The Rapture is not a real thing. Like so many dramatic end-of-days prophecies, it comes from the fairly recent past. It is based on a misunderstanding of the proper methods of reading and comprehending scripture. It’s only in the very recent past that Protestant Scripture Experts have taken to setting aside basic logic and Christian faith when reading the scriptures. Not even the most radical early Protestant could have dreamed up something like Creationism or the Rapture.
In reality, the end-of-days (also known as the Parousia or, as Joel calls it, the “Day of the Lord”) will be marked by one overwhelming reality - the universal recognition of Jesus Christ as Lord. Judgement will come and the world will cease to be. All that will remain will be God Himself, Heaven (and Purgatory) and Hell. On that day, which is called by the Scriptures “terrible,” all will know their own sins and all will plead for God’s mercy or stand on their own merits. Those who seek mercy will find salvation, and those who do not will suffer damnation. That’s about as terrible as terrible gets!
This harsh, cold reality is not something any of us will want to face. And so, neither is it something we should try to anticipate. “No one knows the days nor the hour.” What’s more, none of us are equipped to see so large a picture of the world that we can adequately read the signs of the end times. Imagine the people living under Hitler or Stalin or Napoleon or Mao… Surely they would have believed the end times were upon them! And yet, they were wrong. We are all called to live as if the end times were upon us... But what Christ calls for is simply keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus!
Insights From Second Street
November is the “Month of the Faithful Departed.” Nov. 1 is All Saints’ Day on which we celebrate those who have died and are rejoicing in heaven. Nov. 2 is All Souls’ Day on which we pray for those who will eventually be with the Lord, but who are presently being purified in Purgatory. Throughout the month, our readings for Mass will focus more and more on the End Times and the “Day of the Lord.”
The world we live in is utterly terrified of death. Funeral homes go to great lengths to help us pretend that our loved ones aren’t dead. We’ve embraced silly substitutions for funerals like “celebrations of life” or “remembrance services.” We’ve embraced cremations so that we can pretend that our loved ones just “went to a better place.” Of course, all of this is a quiet rejection of Christ’s resurrection. It’s all a not-so-subtle expression of our lack of belief that death has been defeated - that it has “lost its sting.” Our priests and deacons haven’t helped by speaking words of false mercy that our loved one are “in a better place” or “with the Lord.” Even the switch to white vestments instead of the traditional black has served to cause us to fear the reality of death. But November calls us away from all that fear and back to the truth that Christ is victorious... That He did rise from the dead... That death has lost its sting... That each and every one of us must “keep death always before us” as St. Benedict said.
We are all facing our own mortality at every moment, and we ought to! No one should wait until sickness or tragedy forces that truth upon us… Those who wait are forced to face death alone and without the slow confidence that comes from a life of Faith. Despite the temporary comfort that comes from pretending that everyone goes to heaven and that death is just “passing away,” the eternal consequences are dire! Let us, each one, face our own mortality so that we may learn for ourselves that Christ has the Victory. He is the Resurrection and the Life!
by Deacon Whitehead
In the beginning, “the Earth was without form and void” (Gen. 1:2). Thus, one of the first things God did in creation was to bring order out of chaos. Fall is nearly upon us – or what we will have of it. Nevertheless, we will experience seasonal change. Daylight will grow shorter, leaves will change color and fall, and grass won’t grow (as much!). Likewise, the Church’s celebration follows a cycle: a definite and repeating cycle.
This cycle, though, is not merely to mark the passage of time. Rather, it is to help us to contemplate the mystery of Jesus Christ, through his incarnation and birth, to his Passion, death, Resurrection, Ascension, and the day of Pentecost. A cycle like this is a grace; it is something we are familiar with, just as we are familiar with the change of seasons. In this way, the Church brings a familiar order to our liturgical celebrations. Just as we can see order and the hand of the Creator in nature, our liturgical cycle also represents the gentle hand of a loving Father who brings order to every aspect of our lives, including our worship. Can you imagine what a Mass would look like without order? I’ll give you a hint: It wouldn’t be a Mass!
We will also soon experience a change in color at the altar. The vestments Father and I wear, and the altar linens, will change from green to purple for the Advent season. We use purple because this color is traditionally associated with royalty, as the dye was the most expensive. This change is not merely a matter of personal taste or of decor. Rather, it orders our minds toward preparing ourselves for the coming of the King of the Universe, Jesus Christ. As we gather together for worship, keep in mind the details of our beautiful basilica. Like everything else around us, the colors symbolize spiritual realities and order our minds and hearts toward the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, the source and summit of our lives.
UPCOMING PARISH SUPPER, TALK & CCD NIGHT Our next Parish Supper, Talk & CCD night will be Wednesday, Nov. 6th, at St. Mary’s. We’ll have food for free in the Cafeteria (donations welcome). At 6p, the kids will go to CCD and Fr. Ryan will give a talk in the Chapel for all who are interested. Invite other parishioners and/or your non-Catholic friends to attend!
SMS BOOK FAIR St. Mary’s will be hosting its annual book fair Friday, Nov. 8th, & Tuesday-Friday, Nov. 12th-15th, from 8a-3:30p. The book fair’s Family Night will be Wednesday, Nov. 13th, from 5-7p. With a wide variety of merchandise for sale, including holiday books, this would be the ideal night to get a head start on your Christmas shopping and help support St. Mary’s!
OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD It’s that time of year again... to make a difference in a young child’s life! You can help a young boy or girl by participating in this worthwhile project. Operation Christmas Child brings joy and hope to children in desperate situations worldwide through simple, gift-filled shoe boxes and evangelistic materials. Shoe boxes and step-by-step instructions can be found at the back of the Church. Boxes will be due, Sunday, November 17th. For more information, call Diane at 318-352-9919.
WOMEN’S CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONFERENCE The 8th annual diocesan conference for Catholic Charismatic Women will be Sat., Nov. 23rd, at Maryhill. Registration will take place on site beginning at 8:30a. The conference will begin at 9a and conclude at 7p that same evening. Holy Mass will be offered at 9a, then charismatic prayer and testimony will accompany talks and workshops. The conference cost is $50. Please call Diane Ardoin at 318-419-1547 for more information.
FIRST FRIDAY & FIRST SATURDAY The First Friday & Saturday of each month are kept in honor of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Adoration on First Friday begins after morning Mass and continues until Benediction at 5:15p. Sign-up at the back of the Church if you can watch with the Lord for an hour. First Saturday Mass and Benediction are at the usual time, 8a.
- Wed, 11/6, Parish Supper, Talk & CCD Classes, 5-7p @ St. Mary's School
- Fri, 11/7, SMS Football (Senior Night), 7p - vs. Northwood Lena @ Turpin Stadium
- Sat, 11/9, Altar Servers Meeting, 10a @ MBIC
- Wed, 11/13, CCD Classes, 6p @ St. Mary’s School
- Fri, 11/15, Altar Servers Meeting, 6p @ MBIC
- Sat, 11/16, SMS Basketball Jamboree
- Wed, 11/20, CCD Classes, 6p @ St. Mary’s School
- Fri, 11/22, SMS Grandparents’ Day
- Wed, 11/27, NO CCD Classes
- Mon-Wed, 11/25-11/27, SMS City of Lights BBall Tourney
- Wed-Fri, 11/27-11/29, Parish Office CLOSED, for Thanksgiving
- Sun, 12/1, First Sunday of Advent
Within the Sanctuary
Sat 11/2 4p Elaine Bacon, (Lector) • Mickey Hennigan, David Bouchie, Nita Maggio, Michael Yankowski, (EMHC) • C.J.Bouchie, J.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)
Sun 11/3 9a Roger Cunningham, (Lector) • Alice & James Barrios, Stephen Taylor, (EMHC) • M.Vienne Jr., P.Vienne, J.Miley, (Altar Boys)
Sun 11/3 11a John Laborde, (Lector) • Barbara Laborde, Jean Gill, Tara Whitehead, (EMHC) • Adam (Joseph) Parker, Jay Parker, John Burrell, (Altar Boys)
Sat 11/9 4p Levi Thompson, (Lector) • Elaine Bacon, David Bouchie, Jimmy Gunter, Mickey Hennigan, (EMHC) • D.&M.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)
Sun 11/10 9a Steven Taylor, (Lector) • James & Betty Durham, Alyssa Odom, (EMHC) • C.Lirette, S.Lirette, T.Lirette, (Altar Boys)
Sun 11/10 11a Kathy Bundrick, (Lector) • Haley Johnson, Cecilia Cook, Chris Maggio, (EMHC) • W.Mayeux, V.Maggio, M.Leone, (Altar Boys)
Memorials & Prayer Intentions
The Sanctuary Flowers and Sanctuary Candles may be offered in memory of a loved one by contacting the office.
- Sat 4p: Becky Mason
- Sun 9a: Pro Populo
- Sun 11a: Donna Doll
- Mon 6:30a: John & Stacy Mestayer Family
- Mon 8a: Julia Gallion
- Tue 6:30a: Anna Kathryn Shuler
- Tue 10a: SMS Students
- Wed 6:30a: Delora Ponthieux
- Wed 9:20a: SMS Faculty
- Thu 6:30a: Red & Sadie Thomas
- Thu 8:10a: SMS Benefactors
- Fri 6:30a: Doris Landvader, RIP
- Sat 8a: Frank & Loretta Viger, RIP
Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for this Month are that priests who experience difficulties may find comfort in their suffering, support in their doubts, and confirmation in their fidelity. And that, as fruit of the continental mission, Latin American Churches may send missionaries to other Churches.
Please pray for our Recently Deceased: Kitty Guillet & Sandi Ponthieux
Please pray for our Sick & Suffering: Lolette Allen, Clifford Ardoin, Lauren Bienvenu, Mark Birch, Bill Boone, Tripp Bostick, Chad Bouchie, Flo Brouillette, Bailey Byrd, Carolyn Carter, Emilia Cofio, Johnny Cox, Kim Cunningham, Lela Mae Dalme, Joe Davis, John DeFee, Marguerite Felchle, Alma Fernandez, Tom Foshee, Reba Friday, Vicki Gahagan, Lillian Giering, Sophie Gill, Joyce Hayne, Deborah G. Hernandez, Sue Van Hook, Pam Kerry, Mary Keyser, Paul Keyser, Martha LaCaze, Daniel Laroux, Brooklyn Leach, Jaden Eli Lodridge, Joseph Longo, Lisa Mack, Faris Michael, Meg Michael, Lacey Mitchum, Mary Moss, Shane Niette, Mary Odom, Sharon Roach, Wes Rollo, Makaehan Ross, Shirley Roy, Amanda Rozman, Joseph Ryan, Donna Slaughter, Brent Trichel, Billie Vercher, Ruthie J. Wallboughly, Tyler Ward, Jessica Warner, & Janine Waters