From The Font
“Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.”
The Letter to the Hebrews is a tough nut to crack in the New Testament. We don’t know who wrote it and it’s very different than all of the other Letters of the Bible.
For one, it’s very, very Jewish. St. Paul wrote most of the letters in the New Testament and he was focused on Gentiles (non-Jews). St. John’s letters are written to the Christian community in modern-day Turkey. The Letter to the Hebrews, though, is not meant for the simple folks of Rome or Galatia, it’s a complex theological argument explaining Judaism in light of the Christian revelation. It’s a doctoral thesis and it’s easy to get swept away in the argumentation.
Our second reading today is Hebrews 11. Here, we’re hearing about Abraham’s faith and how that can be understood as a foundation for faith in Jesus. The basic argument begins with creation and says that we see creation around us but we can’t really know its origins. And so, we have faith, of a sort, in what God has said about that which we can’t really comprehend. Even with modern science, we’re living on faith that the Big Bang happened the way it did. It’s not the only explanation for the universe as it is, it’s just the one that requires the fewest assumptions and makes the most sense. (The Big Bang theory was proposed by a priest named Fr. George LeMaitre by the way.)
As the argument continues, we see Faith from many points of view and exemplified in Abraham, Moses and other Old Testament figures. Each of those explanations is worth reading and thinking about.
Chapter 12 is all about the Faith of Jesus, but chapter 11 ends with a reminder that faith is not about getting what we want, it’s about trusting that the Lord will give us not only what we need, but a genuine abundance. Chapter 11 ends with a reminder that the people in the Old Testament who had great faith didn’t get what they wanted. Why? Because “God had foreseen something better for us…” (Heb 11:40). Faith is a living thing and as it grows, we are able to understand it more fully.
Thoughts from Fr. Ryan
This Thursday is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is the feast where we celebrate the Lord taking his mother into Heaven body and soul.
Some folks tend to get prickly about feasts which aren’t specifically talked about in the Bible. It’s an understandable feeling. A lot of Protestant preachers tend to act and think that Catholicism is all a big invention of the middle ages and that everything the Church believes is “of man.”
That’s ridiculous for a lot of reasons. For one, the official Church - in the form of bishops and fancy robes and big hats and office buildings and that kind of thing are really, really new. For the first thousand years, the Church wasn’t a big official bureaucracy, it was a thousand bishops spread around the world communicating via letters that took six months to a year to deliver one-way. The historians and local feasts and local saints and teachers and schools and that kind of thing weren’t part of some vast organized conspiracy, they were an organic part of the faith which grew and developed first here, then there. It wasn’t until Vatican II that the modern “my way or the highway” administration was adopted. Vatican II forbade and proscribed thousands of local practices and traditions which had been around for a thousand years or more. It was the single largest example of Roman intolerance in world history. Prior to the 1960s, the Church had a strongly organic sense to it which allowed the Holy Spirit to guide and direct the universal Church through the local Churches.
The feast of the Assumption is a great example of that. Historians and early Christians in Jerusalem and in coastal Asia Minor (modern day Turkey near the Bosphorus) were familiar with the role that Mary played among the Apostles. She lived in a small house in Ephesus (modern day Kushadasi) and she was the primary maternal influence on the early Church. She was the nurturer, the gentle reminder of the kindness of God and played the role that Jewish mothers played at the time.
When she died, all of the Apostles attended her and many writers of the era wrote about what happened. As with Jesus, they left her body alone for a few moments and when they returned, the body was gone. The Apostles were aware of it. Why St. Luke didn’t include the details in the Acts of the Apostles is for him to say, but as likely as not, it was just considered too personal.
The feast reminds us of the role that the Blessed Virgin Mary plays in the life of the Church. It also reminds us that God looks after His creatures and it reminds us that God didn’t die and rise only to leave us behind. The Lord is deeply involved in our world at every moment and with profound attention.
The Assumption is a HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION. Because I’m covering St. Joseph, we will not have a Wednesday Mass on the 14th (I’ll be at St. Joe at 6pm). We will have Mass on Thursday the 15th at 9a at the Olive Branch and 5:30p at the Church. I’ll see you there (or I’ll see you in the confessional!)
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
- August 15 Holy Day of Obligation - Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Mass at 9 a.m. (Legacy Nursing Home) and 5:30 p.m. (St Edward)
- August 18 Youth Mass-Coffee and Doughnuts will be served in the Hall following 9 a.m. Mass
- August 20 Pastoral Council Meeting – Parish Hall – following 5:30 p.m. Mass
- August 21 Wednesday Evening Talk: The Virtue of Hope - 6 p.m. in the Church Hall
- August 25 Potluck Brunch - Third Quarter Social following 9 a.m. Mass… see committee below
For Your Information:
Through September, our schedule will be:
- Sat. 4pm - Waterproof
- Sat. 6pm - Tallulah
- Sun. 9am - Tallulah
- Sun. 11:00am - St. Joseph
ASSUMPTION OF BLESSED VIRGIN MARY...August 15...is a Holy Day of Obligation. In order to provide everyone with a convenient time to meet their obligation to attend Mass, one can choose to go on Wednesday in St Joseph at 6 p.m. or on Thursday at 9 a.m. (Legacy Nursing Home) or 5:30 p.m. (St. Edward) in Tallulah.
POTLUCK BRUNCH …Sunday, August 25th …. following 9 a.m. Mass will be our Third Quarter (July, Aug, Sept) Social. The Committee consists of Shannon and Bart Wood and Betty and Kenny Smith, co-chairs, MaryKathryn Book, Kendra and Dave Collins, Connie and Dan Copes, Bruce and Kate Copes, Dana and Randy Dukes, Lance and Stephenie Marsh, Susie and Terry Murphy, Peggy and Phil Scurria, Beth and Chip Sullivan
PASTORAL COUNCIL..will hold its regular meeting on TUESDAY, AUGUST 20, at 6:00 p.m(after 5:30 p.m. Mass) in the Church Center. Appointed members of the Council: MaryAnne Gilfoil, Josephine Hodge, Michael Lancaster, Ginny Marsh, Beth Sullivan and Levi Washington. Appointed as Trustees by the Bishop are Brian Johnson and Dale Magoun. Appointed by the pastor to serve as Finance Council Chair is Darryl Ellerbee. Additionally, serving on the Council in an ex-officio capacity as President of the Altar Society will be Cathy VanderVieren. All members are requested to make special effort to attend. Parishioners are encouraged to attend and contribute to the discussions.
WEDNESDAY EVENING TALK: THE VIRTUE OF HOPE … will be on Wednesday, August 21, in the Church Hall following the 5:30 p.m. Mass. Those of you who have requested Adult Education opportunities will want to participate!
PRAYER FOR HURRICANE SEASON… O God, Master of this passing world, hear the humble voices of your children. The Sea of Galilee obeyed your order and returned to its former quietude; you are still the Master of land and sea. We live in the shadow of a danger over which we have no control. The Gulf, like a provoked and angry giant, can awake from its seeming lethargy, overstep its conventional boundaries, invade our land and spread chaos and disaster. During this hurricane season, we turn to You, O loving Father. Spare us from past tragedies whose memories are still so vivid and whose wounds seem to refuse to heal with the passing of time. O Virgin, Star of the Sea, Our Beloved Mother, we ask you to plead with your Son in our behalf so that spared from the calamities common to this area and animated with a true spirit of gratitude, we will walk in the footsteps of your Divine Son to reach the heavenly Jerusalem where a stormless eternity awaits us. Amen (Fr. Al Volpe, Cameron Parish, LA, originally dedicated to the victims of Hurricane Audrey in 1957)
Our Return to the Lord
- Weekly Budget FY 2019-20 $2,111
- July Budget $8,444
- July Income $7,372
- August Budget $8,444
- Collection August 3/4 $3,191
- August Income to Date $3,191
Stewardship Am I waiting for the “right” time to become a good steward? Do I plan to share my time and talents “later”? Today’s Gospel warns those who are procrastinating about stewardship to be prepared--”at an hour you do not expect,the Son of Man will come.”
Special Collection this weekend (August 10-11) the collection for the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa will be taken. This collection supports the growing Catholic faith in Africa and your assistance is needed to ensure its success.
Mass Schedule & Intentions for the Coming Week
- Sat 6:00p In memory of Matt Farlow/Scott
- Sun 9:00a Pro Populo for the Living & Deceased members of our Parish
- Mon NO MASS
- Tue 5:30p In memory of George Magoun/family
- Wed NO MASS AS IN ST JOSEPH for Holy Day of Obligation
- Thu 9:00a HOLY DAY In memory of Joe Scurria/Lancaster Legacy Care Center
- Thu 5:30p HOLY DAY In memory of Wayne Magoun/family
- Fri 5:30p In memory of Becky Lancaster/Bullard
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Thomas Trichell/family
- Sun 9:00a Pro Populo for the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family*
ALTAR CANDLES this week are burning for the special intentions of MaryAnne Gilfoil
Assistants at Holy Mass
- 8/10 6:00p
- Lector: L Bullard
- EMHCs: P & M Gilfoil
- 8/11 9:00a
- Servers: W Sullivan & C Wood
- Lector: B Sullivan
- EMHCs: B Smith & K Collins
- 8/17 6:00p
- Lector: C VanderVieren
- EMHCs: P & B Wilks
- 8/18 9:00a
- Servers: C Marsh & M Wood
- Lector: C Wood & C Sullivan
- EMHCs: N & M Ernst
- 8/24 6:00p
- Lector: MA Gilfoil
- EMHCs: M Rome & L Magoun
- 8/25 9:00a
- Servers: C Sullivan & H Ellerbee
- Lector: D Ellerbee
- EMHCs: B Smith & K Collins
Let us Rejoice in the Lord!
Happy Birthday Teri W Brown (Aug 17), Kim Donham (Aug 19)
Happy Anniversary Shannon and Bart Wood (Aug. 15)
In Our Daily Prayers…
Our Holy Father Pope Francis and Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI; Archbishop Aymond and 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 Hansen of Gonzales, Consuelo Marsh of Lake Providence, Jean Cantrell, Marie Cedotal, Margaret Fortenberry of Tensas
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), Karen Cobb, Jackie Daniels (Lancaster), Carol Dipert (Rome), Carole Ducote (Lancaster), Joe Farlow, Mike Farlow, Thom Gilfoil, Melissa Grady (D Wood), 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), Suzanne Paxton (Regan), Debbie Pettis (Rome), Sam and Betty Phillips (Hodge), Yvonne 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, 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.