From The Font
“Jesus revealed himself again”
Modern people tend to be skeptics. We’re taught from a young age to believe only what we can see, sense and test. Now, that’s absurd. Almost none of us can see, sense or test the functionality of our cars, but we happily drive. None of us get to test our airplanes or our dental equipment. None of us really know whether eggs or wheat are good for us or not. And so we’re happy to set aside our skepticism in many important parts of our lives.
And yet when it comes to God, we click back into skeptical mode and we say to ourselves “if God really wants me to know, love and serve Him, He would make Himself visible to me.” In reality, of course, all we need to do is ask ourselves how I would like God to do that… Would I like God to reveal Himself to me as an old man in a beard who heals every illness and stops every crime and catastrophe? Would I be following that kind of God out of love or self-interest? What if God revealed Himself to each of us mystically in a vision? Would I keep His commands for my whole life based on one vision that I could explain away as psychosis?
How could God reveal Himself to me in a way that I would choose to love Him and not simply serve Him as an act of fear or self-interest?
Of course, today of all days, we consciously celebrate that God reveals Himself to us physically and spiritually in the Holy Eucharist. He reveals Himself in a way which requires faith and yet there are hundreds of Eucharistic Miracles in which the host has transformed physically so that eyes can recognize what faith is able to see. Still, as Jesus tells Doubting Thomas, it is better to have not seen and yet believed.
As our little ones prepare to receive Holy Communion for the first time, we are so thankful that Jesus reveals himself to us not just once, but again and again in physical and spiritual ways, through the Sacraments and through other people, through blessings and crosses, through easy moments and hard ones. Jesus makes Himself known to those who want to know Him and He hides Himself from those who aren’t ready to know Him. That can trigger skepticism in us, but it can also awaken wonder at the wisdom of a God who loves.
Thoughts from Fr. Ryan
The “Sacraments of Initiation” are Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion. At the beginning of the Church in the years of the Acts of the Apostles and St. John’s community at Patmos, Baptism and Confirmation were one act - the pouring of water and the anointing with oil. When there was no persecution of Christians (which wasn’t all that often before the 4th century), infant baptism was common. In some cases, the Bishop of an area would encourage a re-anointing with oil at the age of reason (about seven years old) to “confirm” the sacrament of Baptism and to give the Christian an opportunity to “confirm” the promises made for him or her at their baptism as an infant. Either way, once a Christian reached the age of reason, they received Holy Communion for the first time and became fully Christian (AKA fully initiated into the Christian mysteries). For adults being baptized, this all happened at the same moment.
After the persecutions ended, Baptism of infants and Confirmation around the age of seven became the norm. First Holy Communion was sometimes given then and, in other places, it was given at the “age of majority” in which the child became an adult in the eyes of law. This was usually somewhere around 14. By the eighteenth century, Church law (AKA Canon Law - “canon” being the word for an official decree of the Pope) had been codified to order that Confirmation be given around the generally accepted age of reason and first Holy Communion around the generally accepted age of majority provided that the communicant had already made his or her first Confession. In the 1950s, though, Pope St. Pius XII called for a change. He was concerned about a number of heresies which were becoming common in the Church and he made a series of changes to the law. One of them was the move the age of first Holy Communion from the age of majority to the age of reason so that Confirmation, first Holy Communion and first Confession would all take place around the same time. Most bishops split them up by a few years so some readers will remember making their first Holy Communion around 2nd grade and being confirmed closer to 6th grade.
In the last 40 years, US bishops have moved the age of Confirmation further and further back until it’s almost at the end of high school. That’s theologically bad and it’s spiritually bad for a lot of reasons - in particular, it makes us think of Confirmation rather than Holy Communion as the summit of Christian initiation.
Holy Communion is the source AND the summit of our religion. It’s the true presence of Jesus given to us to obey His command in the upper room at the Last Supper. It’s how we keep holy the Lord’s Day. It’s how Jesus remains with us always even until the end of the age. It’s how we have life within us and how we remain in Him.
Some bishops are calling for a restoration of the order of the Sacraments of Initiation precisely because we need to regain our sense of the centrality and importance of Holy Communion as the source and summit of our faith.
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
- 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
- June 23 Second Quarter Potluck Social following 9:30 a.m. Mass in Church Hall. Plan to attend
For Your Information:
CROWNING OF MARY… is this weekend on Sunday.
SENIORS RECOGNITION...will be May 12 at the 9:30 a.m.Mass followed by a Reception honoring our TA graduates, Aidan Collins and Emmy Lu Marsh...plan to attend and celebrate with them, their parents, Kendra and Dave and Ginny and Billy, and family!
SECOND QUARTER POTLUCK SOCIAL … June 23 following 9:30 a.m. Mass. Mark your calendar and plan to attend.
Second Quarter (April, May, June) Social Committee - Pat and Libby Bullard, Elizabeth Crothers, Angel Farlow, Margaret and Pat Gilfoil, MaryAnne Gilfoil, Terry and Andy Hall, Isabell Hernandez, Ann Keene, Alyce and C.W. Keene, Frances Kennedy*, Andy Nguyen, Bobby Reynolds, Jim and Frances Roemer, Joe Storey, Delia Trichell, and Cathy VanderVieren, Len Faustino, Jeanie Yabut
LAITY SERVERS FOR MAY AND JUNE 2019 SCHEDULE...please pick up a copy of the schedule on the table at the entrance of church if you would like one for your desk or at home.
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.
CONGRATULATION TO OUR FIRST HOLY COMMUNION CLASS...Please join us to celebrate with the families of OLIVIA CLAIRE COPES, EVELYN GRACE KIVETT, MARYKATHERINE MARSH, and MAURA CASEY McCARTY. Following Sunday Mass, there is a Reception honoring our communicants in the Parish Hall.
Our Return to the Lord
- Weekly Budget FY 2018-19 $1,917
- March Budget $9,585
- March Income $10,113
- March Expenses $8,118
- April Budget $7,668
- Collection April 27/28 $1,996
- April Income to Date $8,832
Stewardship “In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells Peter again and again, “If you love Me, feed my sheep.” He says the same to each of us, “If you love Me, use the gifts I have given you to serve your brothers and sisters.”
The Second Collection is for our monthly building fund.
Mass Schedule & Intentions for the Coming Week
- Sat 5:30p In memory of J.E. “Boyzie” Jumonville/family
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo for the Living & Deceased members of our Parish
- Mon NO MASS
- Tues 5:30p In memory of Marie Phillips Michele/Hodge
- Wed 5:30p In memory of Joe Scurria/Meadows
- Thurs 9:00a In memory of Gus Gremshell Olive Branch
- Fri 5:30p In memory of Becky Lancaster/Vedros
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Fred Wyly (birth on 12th/Magoun
- 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
- 5/4 5:30p
- Lector: L Bullard
- EMHCs: P & B Wilks
- 5/5 9:30a
- Servers: A Collins/C Wood
- Lector: B Sullivan
- EMHCs: N & M Ernst
- 5/11 5:30p
- Lector: MA Gilfoil
- EMHCs: A Farlow & A Keene
- 5/12 9:30a
- Servers: C Marsh/H Ellerbee
- Lector: D Ellerbee
- EMHCs: N & M Ernst
- 5/18 5:30p
- Lector: M Rome
- EMHCs: P & M Gilfoil
- 5/19 9:30a
- Servers: W Sullivan/C Wood
- Lector: P Collins & M Wood
- EMHCs: B Smith & K Collins
Let us Rejoice in the Lord!
Happy Birthday Hunter Sullivan (May 4), Father Ryan Humphries (May 6), Colin Donham (May 7)
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), 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.