills & Thompson Sat 5:30p In memory of Marie Phillips Michele/Weaver
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo for the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
ALTAR CANDLES this week are burning in memory of Josephiine Hodges’ mother, Sarah Phillip.
Assistants at Holy Mass
- 12/1 5:30p
- Lector: A Farlow
- EMHCs: L Bullard & C VanderVieren
- 12/2 9:30a
- Servers: C Sullivan & M Wood
- Lector: B Sullivan
- EMHCs: B Smith & K Collins
- 12/8 5:30p
- Lector: M Rome
- EMHCs: MA Gilfoil & A Farlow
- 12/9 9:30a
- Servers: W Sullivan & C Wood
- Lector: D Ellerbee
- EMHCs: N & M Ernst
- 12/15 5:30p
- Lector: P Wilks
- EMHCs: B Wilks & C VanderVieren
- 12/16 9:30a
- Servers: EL & C Marsh
- Lector: Carter & Chandler
- EMHCs: B Smith & K Collins
Let us Rejoice in the Lord!
Happy Birthday Nick and Chris Hall (Dec 7)
Happy Anniversary Dana and Randy Dukes (Dec 3)
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
Our parishioners who are sick, shut-in, or otherwise in need of our prayers: Pat Bullard, Connie Copes,, Elizabeth Crothers, Susan Gilfoil, Matt Hall (military), Josephine Hodge, Bill Kennedy, Becky and Michael Lancaster, Dale and Louise Magoun, Kathleen Mills, Sue and Mike Rome, and Delia Trichell
Those under full-time care: Billy Hodge, Frances Kennedy, Andrew Lombardo, Sue Scurria. Jim Farrell of Vicksburg, Sharon Hansen of Gonzales, Consuelo Marsh of Lake Providence, Jean Cantrell, Marie Cedotal, 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, Hattie Brown (Lancaster), Jerry Bullard, Colton Bullock (Farlow), Tommy and Gail Byrd, Richard Chappuis (Johnson), Kay Collins, Karen Cobb, Jackie Daniels (Lancaster), Carol Dipert (Rome), Carole Ducote (Lancaster), Joe Farlow, Mike Farlow, JoAnn Phillips Finn (Hodge), Thom Gilfoil, Kathy Garley Hanlon (Gilfoil), Cooper Harris (R Wood), Bo Holloway, Diane Johnson (Johnson), Jeannie Kivett, Ben Lenhart (G Marsh), LaLa Lopez (Hernandez), Michelle McGuire (Gilfoil), Mathieu family in Delhi (Wilks), Tobie McKowen (Wilks), Keith Melancon (Regan), Tucker Melancon (Johnson), Lindsay Mills, Debbie Pettis (Rome), Sam and Betty Phillips (Hodge), Wayne Pitre (Gilfoil), Lee, Tiffney & Bailey Rome, Dianne W. Roper (Murphy), Linda Sanchez (Wilks), Walter Scott, Andy Sevier, Spencer and Mary Sevier, Beverly Sibile (Gilfoil), Theresa Thom (Rome), Elaine and James Trimble (Rome), Adam Triplett (Reynolds), Teresa Vidrine (Wilks), Conner and Hudson Wood (nephews of Bart)
Our collegiates: Norman Ernst, Anna Ginn, Josh 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.