From The Font
“Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?”
The English word “Jesuitical” is used to imply a nit-picky way of thinking about morality. It comes from the name of the Jesuit order… But we could just as easily use it to go back through time to today’s Gospel.
For some reason, the scribes and the Pharisees love to find nit-picky questions which make it seem like Jesus is teaching against the Torah. Now, we could give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they’re seeking truth. In reality, their social status and their income depend upon things staying the same. What’s more, with the Roman conquerors, their personal security depends on them crushing any religious zealot who might make Pilate call in the reinforcements. So there’s a lot happening in this question.
From the perspective of the other side of the coin, Jesus does seem to be teaching something which is directly opposite the Law of Moses… Leviticus 20 and Deuteronomy 22 get into this. Both of them say if you catch someone in adultery, stone them both. Whatever other details there are in this passage, the law seems pretty clear. But, to be fair, Jesus doesn’t tell them not to stone her… He changes it up by asking again what he asked on the Sermon on the Mount - specifically, can any of us say that we have no splinter in our own eye? Is anyone here really morally able to carry out the sentence.
This doesn’t mean that Jesus is saying that no justice should be done. It doesn’t mean that Jesus is saying the law is wrong. After all, He said that neither a letter or a piece of a letter of the law shall be wiped away until He returns in glory. Instead, it means that the Law of Moses (minus all the extra stuff that the scribes had added) would be interpreted through the lens of divine justice and divine mercy rather than through the lens of human justice. Governments and police and military and the like still have a place. The shift isn’t so much away from justice as it is toward divine justice and divine mercy which are two aspects of our one God.
Thoughts from Fr. Ryan
Passion-tide is upon us. The last two weeks of Lent are a time to take up our efforts a notch.
There are a number of little things that happen at Mass which are hard to notice, but which reinforce the nearness of the death of Jesus. For example, when I’m preparing the chalice, I usually make the sign of the cross over the water before I add it to the wine, but not for the next few weeks. The biggest and most obvious change is the big purple veils over the statues. More than anything, these are here to symbolize death and to deprive us of their beauty. As with so many aspects of our faith, this made a lot of sense even just a few years ago. Nowadays, we’re so inundated with beautiful - or at least pleasing - things to see, the statuary in our Church goes almost unnoticed.
It was one of the first things I really appreciated when I first visited St. Edward four years ago. Fr. Agnel had a little supper for a few priests from India and my assistant priest, Fr. Stephen Soares, wanted to come. I tagged along and brought Fr. John Pardue (who is now in Ferriday). That was the day of Sese Holstead’s Funeral. Several of the ladies of the parish prepared a big feast. Ms. Grace made fried plantains with some sauce made of ghost peppers which was wildly hot.
When I went into the Church, I was taken by the gigantic crucifix which would normally be too large for the space, but the stucco work behind it ties it together nicely. I also admired Our Lady of Fatima and the Sacred Heart - both of which are really lovely executions. St. Anthony is in a deco style. It’s not my favorite style, but the quality of the piece of excellent. Of course, the two angels are especially lovely. They’re the 1909 Benziger Brothers design which was very popular around the US throughout the 30s and 40s. The repainting is bold and, to me, very appealing. Which most US statuary is very muted in its coloring, the angels have a wonderful Polish look to them which I find exciting and engaging. Our Mary and Joseph are, on the other hand, very classic, which is appropriate. Our Lady, Mother of Jesus, is an image which isn’t meant to draw attention to itself. Joseph, too, is meant to point to Jesus, not away from him. If we had a larger sanctuary, those images would ideally be in it. As it is, they’re a lovely welcoming committee as we enter the Church.
Our Church also has lovely, 1920s era Stained Glass which is very well executed and which compliments the Church very nicely. Our clay-ceramic Stations round out the art of St. Edward. And they, too, are really lovely pieces. I have a lot of time to admire them when I’m walking around on Lenten Fridays.
All of these beautiful things have the potential to edify and lift us up if we let them. But for the next few weeks, we’ll cover much of them in order to remind ourselves that the death of Jesus is infinitely more important and more essential than anything which could ever please our senses. The veils remind us that all visible things are passing away, and unless we cling to the cross, we will too. If, on the other hand, we cling to the cross, we will pass through the veil to the Light.
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
April 12 Lenten Devotions - Mass and Stations of the Cross - Soup and Movie
- April 13 Palm Saturday Bake Sale - Church Hall - 10 a.m. to noon
- April 18 Holy Thursday - Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper - 5:30 p.m.
- April 19 Good Friday - Veneration of the Holy Cross - 5:30 p.m.
- April 20 Easter Egg Hunt - Church grounds - 10 a.m.
- April 20 Holy Saturday - Solemn Paschal Vigil - 8 p.m.
- May 5 First Holy Communion - 9:30 a.m. Mass with a reception following in the Hall
- May 12 Mass honoring our high school Seniors - 9:30 a.m. Mass - reception following
For Your Information:
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.
HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE & ASSISTANTS…. April 18 Holy Thursday - 5:30 p.m. Servers are Preston and Aidan Collins Lector Libby Bullard EMHC Prentiss & Blanche Wilks
April 19 Good Friday Stations of Cross and Adoration - 5:30 p.m. Servers (Volunteers requested)
April 20 Holy Saturday - 8:00 p.m. Servers are Carter Sullivan, Walker Sullivan, and H Ellerbee Readings Cathy VanderVieren and MaryAnne Gilfoil Lector Mike Rome EMHC Margaret & Pat Gilfoil
EASTER EGG HUNT….will be on Holy Saturday, April 20, 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!
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.
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
- February Budget $7,668
- February Income $10,845
- February Expenses $9,324
- March Budget $9,585
- Collection March 30/31 $1,430
- March Income to Date $10,113
Stewardship In today’s second reading, St. Paul says, “for his sake, I have forfeited everything; I have accounted all else rubbish so that Christ may be my wealth.” Does my stewardship suggest that I could say the same?
Mass Schedule & Intentions for the Coming Week
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Marie Phillips Michele/Weaver
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo for the Living & Deceased members of our Parish
- Mon NO MASS
- Tues NO MASS Fr. Ryan at Penance Service in Lake Providence
- Wed NO MASS Fr. Ryan giving talk in Echo
- Thurs 9:00a In memory of Rosa Gremshell Olive Branch
- Fri 5:30p In memory of John and Marie Johnson/family
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Becky Lancaster/Fulton
- 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
- 4/6 5:30p
- Lector: L Bullard
- EMHCs: M Rome & MA Gilfoil
- 4/7 9:30a
- Servers: C Sullivan & M Wood
- Lector: A Keene
- EMHCs: Volunteers
- 4/13 5:30p
- Lector: M Rome
- EMHCs: A Farlow & C VanderVieren
- 4/14 9:30a
- Servers: W Sullivan & C Wood
- Lector: A Oliver, K Collins, A Keene
- EMHCs: N & M Ernst
- 4/20 8:00p - Easter Vigil
- Servers: C & W Sullivan, H Ellerbee
- Lector: C VanderVieren, MA Gilfoil, M Rome
- EMHCs: M & P Gilfoil
- 4/21 9:30a - Easter Sunday
- Servers: EL & C Marsh
- Lector: Carter & Walker
- EMHCs: B Smith & K Collins
Let us Rejoice in the Lord!
Happy Birthday Henry Ellerbee (April 7), Ann Marie Marsh (April 8), Michael Lancaster (April 13)
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, Ed Mills, Kathleen Mills, Sue & Mike Rome and Delia Trichell
Those under full-time care: Frances Kennedy, Sue Scurria, Jim Farrell of Vicksburg, Sharon HaMnsen 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), Pam Amacker (Gilfoil), 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), Allan Placke, 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.