From The Font
"The LORD inspired King Cyrus of Persia”
The Persian empire was the direct successor of the Assyrian empire. Together, they ruled the middle east for more than 2500 years. That’s an unthinkably long period of time! They were perhaps the most violent, oppressive and dictatorial empires in the history of the world.
King Nebukadnezar famously conquered the Jews for no reason other than to do it. King Darius II fought the Greeks at Thermopylae simply because he wanted to be king of everything. All of the Assyrian and Persian kings were tyrants.
It’s only when we understand how awful the Assyrians and the Persians were that we can understand how surprising it was for everyone that Cyrus the Great would give the Jews their country back! Why did he do it? He was the greatest political authority on the planet. The Jews were disunified, poor and had nothing with which to bargain. And yet, out of the blue, Cyrus gives them their land and the gold vessels that had been taken from the temple and tells them to go back home and pick up where they left off seventy years earlier…
Lots of historians have tried to find an atheistic way to explain Cyrus’ behavior. They’ve concocted complicated theories to diagnose Cyrus with everything from schizophrenia to multiple personality disorder. For the Jews, though, the only explanation was that God willed it and so it was.
The prophets had been predicting for a century that God would punish His people and that he would reconcile them to Himself after a few generations. Isaiah saw the conquering of Jerusalem by Nebukadnezar as a fulfillment of that prophecy. So it’s not hard to see why they would have seen the unexpected and unexplainable restoration of Israel and the Temple in the same light.
For us as Christians, we see a symbolic parallel between our own sins and God’s desire to reconcile us to Himself. We also recognize that it is the temple - for us the Sacraments - that is the first and most important thing to be rebuilt. The heart of our faith is not an ethic or a moral sense or a relationship with God or man - it’s our worship. Worship is the source and summit of our faith from which everything else flows.
Thoughts from Fr. Ryan
In the 1890s, Joseph Pulitzer's New York World and William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal were in a battle to the death for who would be the top newspaper in NYC. Erwin Wardman of the New York Press coined the phrase Yellow Journalism to describe the sensationalized “fake news” of the day. It’s hard not to see the same thing happening now as traditional newspapers are going broke due to the Internet and twenty-four hours news networks.
Still, even with that abundance of outright lies being published by the media, the failures of our leadership in the Church are hard to ignore. Almost every day we get news about another Monsignor or Bishop or Cardinal who has lied about money or ignored illegal activity or worse. Cardinal Pell of Australia has been cleared, but Cardinals Dolan (of New York) and Wuerl (of DC) have been implicated in what looks like a money laundering scheme. Several South American Bishops have been implicated in illegal coverups involving drugs. The Vatican “Curia” (the office workers - some are clergy and some are laity) are in the news daily over all kinds of yuck. A Monsignor in Michigan is in jail today and that’s just the stuff with civil law. We’re not even talking about clergy who have gotten in the habit of prioritizing what they can get over what they can give…
Y’all - this is depressing. It’s sad. It hurts my heart. Basically every day of my priesthood (I was ordained in 2005, four years after the first scandals broke) has been weighed down by this filth. I know many of you who are reading this are also disgusted and hurt and depressed about it. For many of the clergy, the solution is ignore it and hope everyone forgets… But what we’re seeing now - especially in Italy - is the fruit of sweeping it under the rug. The Mafia has always been involved in Italian Church finances… The Freemasons have always wanted to infiltrate the Church. The German Church has always been a desirable career for the well-connected. Cardinal. Marx - who is the liberal champion of social justice - has an 8 MILLION EURO home…
The clergy have been sweeping these things under the rug for decades and now that rot is coming to the surface. Liberal Catholicism has as it’s logical conclusion the personal rot of sin and the corporate rot of crime and coverup... So should we all just weep for the Church which is a disaster? Perhaps we should look to St. Francis who saw the same rot in his time that we see now… He prayed. He did penance. And God came to him with a simple message - “rebuild my Church.” Francis thought God was talking about the chapel he was praying in. So Francis repaired the roof. From there, Francis went on to change the world and the Church. Francis wasn’t a priest. He didn’t have a theology degree. He wasn’t a natural teacher nor did he grow up planning to change the world… He simply asked God “what can I do” and then when God answered, Francis took action. That’s where we are right now…
Do we have the courage to ask God “what can I do” and then, do we have the courage to take action?
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
- March 13 Altar Society Meeting – Parish Hall – following 5:30 p.m. Mass
- March 15 Lessons on Trip to Italy - following 5:30 p.m. Mass
- March 16 Lenten Fridays - Day of Abstinence from Meat; Stations of Cross after 5:30p Mass
- March 20 Pastoral Council… meet following 5:30 p.m. Mass in the Parish Hall
- March 24 Palm Saturday Bake Sale in the Parish Hall.
- March 31 Easter Egg Hunt -TBA a.m. - Church grounds
For Your Information:
SUNDAY CATECHISM...will meet on SUNDAY following Mass (about 10:30 a.m.) in the Church Hall.
FRIDAYS IN LENT. Every Friday of Lent we will have Stations of the Cross at 5:30p followed by Mass. On Mar 23, Father will prepare a light soup and show a spiritual film in the Hall. All are certainly welcome to join and to bring a small, meatless item if they’d like.
PALM SATURDAY BAKE SALE... in the Parish Hall on Mar 24. All are requested to assist with this event as it is the signature fund raising event for the Altar Society. There is a list at the entrance of church for your convenience in listing what dishes you plan to provide.
LENTEN REGULATIONS. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fast and abstinence. This means that we do not eat meat and we have only one full meal. The other Fridays of the season of Lent are days of abstinence from meat. The obligation to abstain from meat binds Catholics 14 years of age and older. The obligation to fast, limiting oneself to one full meal and two lighter meals in the course of the day, binds Catholics from the age of 18 to 59. Those who are younger or older may freely embrace these disciplines. But Lenten disciplines should never endanger your health.
It is obvious that abstaining from meat is meaningless for vegetarians, who must choose some other form of abstinence. It is equally obvious that replacing meat with a gourmet seafood meal is not in keeping with the spirit of Lent.
PILGRIMAGE TALKS...on March 15 and April 5 and 19, Father Ryan will have a program following 5:30 p.m. Mass during which he will have pictures and commentary relevant to the places that our group from St Edward will visit in May. All are invited to attend as the talks will be informative about historic and beautiful places and will include lots of pictures. Any and everyone can enjoy what our family and friends who are traveling with us will experience.
EASTER EGG HUNT… Holy Saturday, March 31, during the morning (time TBA) on church grounds. Stephenie Marsh and Kate Copes will be giving leadership to this event but all are encourgaged to provide eggs and to assist as you are able to insure that our children have their usual GREAT time!!! PLEASE NOTE: We have at least one child in our faith family with a severe peanut allergy so please insure that you do not include ANYTHING that has peanuts, peanut butter or peanut oil in it!
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.
Our Return to the Lord
- Weekly Budget FY 2017-18 $1,917
- February Budget $7,668
- February Income $7,900
- February Actual Expenses $8,870
- March Budget $7,668
- Collection March 3/4 $3,169
- March Income to Date $3,169
Stewardship All that we have and all that we are comes from the Lord. “We are truly his handiwork” says St. Paul in the second reading, “created in Christ Jesus to lead the life of good deeds which God prepared for us in advance.”
Special Collection This weekend’s second collection is for Catholic Relief Services that supports six Catholic agencies that touch more than 100 million lives around the world. The funds from the Collection help provide food to the hungry, welcome and support to displaced refugees, and invaluable life skills to those seeking a better life. Please give generously to The Catholic Relief Services Collection and Jesus in disguise.
Mass Schedule & Intentions for the Coming Week
- Sat 5:30p In memory of George and Elizabeth Gilfoil McGuire/E McGuire
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo for the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
- Mon No Mass
- Tue 5:30p In memory of Angela Lusk/S Cox
- Wed 9:00a In memory of Rosa Gremshell The Olive Branch
- Thu 5:30p In memory of J.C.B “Boyzie” Jumonville/family
- Fri 5:30p In memory of Curley Mills/family
- Sat 5:30p In memory of a special organ donor/Magoun
- 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
- 3/10 5:30p
- Lector: C VanderVieren
- EMHCs: L Bullard& Volunteer
- 3/11 9:30a
- Servers: EL & C Marsh
- Lector: D Ellerbee
- EMHCs: M Rome & Volunteer
- 3/17 5:30p
- Lector: M Rome
- EMHCs: A Farlow & L Bullard
- 3/18 9:30a
- Servers: C Donham & M Wood
- Lector: Youth
- EMHCs: B Smith & K Collins
- 3/24 5:30p
- Lector: MA Gilfoil
- EMHCs: P & M Gilfoil
- 3/25 9:30a
- Servers: P Collins & C Wood
- Lector: K Collins
- EMHCs: Volunteers
Let us Rejoice in the Lord!
Happy Birthday Levi Washington (March 10), Bobby Reynolds (March 12), Abby Ellerbee (March 12), Shannon Wood (March 15), Mary Trichell (March 16), Andy Nguyen (March 17), Alyssa Oliver (March 17)
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, Margo Corulla, Elizabeth Crothers, Susan Gilfoil, Bill Kennedy, Becky and Michael Lancaster, Dale and Louise Magoun, Kathleen Mills, Sue and Mike Rome, Juanita Storey, and Delia Trichell Our parishioners who are under full-time care: Billy Hodge, Frances Kennedy, Andrew Lombardo, Sue 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), Mark Badasch (Wilks), Margaret Baker (Magoun), Marie Farlow Bellard, Hattie Brown (Lancaster), Jerry Bullard, Colton Bullock (Farlow), Richard Chappuis (Johnson), Jackie Daniels (Lancaster), Carol Dipert (Rome), Ainslee and Jared Duff, Reba Duncan, Renee Edwards and parents (VanderVieren), Joe Farlow, Mike Farlow, Charles Michael Finlayson, Thom Gilfoil, Kathy Garley Hanlon (Gilfoil), Cooper Harris (R Wood), Alan Henley (Copes), Bo Holloway, Diane Johnson (Johnson), Ben Lenhart (G Marsh), LaLa Lopez (Hernandez), Michelle McGuire (Gilfoil), Mathieu family in Delhi (Wilks), Keith Melancon (Regan), Tucker Melancon (Johnson), Lindsay Mills,Jessica Montpelier (A Ginn), Wanda Murphy (Terry), Debbie Pettis (Rome), Wayne Pitre (Gilfoil), Bailey Rome, Lee Rome, Tiffney Rome, Dianne W. Roper (Murphy), Linda Sanchez (Wilks), Andy Sevier, Beverly Sibile (Gilfoil), David Sullivan (Hunter), Elaine Trimble (Rome), Teresa Vidrine (Wilks), Conner and Hudson Wood (nephews of Bart) Our collegiates: Ethan Beene, 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.