From The Font
Jesus said: "I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
At some point in the past fifty or sixty years, the American mentality of self-sufficiency was very wrongly applied to the spiritual life. In our worldly lives, self-sufficiency is part of being successful and prosperous. It’s part of being American. In our spiritual lives, though, as with the most important relationships in our lives, self-sufficiency is dangerous. Love is ultimately about vulnerability, risk and sacrifice. If we try to be self-sufficient with our spouse - we will just end up being aloof and distant. So it is with the Lord. We can’t be head-strong and confident and only show the Lord the side of ourselves we want Him to see! On the contrary, we need to be vulnerable and meek and show our failings and our fears to Him as we share those things with our loved one here and now.
If the Lord is a shepherd, then we must be His sheep. The shepherd loves His sheep, but He does not consult them regarding what is right or wrong. In fact, He knows what His sheep need even better than they know themselves!
The idea - which remains frightfully common in the US - that we should be “adult” in our Faith rather than kneeling down and being humble is manifestly stupid. The idea that the Lord does not want us to take up our cross and follow Him… The idea that the Lord wants us to think for ourselves and to interpret the scriptures according to our own circumstances… The idea that God wants us to reach the point of spiritual maturity in which we are equipped to decide for ourselves right and wrong is downright Satanic. The Original Sin of Adam and Eve was that they decided for themselves what was right and wrong at the expense of God’s command. If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
To be shepherded is to be obedient and humble and to be led where you may or may not want to go. The Lord said that to Peter after He had been given the keys to the kingdom… It’s hard to get more spiritually mature than that!
Humility - not maturity - is the mark of true holiness just as vulnerability - not self-sufficiency - is the mark of a truly loving relationship.
Thoughts from Fr. Ryan
I Chronicles 29 reads we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as all our fathers were; our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding. The phrase “strangers and sojourners” has always been evocative to me personally. I’m the kind of traveler who hates to look like a tourist. I try to dress, speak and act as much like the locals of any place I visit that I can. My favorite thing to do in some little town in Wyoming or in some little piazza in Rome is to sit at a cafe and watch the locals live their lives. As my more gossipy grandmother might have said, “I’m interested in people’s lives.” And that’s why I find the phrase “strangers and sojourners” so interesting. It describes someone who is a part of some community and yet not a part of it.
Obviously, being a priest makes me feel this all the time. My first assignment as a priest was to St. Francis Cabrini Church in Alexandria. That’s where I was confirmed. It was my home parish. And even though I was from there and I had been to Mass there many times, when I arrived as a priest I was suddenly in that stranger and sojourner place. I was part of the community, but separate from it. In August, I’ll leave to begin a three month sabbatical during which I will be walking the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. The Camino is an ancient pilgrimage path which has been in constant operation for 1200 years. All along the way, there are villages, inns, restaurants and Churches which exist solely to serve the pilgrims who walk through them and past them. Some of these Churches were built 600 years ago when the Camino had already been established for 600 years. These villages exist entirely to serve strangers and sojourners.
In the context of the scriptures, the strangers and the sojourners are all of us who live in this world. Although we feel at home here, we are not really made for this world. We were made for Eden. But Adam and Eve screwed that up. So God has created Heaven as a destiny for us which exceeds even the good of Eden. Part of the process of getting to Heaven is realizing that this world is temporary. It’s realizing that all the good things we experience here are merely reflections of the true good which is God, Himself, and of our true destiny which is eternity with Him in Heaven.
Pilgrimages and retreats exist to foster this understanding. They exist to jar us out of the bubble of daily life and allow us to see the bigger picture of ourselves in the context of the drama of salvation. My particular purpose for taking this brief pilgrimage sabbatical is closely tied up with this realization of the bigger picture.
About twenty folks from St. Edward will be traveling on pilgrimage next month and this theme of strangers and sojourners will be an important part of our experience. This trip to Rome won’t be the last pilgrimage we have. We’ll be making smaller, less expensive pilgrimages to the historic Churches of New Orleans and to the Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament in Irondale, Alabama in the coming years as well.
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
April 25 Wednesday Night Catechism after 5:30 p.m. Mass
- April 29 Final Sunday Morning Catechism after 9:30 a.m. Mass
- May 4 First Friday Devotions after 5:30 p.m. Mass
- May 5 First Saturday Mass & Devotions at 8:30 a.m.
- May 5 Practice for First Holy Communion & Confirmation. First Confessions.
- May 6 Potluck Brunch following Mass celebrating First Communion and Confirmation with Bishop David Talley! Bring your favorite dish!!
- May 17-27 Parish Pilgrimage to Rome & Assisi. Please pray for our pilgrims!
For Your Information:
SUNDAY CATECHISM...will meet this SUNDAY.
WEDNESDAY EVENING CATECHISM... In the Church, after the 5:30p Mass. Talks havel built upon one another, but each talk has worked as a stand-alone event. Father has answered questions after each talk. Guests are welcome! Apr 25 The “Last Things” Series - The Second Coming in the Bible
“BRUNCH WITH THE BISHOP”... honoring FIRST COMMUNION AND CONFIRMATION candidates ...POTLUCK BRUNCH FOLLOWING...May 6…ALL are invited to attend!
Leadership from the Second Quarter (April, May, June) Social Committee - Pat and Libby Bullard, Elizabeth Crothers, Kim Donham, Angel Farlow, Margaret and Pat Gilfoil, MaryAnne Gilfoil, Terry and Andy Hall, Isabell Hernandez, Ann Keene, Alyce and C.W. Keene, Frances Kennedy, David and Antoinette Mangam, Andy Nguyen, Bobby Reynolds, Joe Storey, Delia Trichell, Cathy VanderVieren, Len Faustino, Jen Yabut.
ANNUAL DIOCESAN APPEAL...Thank you to everyone who made a pledge to the Annual Diocesan Appeal last weekend. If you have not had the opportunity to make your pledge to the ADA there are pledge envelopes available in each pew. Please take the time to make your commitment to the larger Church, knowing your gift to the Annual Diocesan Appeal makes a real difference in the lives of the laity of the Diocese. Please consider giving to the 2018 Annual Diocesan Appeal:
I will sprinkle clean water upon you to cleanse you…I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving your natural hearts (Ezekiel 36. 25-26)
ALTAR CANDLES… Anyone wishing to provide candles for the altar in honor of their loved one or in prayer for some intention may do so simply by asking. A small donation is recommended, but not required. A list of dates is in the sacristy and a date can be reserved up to one year in advance.
Our Return to the Lord
- Weekly Budget FY 2017-18 $1,917
- March Budget $7,668
- March Income $9,947
- March Actual Expenses $8,443
- April Budget $9,585
- Collection April 14/15 $2,128
- April Income to Date $6,963
Stewardship To be good stewards, we must be good shepherds willing to lay down our lives for those committed to our care, not mere hired hands who run off, “leaving the sheep to be snatched and scattered by the wolf.”
Special Collection Next weekend, a special collection for Catholic Home Missions will be taken in our parish. The Appeal primarily supports home mission dioceses, that is, those dioceses in the United States that are unable to offer their people the basic pastoral ministries of word, worship, and service without outside help. The Diocese of Alexandria is considered a 'mission diocese" and receives funding from this appeal. Please consider giving to this appeal.
Mass Schedule & Intentions for the Coming Week
- Sat 5:30p In memory of All Deceased Members of the Ladies Altar Society
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo for the Living & Dead members of our Parish
- Mon No Mass
- Tue 5:30p In memory of Thomas Magoun (for 23rd)/family
- Wed 9:00a In memory of A.E. “Bubba” Jumonville (birth on 23rd)/family The Olive Branch
- Wed 5:30p Special intention
- Thu 5:30p In memory of John and Marie Johnson/family
- Fri 5:30p in memory of Beverly Lancaster
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Jason Jumonville/family
- 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
- 4/21 5:30p
- Lector: P Wilks
- EMHCs: P & M Gilfoil
- 4/22 9:30a
- Servers: EL & C Marsh
- Lector: A Oliver
- EMHCs: N & M Ernst
- 4/28 5:30p
- Lector: L Bullard
- EMHCs: A Farlow & C VanderVieren
- 4/29 9:30a
- Servers: C Donham & M Wood
- Lector: K Collins
- EMHCs: B Smith & A Keene
- 5/5 5:30p
- Lector: M Rome
- EMHCs: L Bullard & C VanderVieren
- 5/6 9:30a
- Servers: C Wood,P Collins,C Marsh
- Lector: Confirmandii
- EMHC: A Keene
Let us Rejoice in the Lord!
Happy Birthday Marie Ernst (April 21), Ann Keene (April 23), Lyn Faustina (April 25), Norman Ernst II (April 27), Ginny Marsh (April 28)
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, and Delia Trichell
Those under full-time care: Billy Hodge, Frances Kennedy, Andrew Lombardo, Sue Scurria. Jim Farrell of Vicksburg, Consuelo Marsh of Lake Providence, 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), Kay Collins, 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, Jamie and Cindy Howington, 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), Lee, Tiffney & Bailey Rome, Dianne W. Roper (Murphy), Linda Sanchez (Wilks), Andy Sevier, Beverly Sibile (Gilfoil), Elaine and James 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.