A Note from Fr. Ryan
As you know from my articles here in the bulletin, I'll be setting off for my Sabbatical this weekend. As I'll be away, I won't be able to email the bulletin out to you weekly. Upon my return in early November, I'll begin emailing it out again as has become the norm. Thanks in advance for your prayers & consideration! -- Fr Ryan
From The Font
“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish”
Numbers are very, very important to the Jewish people. St. John is very clear about the number of loaves, the number of fish, the number of men and the number of baskets of leftovers.
The number five certainly connects with the Law which consisted of five books. It was also associated with the Hand of God which has five fingers and thus symbolizes protection and providence.
The five thousand men correlate to the bread such that one loaf was made to feed 1000 men which is 10 x 10 x 10. Ten was the number of the Commandments and it was the number of power and might. That Jesus could feed 1000 men with a single loaf was a sign of Divine Power (three is attached to Divinity). That Jesus could do it five times amplifies that connection. I know this seems silly, but for ancient people, these things were taken very seriously.
In Christian symbolism, the five loaves and the two fish became very quickly associated with the seven Sacraments - two of which are repeated frequently (Confession & Holy Communion) and the other five of which are received only once.
The number of baskets of leftovers is perhaps the most clear symbol and sign of the entire passage. There were twelve tribes of Israel and the Lord Jesus appointed twelve Apostles. The twelve baskets strongly symbolized that this miracle was meant to be passed down through the tribes of Israel to all the people of the world. (Remember the 144,000 in the book of Revelation is the square of the Tribes 12 x 12 multiplied by the cube of 10 - 10 x 10 x 10… These numbers mattered to the Jews.)
For us now, this can all seem esoteric and we can say “Jesus never meant any of these things.” Except that Jesus spoke the language of these people. He told stories that were important to them and He went out of His way to include numerical details like this which were important to His audience. And if it was important to them, we need to take it seriously, too.
Thoughts from Fr. Ryan
This weekend, I say farewell for a bit. I’ll be making my way off to sabbatical until the 5:30p evening Mass on Thursday, Nov 1.
The weekend Mass schedule will stay the same, except that we won’t have any First Sunday Latin Masses. Daily Mass on Friday will stay the same.
There will be no daily Masses on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday each week. The Mass at the Olive Branch will be moved to Saturday mornings until I return and on Wednesday, Nov 7, that Mass will return to Wednesday mornings.
It’s genuinely hard for me to say farewell for so long. It’s 13 weekends after all! I know that my absence will be a detriment to the momentum that we’ve been building for the past two years and I know that this is just the time when our summer vacationers return to being with us every Sunday. School is about to start and it would be a great time to get going with our Sunday Morning Catechism program.
Still, what I’m leaving to do is important. It’s important for me and it’s important for the Church. I’m not heading off to a rest break or a long vacation. To be entirely honest, a large part of me would rather stay right here and get back into the rhythm of Sunday morning donuts. And if this sabbatical were just about me, I can promise you that I would be staying right here.
Alas, this sabbatical isn’t so much about me as it is about the Church as a whole and about the whole Church of the Diocese of Alexandria. I am certainly the first to be blunt and honest about the state of the Church and so I am trying to turn those words into actions by putting myself into the kind of environment which will give me the tools I need to be a priest for the next twenty years. We’ve built up a little momentum here, but that momentum is going to shift and rock more than a little before we can say that St. Edward is back on the solid ground that we were in the 50s. And, I’ll say it proudly - that is the goal. No priest can really be content with managed decline…
Managed decline is not what Jesus came to preach to the collapsing Jewish faith. So, too, managed decline was not what Jesus told St. Francis in the chapel at San Damiano. Managed decline was not what St. Ignatius of Loyola or St. Francis Xavier or St. Francis Cabrini or Bishop Greco were interested in when they found themselves facing crises in the Church and in the world.
St. Edward doesn’t have to be in decline. It doesn’t have to be half empty. It can and should be overflowing. Much of this sabbatical is about letting the Lord shape me into the priest this parish deserves!
So - I hope you’ll pray for me and I hope you’ll wait on me for 13 weekends. We have some great, great years ahead. I also hope that everyone of us and each one of us will take a moment to look in our hearts and join me spiritually on this journey of humble listening. If we want to transform our Church and our families and our community and even our world, it’s going to start with listening to the Lord! Here’s hoping that when I get back on All Saints Day, I find us all hungering and thirsting to be Saints ourselves!
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
- July 29 Coffee and doughnuts following Mass as a Send-Off to Seminarian Thomas who will be completing his assignment at St. Edward for this year and a Bon Voyage to Father Ryan!
- Aug - Oct Fr. Ryan on Sabbatical
- August 14 Vigil Mass for the Feast of The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary -- 6:30 p.m.
- August 15 Holy Day of Obligation - Vigil Mass will be only Mass that will be offered
For Your Information:
BOOK OF PHOTOS OF PILGRIMAGE...Father Ryan has collected many of the pictures that various people took on their trip to Italy and has edited them in to a book. If anyone is interested in obtaining a copy, the hardcover book is $45 and the softcover book is $30 per copy. If you would like a copy, please advise Father Ryan.
BISHOP GRECO MEMOIRS... In 1989, the Knights of Columbus collected, edited and published the memoirs of our own beloved Bp. Charles P. Greco. The book is wonderful and funny and evokes the memory of a man many of us knew. That publication has been out of print for twenty-five years, however. The parish has a few copies of the original printing. Fr. Ryan has scanned the original book and prepared both an eBook version and a print version. At the moment, our Diocesan lawyers are discussing the legality of re-printing that text. In the short term, those interested in reading the book should contact Fr. Ryan before he departs for sabbatical.
HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION … August 15, 2018 is the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Father Peter will offer a Vigil Mass on Tuesday, August 14 at 6:30 p.m.
Our Return to the Lord
Weekly Budget FY 2017-18 $1,917 June Budget $7,668 June Income $8,679 June Expenses $9,520 July Budget $9,585 Collection July 21/22 $2,315 July Income to Date $9,152
Stewardship “The hand of the Lord feeds us,” says the Psalmist, “he answers all our needs.” Both Elisha’s servant in the first reading and the disciples in the Gospel story who witnessed the feeding of the five thousand saw this happen and knew it to be true.
Mass Schedule & Intentions for the Coming Week
Sat 5:30p In memory of SeSe and Racer Holstead(wedding anniversary)/family
Sun 9:30a Pro Populo for the Living & Dead members of our Parish
Mon - Thu No Mass
Fri 5:30p In memory of Juanita Storey/Lancaster
Sat 9:00a In memory of Gus Gremshell Olive Branch
Sat 5:30p In memory of Charlie Phillips/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
- 7/28 5:30p
- Lector: C VanderVieren
- EMHCs: MA Gilfoil & B Wilks
- 7/29 9:30a
- Servers: W Sullivan & C Wood
- Lector: D Ellerbee
- EMHCs: B Smith & K Collins
- 8/4 5:30p
- Lector: L Bullard
- EMHCs: M Rome & A Farlow
- 8/5 9:30a
- Servers: EL & C Marsh
- Lector: K Collins
- EMHCs: N & M Ernst
- 8/11 5:30p
- Lector: P Wilks
- EMHCs: B Wilks & MA Gilfoil
- 8/12 9:30a
- Servers: P Collins & M Woods
- Lector: B Sullivan
- EMHCs: B Smith & K Collins
Let us Rejoice in the Lord!
Happy Birthday Edmond Copes (July 30), Louise Magoun (Aug 2), Philip Scurria (Aug 6)
Happy Anniversary Renee and Robert Wood (July 30), Blanche and Skeeter Wilks (August 1), Margaret and Pat Gilfoil (August 3), Kim and Ronnie Donham (August 4)
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, Sharon Hansen of Gonzales, Consuelo Marsh of Lake Providence, Jean Cantrell, Marie Cedotal, Reba Duncan, 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), Richard Chappuis (Johnson), Kay Collins, Jackie Daniels (Lancaster), Vickie Dichiara (Hodge), Carol Dipert (Rome), Joe Farlow, Mike Farlow, Charles Michael Finlayson, JoAnn Phillips Finn (Hodge), Thom Gilfoil, Kathy Garley Hanlon (Gilfoil), Cooper Harris (R Wood), Bo Holloway, Diane Johnson (Johnson), 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, Wanda Murphy (Terry), Debbie Pettis (Rome), Sam and Betty Phillips (Hodge), 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: 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.