The Buzzword for the past fifty years in popular spirituality has been "maturity." When we stop and think about it, the very idea is absurd. Christian maturity implies self-sufficiency. It implies I am no longer childlike. I am no longer dependent. The entire revelation of God to Jews, Muslims and Christians begins with the revelation of God as "Father." As such, all of us are children as a first principle. This is the very basic beginning of Judeo-Christian religious practice.
St. Augustine explained that this first principle comes to life in the virtue of humility. When we humble ourselves - as our Gospel today commands - we realize that greatness (and "maturity") are mere illusions and that being childlike is not only more spiritually profitable but also more emotionally and mentally satisfying. When we reject humility for the pursuit of greatness, we inevitably discover two things. First, we come to realize how overwhelmingly limited we really are. Our lives are short. Our bodies frail. Our sanity fragile. Our courage lacking. Our minds in decline. Second, we come to realize how unsatisfying and unspectacular "greatness" itself is. Fame is passing - just ask the Swamp People or Charlie Sheen. Power is always incomplete. Pleasure is short-lived. Money is really just a way to get fame or power or pleasure. In the end, greatness is something that looks great at a distance, but is damnable up close.
On the other hand, humility is damnable at a distance and a blessing beyond measure up close. Humility is honest. It's sincere. It's truthful. Humility allows us to see the limited greatness of this creation for what it is - a sign. It's like star-gazing in the country as opposed to the city. Without the lights to drown out the stars, the heavens can finally be seen for the intermediary that they are.
So why not try being "the unprofitable servant" who seeks not greatness but nearness to God?
Insights From Second Street
I've been wanting to say thank you to so many of you have dropped by for a visit or a cup of coffee. Susan, Tommy and Ashley have prepared more Almond-Shortbread Lattes for our parishioners than they ever expected to! Thanks, too, to those who have come by to share your excitement or your concerns about the parish or the school. My first three months here have been as eventful as my entire priesthood before!
For those who have come by for a coffee and a chat and have found my office abandoned, I'm so sorry! My greatest failure as a priest here in Natchitoches has been in estimating time. Even maintaining what I consider to be a bare minimum of services has kept me out of my office and unavailable for drop in visitors far more than I could have expected. As with all young people, I tend to think that I can be everywhere all the time. I've come to the hard realization that there are only 24 hours in a day and that at least some of them have to be spent sleeping and at least a few have to be spent in my house quietly maintaining my sanity in prayer and rest.
What I've been most surprised by is the lack of what can be called stress. It must be a blessing from the Holy Spirit because I'm a little OCD and, in the past, when I've ended my day without a nice empty to-do list, I've tossed and turned in bed. Since a week before I started at Immaculate, I haven't even come close to an empty to-do list… I haven't even ended a day with less than two pages to go! And yet, I find myself at ease with my own limitations. It's truly a gift of God!
That said, please don't be afraid to drop by for a cup of coffee and a chat, but don't be surprised if Susan asks you to make an appointment. It's part of the chaos that is Immaculate Conception. I hope to see you soon! At 2:15 exactly! Ha! - FrR
by Ashley Hebert
Good day to all of you and congratulations! The MBIC can officially begin its one-year countdown until the first parish pilgrims depart for Italy! I have been overjoyed by the amount of parishioners interested in this trip! The Holy Spirit is clearly moving through the hearts of the MBIC!
The Orientation Meeting for the 2014 Pilgrimage to Italy will be Tues, Oct. 29th at 6:30p in the Church Hall. Anyone seriously interested in traveling to Italy next year (Oct. 20-29, 2014) should attend this meeting. You can call or email the Magnificat Staff at any time over the next year, but this will be the only time representatives from Magnificat Travel will be in Natchitoches to discuss details and answer questions about the trip.
Magnificat Travel will be handling all of the necessary paperwork and all financial aspects of our trip, so I will not be able to accept any payments from anyone here at the office throughout the next year. The meeting on Oct. 29th will be the first available date for parishioners to complete registration forms, pay the $500 non-refundable deposit fee, and decide how they would like pay the remaining balance of their trip costs.
The Orientation Meeting will provide the opportunity for parishioners to hear about the trip itinerary (in a little more detail), the breakdown of the total trip cost and all that it includes/excludes, how we will be traveling and lodging every step of the way, expected weather & packing tips, etc. This will also be the ideal time for parishioners to ask any questions they may have, to notify Magnificat of any special accommodations they may need while traveling, etc.
We want our pilgrims to as reassured and informed as possible throughout this experience, but some plans and questions about the trip will be difficult to answer with certainty 12 months in advance, too much can change too quickly in regards to travel & cost — please be patient with us if we cannot always give definite answers to questions/concerns.
Please take time over the next 3 weeks to write down any questions or concerns you would like discussed at the meeting. All are welcome & encouraged to attend − don’t forget to bring a pen & paper (to take notes), your checkbook/credit card, and a friend!
As always, if you have any questions regarding this trip, please do not hesitate to contact me at (318)352-3422 or firstname.lastname@example.org. God Bless!
- Annual Bereavement Mass to be Offered • The 21st Annual Bereavement Mass will be celebrated Mon, Nov. 4th at 5:30p at the St. Joseph Catholic Center (in Alexandria). If you have lost a loved one over the last year (since Nov. 1, 2012), please consider adding their name(s) to this Mass’ intention list. If you’d like to sign up, please contact our office by Tues, Oct. 8th, with the name(s) of your deceased loved one(s) and your family’s contact name, mailing address, phone number, and email address.
- Pilgrimage Meeting Oct 29 • The Orientation Meeting for the 2014 Pilgrimage to Italy will be Tues, Oct. 29th at 6:30p in the Church Hall. Anyone seriously interested in traveling to Italy next October should attend this meeting. This will be the only time representatives from Magnificat Travel will be in town to discuss details and answer questions about the trip. Registration/payment for the trip will begin at this meeting. All are welcome. — Don’t forget to bring a pen & paper, your checkbook, and a friend!
- Register for Parish Photo Directory • We are getting ready to create a new MBIC Parish Directory. All participating families will receive a free 8x10 professional portrait along with a printed directory. Lifetouch will be here: Tues-Sat, Oct. 15th-19th Tu-F 2p-9p & Sa 10a-5p, Wed-Sat, Oct. 30th-Nov. 2nd W-F 2p-9p & Sa 10:30a-5:30p *Register online at tinyurl.com/mbicpictures or contact the office and we’ll help you register.
- Volunteers Needed for Parish Photo Directory • Volunteers are needed on the days we will be taking photos for the new MBIC Parish Directory. We need 2 volunteers at the Church Hall at all times to greet parishioners and assist them with check-in and/or registration. We have 9, 7-hour photo days, so any help that you could give us would be greatly appreciated! If you’d like to volunteer, please contact the office with the date & time period you’re available.
- Wed, 10/9, CCD Classes, 6p @ St. Mary’s School
- Fri, 10/11, St. Mary’s Football Game, 7p - Away @ Block
- Tu-Sa, 10/15-10/19, Parish Directory Photos, T-F 2p-9p & Sa 10a-5p
- Wed, 10/16, CCD Classes, 6p @ St. Mary’s School
- Thurs, 10/17, St. Mary’s Football Game, 7p - Montgomery @ Home
- Mon-Fri, 10/21-10/25, Diocesan Priests’ Retreat NO DAILY MASSES
- Wed, 10/23, SMS Homecoming Mass, 9a
- Wed, 10/23, CCD Classes, 6p @ St. Mary’s School
- Fri, 10/25, St. Mary’s Football Game *HOMECOMING* 7p - Logansport @ Home
- Tues, 10/29, 2014 Pilgrimage Meeting, 6:30p - @ Church Hall
- Wed, 10/30 NO CCD Classes,
- Wed-Sat, 10/30-11/2, Parish Directory Photos, W-F 2p-9p & Sa 10:30a-5:30p
Within the Sanctuary
Sat 10/5 4p Elaine Bacon, (Lector) • Carl Henry, Mickey Hennigan, Red & Jo Lapeyrouse, (EMHC) • D.Bennett, J.Friedel, (Altar Boys)
Sun 10/6 9a Sydney Frederick, (Lector) • James & Alice Barrios, John Cunningham, (EMHC) • R.&R.Cunningham, C.Lirette, (Altar Boys)
Sun 10/6 11a Kathy Bundrick, (Lector) • Chris & Jennifer Maggio, Barbara Laborde, (EMHC) • J.Burrell, M.Leone, W.Mayeux, (Altar Boys)
Sat 10/12 4p Levi Thompson, (Lector) • Joanne & Michael Yankowski, Elaine Bacon, Mike Bouchie, (EMHC) • C.J.Bouchie, J.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)
Sun 10/13 9a Joe Cunningham, Jr., (Lector) • James & Betty Durham, Michael King, (EMHC) • BB.Behrendsen, G.&JH.Ingrish, (Altar Boys)
Sun 10/13 11a Joe P. Williams, (Lector) • Cecilia Cook, Haley Johnson, Sam Misuraca, (EMHC) • J.&A.Parker, I.Lovemore, (Altar Boys)
Memorials & Prayer Intentions
- Sat 4p Gene Doll
- Sun 9a Pro Populo
- Sun 11a Shirley Ragland
- Mon 6:30a John & Stacy Mestayer Family
- Mon 8a Melinda McClung
- Tue 6:30a Billy & Carlie Barbier Family
- Tue 10a SMS Students
- Wed 6:30a Charlie & Cindy Humphries
- Wed 9:20a SMS Faculty
- Thu 6:30a Giering & Erwin Deceased Family Members
- Thu 8a SMS Benefactors
- Fri 6:30a Dicky & Janell deVargas
- Sat 8a Betsy Bergeron
Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for this Month are that those feeling so crushed by life that they wish to end it, may sense the nearness of God’s love. And that, the celebration of World Mission Day may help all Christians realize that we are not only receivers but proclaimers of God’s word.
Please pray for our Sick & Suffering: Lolette Allen, Lauren Bienvenu, Mark Birch, Bill Boone, Dewitt Booty, 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, Anne Giering, Lillian Giering, Sophie Gill, Kitty Guillet, Joyce Hayne, Deborah G. Hernandaz, Sue Van Hook, Pam Kerry, Mary Keyser, Martha LaCaze, Daniel Laroux, Brooklyn Leach, Clay LeGros, Jaden Eli Lodridge, Joseph Longo, Lisa Mack, Johnnie Mallory, Faris Michael, Meg Michael, Mary Moss, Barbie Neuhauser, Shane Niette, Jo Norwood, Mary Odom, Judy Risty, 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
Our Sunday Collection last week was $6,709.
Thank you for your generous return to our Lord!
For more information on our finances, click here.