From The Font
“Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”
These few words speak loudly to the fears and anxieties we live with every day. None of us feel blessed to see what the news will say or what tweets and snapchats and messages will appear on our screens. We don’t generally feel too blessed by what the Lord said, either. In part, that’s because our culture has been consciously trying to move forward without reference to Christianity. Mostly, though, it’s because the Lord is offering us something real and we tend to live in a world which is unreal. Our food is unreal. Our entertainment is unreal. Many of our relationships are unreal. And if we get sick of it or depressed by it, we just pop a pill or take a puff and we feel right as rain. With options like that, real health - in body or spirit - just doesn’t seem like it’s worth it.
And yet, for those who have cut fake food out of their diets - the world is a new place. Just talk to the people on Keto or Intermittent Fasting or who have gone Vegan... We find the same sort of health among those who have cut fakeness from their spiritual lives as well.
Despite the hype, the trending hashtags and the prevailing opinion that everything has been decided and that Jesus is on the wrong side of history - an honest look into the facts reveal that our folks are not happy. Our suicide rate is through the roof. So is our consumption of pills and fads. What ever we’re doing isn’t working. The fake stuff fails to satisfy.
And so, again, we find ourselves at these words of Elizabeth - Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled. Practicing Catholics have a dramatically lower incidence of depression, of divorce and of addictive behavior. Very good science shows that acting like a good Christian is just about the best thing you can possibly do - even if your belief is less than 100%.
Of course, we would do well to think about belief. We believe all sorts of things - from the value of 8 cups of water a day to the danger of saturated fats. Belief is a choice before it’s a hunch or a habit or a part of who we are… And so we can believe right now - whether or not we ever have before - that the Lord keeps His promises and we can see the proof if we look.
Thoughts from Fr. Ryan
Merry Christmas!! This has been a truly incredible year for me and for our parish. We had a huge group confirmed by our new Bishop David Talley. Many of us traveled to Italy to Assisi and Orvieto and Florence and Naples and Rome. We had Mass at the Tomb of St. Francis and we had Mass at the Tomb of St. Peter. We got a whole new understanding of how old and how incredible the Catholic Church is.
In the fall, I left for three months of sabbatical. In that time, I expected to learn a lot from people I would meet on the Camino de Santiago… But the Lord had vastly different plans for me and I spent that trip learning about docility and about how to listen to and respond to the Lord. I got to visit Iceland, Ireland, Barcelona (which has the best museum I’ve ever experienced), Pamplona, Burgos, Leon, Santiago de Compostela, Rome, Assisi, the Isle of Capri, Sorrento, Krakow, Bruges, Bruxelles, Paris, Chartres, Edinburgh and London.
In each of those places, I experienced a broad diversity of people, ideas, perspectives, attitudes and opinions. And in each of those places, the Church is present. But the Church looks and sounds and smells and feels differently. It’s not because the Bible or the Catechism or the teaching of the Church is different - it’s because the Bible and the Catechism and the teaching of the Church are incarnate there and being incarnate (literally, in the flesh) means being particular. It means the Church isn’t an idea or a thought or a philosophy or a digital presence - it’s touchable, tangible, physical and real. Christmas is literally the feast of the Nativity of Jesus. It’s the moment He became flesh and dwelt among us as St. John’s Gospel puts it.
The Church around the world is struggling. In some places, the Church is growing fast. In India and Africa - despite the violence of Islam - the Church is growing by huge margins each year. In the wealthier countries of the world, the Church is dying. In Europe, Australia and the US, the Church is shrinking. In part, that’s because the sins of the past sixty years are being made public. That was the same period of time when certain Church leaders shouted that the Gospel was out of date and needed to be brought in line and made relevant for modern man! And so many things changed. We shifted and switched and said “let’s be modern.” And at the same time, many, many sins were committed and now, after trying that plan for six decades, there are more former-Catholics in the US than there are practicing Catholics. In fact, less than 1 in 5 attend Mass weekly. Still thanks be to God that what has been hidden is being made known! No healing or new life can come until the wound is washed and cleaned.
In our own lives and hearts, this feast of Christmas is a chance for that same cleaning. Jesus was born in a filthy stable, surrounded by dung. He purified the place by His goodness - not by elbow grease and Clorox Wipes. So, too, we are invited to be cleaned, to be healed, to be made fresh and new and joyful in Him. This is a season of Hope and we have every reason to look with expectation to our Lord Jesus Christ.
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
Sunday Morning Catechism in the Hall after the 9:30a Mass unless otherwise indicated
December 26,27,28 NO MASS as Father Ryan will be away
- January 5 Saturday after Mass -- Burning of the Greens -- including fellowship in the Hall
For Your Information:
CHRISTMAS EVE 5:30 p.m. … Servers are Walker and Carter Sullivan; lector is Pat Gilfoil, EMHC are Margaret and MaryAnne Gilfoil CHRISTMAS DAY 9:30 a.m … No servers needed; lector is Ann Keene; EMHC are Volunteers
WEEK DAYS FOLLOWING CHRISTMAS.... there will NOT be Mass on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday following Christmas Day Mass as Father Ryan will be having a Christmas visit with his family in Houston.
BURNING OF THE GREENS…We will have the Burning of the Greens on Saturday, January 5, 2019 following Saturday Mass on the church grounds. Burning of the Greens is the traditional celebration in which the season of Chrismas ends and the time of Carnival begins. The celebration has three elements: a bonfire in which the Christmas greenery is burned, the feast including the famous “Queen’s Soup” and the blessing of the first King Cake of the season. We’ll have the bonfire in the backyard. Please bring a piece of your Christmas Tree or some part of your live Christmas decoration to throw in the bonfire and feel free to bring a dessert and an adult beverage. (Set ups-- cups, ice, etc. - will be provided.)
TABLECLOTHS...If anyone from the Fourth Quarter Social group who took cloths home to launder still has them at home, PLEASE return them to the center. Thank you!
2018 CALENDARS….can be found on the table at the entrance of church. Feel free to take one for home and one for your office as we have sufficient.
SAINTS ALIVE...ANGELS AT WORK...the Birthday Party for Jesus was a great success last Sunday thanks to the efforts of lots of folks! Your involvement is appreciated!!! Several families in our community are experiencing a happier than usual Christmas thanks to the very generous faithfamily at St Edward who provided for them through our Angel Tree! Thanks to all who helped with this event!
Our Return to the Lord
- Weekly Budget FY 2018-19 $1,917
- Nov Budget $7,668
- Nov income $8,958
- Nov expenses $8,640
- Dec Budget $9,585
- Collection Dec 15/16 $1,671
- Dec Income to Date $6,525
Stewardship The Gospel today tells of the Virgin Mary, pregnant herself, hurrying off to help her cousin, Elizabeth. The model of good stewardsip, she who had given herself to bear the Savior gave her time and love to others as well.
SECOND COLLECTION Traditionally at all Christmas Masses, a second collection is taken throughout our diocese for the education and formation of our priests. Through the Church Vocations collections, your generosity and prayers allow the church to continue to provide priests, sisters and brothers to serve our spiritual and physical needs. Please be generous. -Bishop David Talley
Mass Schedule & Intentions for the Coming Week
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Joseph Testa (for 27th)/family
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo for the Living & Dead members of our Parish
- Mon 5:30p Christmas Eve Pro Populo for the Living & Dead members of our Parish
- Tue 7:30a Traditional Latin Mass for Christmas Day for Stacy Mestayer
- Tue 9:30a Christmas Day In memory of Eva Reynolds/family
- Wed--Fri NO MASS as Father Ryan is away
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Paul VanderVieren (for 27th)/family
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo for the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
Assistants at Holy Mass
- 12/22 5:30p
- Lector: A Farlow
- EMHCs: M Rome & MA Gilfoil
- 12/23 9:30a
- Servers: P Collins & H Ellerbee
- Lector: A Oliver
- EMHCs: N & M Ernst
- 12/29 5:30p
- Lector: C VanderVieren
- EMHCs: M Rome & A Keene
- 12/30 9:30a
- Servers: EL & C Marsh
- Lector: B Sullivan
- EMHCs: N & M Ernst
- 1/5 5:30p
- 1/6 9:30a
- Servers: A Collins & M Wood
- Lector: TBA
- EMHCs: TBA
Let us Rejoice in the Lord!
Happy Birthday Robbie Kivett (Dec 25), Emmy Lou Marsh (Dec 27), Jen Yabut (Dec 27), Emory Dukes (Dec 30)
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, Chris & 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 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, Kathleen Oliver, Maddie Oliver, Bailey Rome, 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.