From The Font
“Can a blind person guide a blind person?”
Modern people understand that medical issues require a doctor and athletic excellence requires a coach, but they seem to think that religion should just be common sense. In part, that's the Protestant foundations of our national history which believes that the teachings of Jesus are a distant second to a “relationship” with Him (which means whatever I decide that means). But in Biblical Christianity, our love for Jesus is measured by our choices. “If you love Me, you will keep My commands” (Jn 14:15).
Knowing who Jesus is and what He taught requires learning. Romans 10:14 asks “How can they know unless they are taught?” We have to make a deliberate and conscious effort to reject the easy-way-out version of Christianity in which Jesus is whoever I want Him to be and His commands are whatever I think is right. After all, how is that any different from the Original Sin of Adam and Eve who decided for themselves what God’s word to them meant and who were warned against eating from the Tree of the Knowledge (experience) of Good and Evil? The idea that I can simply intuit or absorb Jesus’ teaching without any training or instruction is on par with a cancer patient reading WebMD or Wikipedia and planning their own treatment. The Spiritual Life is, after all, as much a matter of life and death as is a serious medical condition!
Sadly, the Catholic Church went from being THE best educators of faith and morals in the world to be completely incompetent in a single generation. What second graders learned about Bible History in 1950, I didn’t learn until my second year of Seminary.
Still, the resources are easily available. St. Edward has free Question and Answer style books on the bookshelf in the hall. Please take them. Catholic.com is an excellent site dedicated to simple answers about the faith. There are numerous youtube channels, facebook pages and twitter accounts to follow.
Where to start? The best place to start is “who is Jesus,” “what did He teach” and “how is my soul saved?” Ultimately, we must search this out for ourselves and for others because the stakes are that high.
Thoughts from Fr. Ryan
Ash Wednesday is the end of Carnivale and the beginning of Lent. It marks the third color of the king cake: gold for Epiphany, green for Carnivale and purple for Lent.
Ash Wednesday is not a holy day of obligation, but it is a very good day to attend Mass, receive your ashes and begin Lent well. Whether you attend Holy Mass or not, Ash Wednesday is a day of FASTING and ABSTINENCE from meat. I prefer not to get too technical as to the age limits for Lenten penance. If you’re physically able to fast, you should. If you’re not prevented by medical instruction, you should not eat meat on Ash Wednesday and on the Fridays in Lent.
While it’s not a rule, it’s not a good idea to follow the letter of the law and ignore the spirit of it. If the rule says no meat on Fridays and you trade in a foot-long oyster po-boy, you’re probably not going to see that spiritual growth that Lent offers.
When it comes to going beyond the rules, it’s long been tradition that we “give something up” for Lent. It’s better to pick one thing and give it up. Yes, you can have what you give up on Sundays. We don’t do penance on Sunday. What I want to caution against is the idea that rather than giving something up we can just do something extra. I’m never going to say not to do something virtuous! Doing good is doing good. BUT doing good is not in the category of penance, it’s in the category of works of mercy. While Jesus says we should do works of mercy, He also says we should do penance. We can’t replace the one with the other. And so our Lenten penance should be a penance. If we want to do something extra - that something should be penitential. It should cause us some minor suffering in order to bring us nearer to Jesus on the Cross. So going to daily Mass during Lent is VERY GOOD. But it can’t count as your Lenten penance unless that somehow causes you to suffer. And, to be honest, my sermons just aren’t that bad…
I’ve had a few good talks with folks about penance and I do have to be careful not to confuse. Penance can be about not doing something we like or it can be about doing something we don’t necessarily want to do. So as you’re thinking about what to give up or to do, remember that whatever you do should be firmly in the category of penance.
Why? Because suffering is necessary for holiness. Jesus told us that we cannot get to heaven without taking up our cross and following Him through His own Passion and death to His Resurrection. Lent is about the cross and it’s about penance.
During Lent, we will have Stations of the Cross every Friday immediately after our usual 5:30p Mass. On the 1st, 3rd and 6th Fridays of Lent, we’ll have a simple supper of soup and salad accompanied by a spiritual film in the Parish Hall. It’s free and everyone is welcome, but not required, to bring along a salad or bread. It usually gets started at 6p and I’m choosing shorter films this year than last year.
I hope and pray this Lent is a real blessing for all of us. Let’s pray for one another as we finish up this long Carnivale and focus our intention on the Lord and His Cross in this holy season of Lent!
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
- March 3 First Sunday - Traditional Latin Mass - 12 noon
- March 3 Potluck Brunch celebrating Mardi Gras following Mass - First Quarter Social
- March 6 Ash Wednesday - Lent begins. Masses at Olive Branch and at Church
- March 8 Lenten Devotions - Mass and Stations followed by Simple Supper and Film
- March 9/10 Daylight Savings Time change….set your clocks so that you are not late for Mass
- March 12 Altar Society meeting - Following 5:30 p.m. Mass - Church Hall
- Mar 26–28 Lenten Series: Virtues We Need to Get to Heaven
- April 21 Easter Egg Hunt - Church grounds - 10 a.m.
For Your Information:
FIRST SUNDAY...MARCH 3 ...Traditional Latin Mass, noon
FIRST QUARTER SOCIAL... Sunday (March 3) will be our Mardi Gras Brunch following Sunday Mass. Come join us. The First Quarter (Jan, Feb, March) consisting of Margo Corulla and Darryl and Abby Ellerbee (co-chairs), Norman and Marie Ernst, Brian Johnson, Sidney and Mary Jane Johnson, Robbie and Tori Kivett, Ed Mills, Kathleen Mills, Teddy and Alyssa Oliver, Mike and Sue Rome, Jason Trichell, Mary Trichell, Levi Washington are giving leadership to the event.
ASH WEDNESDAY…..Mass will be offered at The Olive Branch at 9 a.m. and in church at 5:30 p.m. Ashes will be distributed at both Masses. This is not a Holy Day of Obligation but attending Mass is a great way to begin Lent.
EASTER EGG HUNT….will be on Holy Saturday, April 21, at 10 a.m. on the church grounds. Stephenie Marsh and Kate Copes will give leadership to this event. Stay tuned to learn how you can help!
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 2018-19 $1,917
- January Budget $7,668
- January Income $7,790
- January Expenses $8,837
- February Budget $7,668
- Collection February 23/24 $1,771
- February Income to Date $10,845
Stewardship As we approach Ash Wednesday, the emphasis is on prayer, fasting and almsgiving and is an invitation to take a closer look at our stewardship. It is a time to reassess how we are using the gifts God has entrusted to us and to resolve anew to use our time and resources in the service of His Kingdom.
SPECIAL COLLECTION this weekend (March 2/3) for the church in Central and Eastern Europe. This collection helps those rebuilding their lives in former Communist countries.
Mass Schedule & Intentions for the Coming Week
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Sarah Phillips for birthday/Hodge
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo for the Living & Deceased members of our Parish
- Mon NO MASS
- Tues 5:30p In memory of Racer Holstead for birth anniversary on 4th/family
- Wed 9:00a Ash Wednesday In memory of Gus Gremshell Olive Branch
- Wed 5:30p Ash Wednesday In memory of Juanita Storey/Lancaster
- Thurs NO MASS
- Fri 5:30p In memory of Becky Lancaster/Altar Society
- 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 for the special intentions of Margo Corulla
Assistants at Holy Mass
- 3/2 5:30p
- Lector: MA Gilfoil
- EMHCs: A Farlow & L Bullard
- 3/3 9:30a
- Servers: EL & C Marsh
- Lector: K Collins
- EMHCs: A Keene & B Smith
- 3/9 5:30p
- Lector: M Rome
- EMHCs: P & B Wilks
- 3/10 9:30a
- Servers: P Collins & C Wood
- Lector: A Oliver
- EMHCs: N & M Ernst
- 3/16 5:30p
- Lector: P Wilks
- EMHCs: A Farlow & C VanderVieren
- 3/17 9:30a
- Servers: C Sullivan & H Ellerbee
- Lector: Emmy Lu & Henry
- EMHCs: K Collins & B Smith
Let us Rejoice in the Lord!
Happy Birthday Kathleen Mills (March 3), Levi Washington (March 10)
In Our Daily Prayers…
Our Holy Father Pope Francis and Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI; Bishop David Talley and Bishop-Emeritus Ronald Herzog, our President, Governor, Mayor and national, state and local elected representatives
Our parishioners who are sick, shut-in, or otherwise in need of our prayers: Pat Bullard, Connie Copes, Elizabeth Crothers, Susan Gilfoil, Josephine Hodge, Bill Kennedy, Dale & Louise Magoun, Kathleen Mills, Sue & Mike Rome and Delia Trichell
Those under full-time care: Frances Kennedy, 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, Charlotte Green, 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, Thomas Joseph O’Dowd (Army Ranger/Italy/M Scurria O’Dowd), Debbie Pettis (Rome), Sam and Betty Phillips (Hodge), Wayne Pitre (Gilfoil), Lee and 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, Chris Hall (USMC), Matt Hall (USArmy), 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.