As we get closer and closer to the end of the Church year and Christ the King Sunday, the readings become more and more apocalyptic. That’s not by accident. The culmination of God’s creation is the “Day of the Lord,” the parousia when Jesus will return in glory to judge the living and the dead. Joel rightly calls the day “terrible.” In fact, we’re told to fear that day…
But wait, didn’t Jesus say that He did not come to bring a spirit of fear...? He surely did, but we can’t forget the rest of that little sentence... Jesus did not come to bring us fear, but ADOPTION! It is only by adoption that we can call God “Abba, Father.” And therein lies the rub... We are not automatically adopted sons and daughters of our Father. That adoption requires Baptism. Even after Baptism, though, we aren’t just free to burn down the house. After all, “to whom much is given, much will be expected.”
As adopted sons and daughters, we are called to a greatness which is only possible by the grace of the Holy Spirit... And so, we start to see God’s great plan for us. What begins in fear in the Old Testament becomes hope in the Lord Jesus, but it does not become foolish confidence or naive optimism. We are always “working out our salvation in fear and trembling,” but hope transforms our fear from the hopeless fear of the Prophet Joel to the truly wise fear of the Lord, which is “the beginning of wisdom.” We are adopted, and so, we cling to our Father. And as we wait, we tremble... We are anxious… But the closer we cling to the Lord, the more our fear is transformed as we are transformed... It’s like God intended it to be this way from the beginning!
Insights From Second Street
For every purpose, there is a time and a season. (Turn, turn, turn…) As our world has become more and more about instant gratification, many of us have lost sight of the idea of the appropriateness of context. When the corrected translation of the Roman Missal was being implemented two years ago, we had to be reminded that Mass is somehow fundamentally different than a crawfish boil. It requires different clothes, different language, different attitudes. The Church and the Mass should be places of holiness (a word that means “other-ness”). As such, the Mass should not be casual. It should not be easy and accessible. It should not be a prayer meeting or a simple gathering. Rather, it should be formal. It should be something that draws us out of the mundane world of reality TV and Facebook. It should be something heavenly and not something Earthly.
Of course, there is a time for easy and accessible fellowship. Outside the Church, I love to shake hands and share a joke. At the Friday night football game, I love to tell stories of Fr. Chemino or Fr. Roy. At a supper party or on a boat ride down the river is the perfect time to enjoy an adult beverage and leave the cassock at home… And those are the perfect places for casual and easy.
It’s hard to realize because so many people have blurred our contexts in the past fifty years, but the Church does not want the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to be a place where all feel welcome. She wants it to be a place of praise and glory and sanctification that calls us all to more than we are. She wants the Holy Mass to mesmerize and to edify and to change us… But it can’t change us if it’s all about us. I am extremely formal at Mass because Mass is Mass. All of us should be. When we have gone in peace… that’s the time for us to be the fine rednecks and cajuns and southerners that we are. Context really is everything — think about it. -FrR
Christmas at a Glance
- Dec 1 - First Sunday of Advent.
Beginning of weekly Sunday evening Vespers.
Beginning of weekly Traditional Latin Masses.
- Dec 4 - Parish Supper and Talk at St. Mary’s.
- Dec 5 - Advent Confessions.
- Dec 6 - Feast of St. Nicholas.
School cancelled for Christmas Festival.
- Dec 7 - Natchitoches Christmas Festival.
No morning Mass. Evening Mass at 4pm.
- Dec 8 - Second Sunday of Advent.
- Dec 9 - Basilican Feast Day for the Immaculate
Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
(Not a Holy Day of Obligation this year.)
Special Mass at 6pm.
- Dec 10 - Lessons & Carols with the NSU Choirs.
- Dec 12 - Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe,
Patroness of the Americas. Advent Confessions.
- Dec 15 - Third Sunday of Advent.
(Put Christmas Decorations up.)
- Dec 19 - Advent Confessions.
- Dec 20 - SMS Christmas Program
for Parents & Grandparents.
SMS Christmas Break begins.
- Dec 22 - Fourth Sunday of Advent.
Guitar Concert by John de Chiaro.
- Dec 24 - Christmas Eve.
No morning Mass.
Vigil Mass at 4pm.
Caroling at 11:30pm.
Midnight Mass at Midnight.
- Dec 25 - The Feast of Christ’s Nativity.
Masses at 9am and 11am.
- Jan 1 - The Feast of Mary, Mother of God.
(Holy Day of Obligation.)
- Jan 5 - Epiphany of Our Lord.
Blessing of Epiphany Chalk.
(Take Christmas Trees & Decorations down.)
- Jan 10 - Basilican Feast Day for the Anniversary of the Elevation of the Minor Basilica.
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.
PENANCE SERVICE REMINDER As we move closer to Advent, all are reminded that we will not have any penance services this year. Father is in the confessional 30 minutes before daily Masses and 45 minutes before weekend Masses. He will also be in the confessional from 5p to 6p every Thursday of Advent (12/5, 12/12, 12/19). All Catholics should typically confess monthly...now is a great time to make it a habit!
DECEMBER 9th IS A BASILICAN FEAST DAY Our next indulgenced Basilican Feast Day is Monday, December 9th ― The Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the day of the Liturgical Celebration of the title of our Church. The 6:30a Mass will be a “Simple” Mass. The 6p Mass will be the “Conventual” Mass with music and incense. Both Masses will end with the proper prayers for the indulgence. All are welcome!
- Wed, 11/20, CCD Classes, 6p @ St. Mary’s School
- Fri, 11/22, SMS Grandparents’ Day
- Sat-Sun, 11/23-11/24, CDA Bake Sale, before & after all Masses
- Mon-Wed, 11/25-11/27, SMS City of Lights BBall Tourney
- Wed, 11/27, NO CCD Classes
- Wed-Fri, 11/27-11/29, Parish Office CLOSED, for Thanksgiving
- Sun, 12/1, First Sunday of Advent
- Sun, 12/1, First Sunday Vespers, 4:30p @ MBIC
- Sun, 12/1, First Traditional Latin Mass, 5p @ MBIC
- Wed, 12/4, Parish Supper, Talk, & CCD Classes, 5-7p @ St. Mary's School
- Thu, 12/5, Advent Confessions, 5-6p @ MBIC
- Sat, 12/7, NO Mass @ 8a
- Mon, 12/9, Basilican Feast Day, Immaculate Conception of the BVM, 6:30a & 6p
Within the Sanctuary
Sat 11/16 4p Mike Bouchie, (Lector) • Carl Henry, Kathleen Hicks, Red & Jo Lapeyrouse, (EMHC) • D.Bennett, J.Friedel, (Altar Boys)
Sun 11/17 9a Sydney Frederick, (Lector) • Jeff & Carol Green, John Vandersypen, (EMHC) • Reagan & Ryan Cunningham, Ashton Behrendsen, (Altar Boys)
Sun 11/17 11a Greg Burke, (Lector) • Jennifer Maggio, Linda Lee, Joseph Sklar, (EMHC) • C.Fisher, S.Maggio, E.Norwood, (Altar Boys)
Sat 11/23 4p Kathleen Hicks, (Lector) • Elaine Bacon, David Bouchie, Nita Maggio, Michael Yankowski, (EMHC) • C.J.Bouchie, J.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)
Sun 11/24 9a Michael King, (Lector) • John Cunningham, Mary Darby, Aimee Wright, (EMHC) • J.Cunningham, C.Cunningham, BB.Behrendsen, (Altar Boys)
Sun 11/24 11a Joe Payne Williams, (Lector) • Haley Johnson, Cecilia Cook, Patsy Melder, (EMHC) • A.J.Parker, J.Parker, W.Mayeux, (Altar Boys)
Memorials & Prayer Intentions
The Sanctuary Candle may be offered in memory of a loved one by contacting the office.
The Sanctuary Flowers this week are offered in Memory of Mr. & Mrs. Roscoe & Clotile Methvin by Sara & Ken Methvin.
- Sat 4p: Richard & Shirley Ragland & N.L. Vercher
- Sun 9a: Pro Populo
- Sun 11a: Giering & Erwin Deceased Family Members
- Mon 6:30a: Bobbie Maggio
- Mon 8a: Susan
- Tue 6:30a: Raymond Arthur
- Wed 6:30a: Dorthy Benefield
- Thu 6:30a: Mrs. Iva Nevers
- Thu 9a: SMS Students & Faculty
- Fri 6:30a: Mr. & Mrs. Mike White
- Sat 8a: Lauren Leone
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 Sick & Suffering: Lolette Allen, Clifford Ardoin, Lauren Bienvenu, Mark Birch, Bill Boone, Tripp Bostick, Chad Bouchie, Flo Brouillette, Bailey Byrd, Carolyn Carter, Emilia Cofio, 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, Kalita Jones, 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