From The Font
“Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!”
What a curious thing to say. First, Jesus is saying that suffering is not a result of personal sin. Then, He says that personal sin will result in suffering. Of course, that would be a contradiction if Jesus weren’t distinguishing between earthly suffering and eternal suffering.
Suffering in this world seems bad. It hurts. It’s not pleasing. We tend to define it as anything which is “negative” in any real way. Physical suffering, emotional suffering, even spiritual suffering, is something that most of us will experience in our lives. We will lose people we love. Our health and physique will decline. We won’t get things that we really, really want or that we genuinely need. That’s a reality of life for all of us. We will suffer.
But that suffering is not something that comes to us because we have sinned. I don’t have bad teeth because I was mean to my sisters or because my dad stone pens from work or because my grandfather killed a man over $50 in the old west. I suffer because the Sin of Adam and Eve damaged the world. Jesus - in His Passion and Resurrection - redeems the world and makes my suffering valuable. What’s more, He offers an eternity free of suffering…
BUT that eternal paradise can only be entered or experienced with a certain disposition of heart and soul. As such, without genuine repentance, holiness and Heaven are impossible. And without holiness, the redemption of Jesus which makes suffering valuable and meaningful can’t be a part of me. And if I can’t enter heaven, then all that remains is suffering. But this remaining suffering is not merely aching bones or slow internet speed, it’s eternal despair.
God doesn’t condemn people to this - He tells us how to change ourselves to be compatible with Heaven. We can choose to be compatible or not. If we choose to, then we will be happy. If we choose not to become compatible, we will suffer. What Jesus means is tragic in its simplicity.
Thoughts from Fr. Ryan
This past week, Bishop Talley concluded most of his office work and visits and this Wednesday, he will move into his new housing at the parish of St. Francis in downtown Memphis.
He was visible sad and tearful at my meeting with him. He came to love this diocese and its people. He wanted to journey with us through the sadness and tragedy of these revelations of abuse by priests. He wanted to see more of our young people confirmed. He wanted to face the difficulties and challenges that we face in the coming years. And while he’s excited to face new and even more challenging problems in Memphis and while he’s very excited to be the bishop of the place where MLK was shot, he’s genuinely sad to say farewell.
I know how he feels. I’ve had to leave several assignments myself and the priest ultimately has two choice. He can see himself as a professional, employed to offer services, provide instruction, manage the business affairs and be a spiritual guide… OR he can see himself as a father who loves his family and allows himself to be formed and changed by them.
Obviously, the later is better for everyone. A priest who loves his parish and his parish family is invested. He cares. He wants to see families thrive. He wants to remember names and dates and see kids play sports. The former is cold and heartless.
The problem lies in one of the many missteps of the 1960s. From the time of the middle ages, pastors were assigned to parishes permanently. A priest or a bishop was given an assignment and that was his first assignment and, unless he was a priest being made a bishop, it was almost certainly his only assignment. He expected to live his entire life there and to be buried out back. In the 1960s, someone thought it would be brilliant to move priests around a lot. Every six to ten years, a priest would be in a new parish. And while that opened up fresh sermons and new perspectives, it meant that every priest became a deadbeat dad to one parish and a step-father to another. Every parish family was constantly adjusting to whatever was new and hip. And because the assignments were so short, the priest had to make a lot of guess-type decisions because he didn’t really know anyone after only a few years. He didn’t know the history or the backstory of anything. What he did know is that he would be gone in five years anyway, so who really cares if this or that need repair. Why do the work? I’ll just let the next guy rebuild the rectory or worry about that broken light in the Church…
The constant turnover of priests and bishops has created a culture of the clergy in which there is great incentive NOT to be a father and NOT to invest in the life of the parish. All the more, then, do the people of the parish have to be willing to help the priest who does want to invest. All the more do we need to be honest in our concerns and assessments. All the more do we need to be upfront in what we hear about the needs and desires of the congregation. All the more do we need to pray for our priests and our bishops.
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
- Mar 26–28 Lenten Series: Virtues We Need to Get to Heaven
- Mar 29 Lenten Devotions - Mass and Stations of the Cross
- Apr 13 Palm Saturday Bake Sale - Church Hall - 10 a.m. to noon
- Apr 21 Easter Egg Hunt - Church grounds - 10 a.m.
For Your Information:
LENTEN SERIES...Virtues We Need to Get to Heaven...March 26-28 in Hall following 5:30 p.m. Mass.
PALM SATURDAY BAKE SALE...in the Church Hall on April 13. All are requested to assist with this event as it is the signature fund raising event for the Altar Society. There will be a list at the entrance of church for your convenience in listing what dishes you plan to provide. Please help spread the word of the event among your friends and co-workers.
EASTER FLOWERS...envelopes are available at the entrance of church if you would like to contribute to the decorations and lilies for Holy Week and Easter. Pick up an envelope, indicate for whom you are donating and if it is In Honor or In Memory, and return in the collection basket.
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. Contact one of them to learn how you can help!
Our Return to the Lord
- Weekly Budget FY 2018-19 $1,917
- February Budget $7,668
- February Income $10,845
- February Expenses $ 9,324
- March Budget $ 9,585
- Collection March 16/17 $ 1,916
- March Income to Date $ 6,943
Stewardship The parable in today’s Gospel clearly warns that we, like the fig tree, will be judged by our fruit. While God mercifully provides us with time and opportunity let us give witness to our faith with deeds of kindness and generosity!
Special Collection next weekend (March 30/31)...for Catholic Relief Fund which provides food to the hungry, support for displaced refugees, and brings Christ’s love and mercy to all people here and abroad. Please give generously and help Jesus in disguise!
Mass Schedule & Intentions for the Coming Week
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Marie Phillips Michele/Harris
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo for the Living & Deceased members of our Parish
- Mon NO MASS
- Tues 5:30p In memory of Matt Farlow/Lancaster
- Wed 5:30p In memory of John and Marie Johnson/Family
- Thurs 9:00a In memory of Gus Gremshell Olive Branch
- Fri 5:30p In memory of J.C.B”Chipper” Jumonville (birth)/family
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Darryl Ellerbee (death)/family
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo for the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
ALTAR CANDLES this week are burning in memory of Becky Lancaster
Assistants at Holy Mass
- 3/23 5:30p
- Lector: C VanderVieren
- EMHCs: L Magoun & A Keene
- 3/24 9:30a
- Servers: W Sullivan & A Collins
- Lector: D Ellerbee
- EMHCs: N & M Ernst
- 3/20 5:30p
- Lector: A Farlow
- EMHCs: P & B Wilks
- 3/31 9:30a
- Servers: EL & C Marsh
- Lector: B Sullivan
- EMHCs: K Collins & B Smith
- 4/6 5:30p
- Lector: L Bullard
- EMHCs: P & M Gilfoil
- 4/7 9:30a
- Servers: TBA
- Lector: K Collins
- EMHCs: B Smith & Volunteer
Let us Rejoice in the Lord!
Happy Birthday Terry Hall (March 27), Cooper Wood Ellerbee (March 27), Dana Dukes (March 28), Jonathan Dukes (March 28), Teddy Oliver (March 28)
In Our Daily Prayers…
Our Holy Father Pope Francis and Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI; our Diocesan leaders, 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), 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.