But you, man of God, pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. Compete well for the faith. Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called.

The power Christ gives us is for something... It’s not merely power for it’s own sake. Take a moment to consider that striking reality... Christ does not merely give gifts, talents, blessings, crosses or graces willy nilly! No, He is God and God is always deliberate! Comedian Bill Cosby used to make that distinction between adults and children. Children, he said, acted as if nothing had inspired their decisions. The most common answer his children gave when he asked why they had done something was, "I don't know." Even as adults, most of us struggle to act with deliberation. We are motivated by all manner of things from emotion to reason to our limited understanding of any one circumstance. God is not limited, and so, everything He does, He does deliberately.

If we are to seek after Our God, we must endeavor to act with deliberation. We must pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness. We can't simply trust those things to appear by magic or coincidence. St. Ignatius of Loyola advised all Catholics to use a basic method. First, he said, find a quiet place. Second, enter into the presence of God by simple prayer. Third, consider some scripture passage or mystery of faith. Fourth, ask the Lord to reveal some virtue or behavior for you to pursue. Fifth, ask the Lord to provide direction, insight and strength to pursue that good thing. Sixth and finally, use every natural gift at your disposal to grow in that virtue. (Can you tell St. Ignatius was a soldier? And maybe a little OCD?) The method is still hailed 500 years later as the height of practical spirituality.

Whether we choose to employ the method of St. Ignatius or not, if our choices are to truly be placed at the service of the Lord, they must be increasingly deliberate. One cannot give what one does not possess. It is only when I can direct my actions that I can direct them to the Lord!


Insights From Second Street

Families are messy. The German Philosopher Martin Heidegger used a phrase to describe life, he said it was dasein - "thrown in." That's how families work. People who would not necessarily be compatible are thrown in together and find in their difference a kind of unity amidst the drama and discord and frustration. One of the main causes of divorce in our country nowadays is the simple fact that people are unwilling to accept the fact that families are messy by design! God gives us trial and frustration and difficulty as a blessing... as a way of attaining salvation! 

As with all things related to salvation, it's a cross... It's hard! It's unpleasant at times... It's also necessary! Without taking up our cross, we cannot get to heaven! And - let's be honest - given the choice, most of us are not going to voluntarily take up our cross. Families are built in order to make us realize our own limitations and weaknesses. They are also built to teach us what happiness, joy and love can be. 

It's not particularly impressive to love someone with whom we are completely compatible... Think about it... If every single thing about my spouse were a perfect match for me, loving that spouse wouldn't be heroic - it wouldn't even be impressive! It's only when love becomes sacrificial that it becomes heroic! Loving a cooing baby is easy; loving a pooping baby is not! Loving a spouse who is trying to woo me is easy; loving a spouse who is demanding their way is not! Families are meant to be exactly what they are... They are beautiful and exhausting and dysfunctional and chaotic and joyful and fulfilling and holy!

As we look at our family experience, we must remember that none of us need some kind of perfect utopia - that's a recipe for damnation! What we need are opportunities for heroic virtue... And I imagine every one of us can bring to mind a brother or an aunt or a cousin who is a big, giant, annoying, frustrating, bothersome, <bleep!> opportunity for heroic virtue. And on judgement day, every one of us will be thanking God for them!


The Jargon…

by: Fr. Ryan

Consecration is the religious practice of "setting something apart" or making it holy. We consecrate those things which may well be worldly by their nature, but which we desire to put at the sole service of God. On January 1, every Catholic may receive a plenary indulgence for consecrating the new year to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. There are formal prayers which can be said - but the process is simple: kneel down, take a moment of quiet and tell the Lord that you want this new year to be a time of special grace. Tell Him that you are consecrating yourself to Him in a new way this year and that you intend to be nearer to eternal life at this time next year... Then, make a good confession and receive Holy Communion at the Mass for the Holy Day of Obligation (remember, Jan. 1 is a Holy Day of Obligation).

The practice is a good one because we human beings need markers and sign posts. We need to know from where we've come and to where we're going. Otherwise, we will find ourselves spinning our wheels. We need the kind of time that goes forward from past to future (in Greek "Chronos") and that kind of time that cycles in weeks and months (in Greek "Kairos"). We need to reorient ourselves in life on a regular basis and new years are ideal times to do that. That's why the Church is careful to establish several seasons which allow us to have new beginnings throughout the year. We have Advent and Christmas, Lent, Easter and Pentecost, and Ordinary Time to allow us to set aside a few weeks or months at a time for the Lord. That's not by accident, nor is it some random invention of psychology. The Church year is wonderfully human in that it moves forward and it cycles. It is a true gift and one that as a parish we must receive. There's more to say, but for now, let this new year be a time for consecration.


Parish News

PARISH OFFICE’S HOLIDAY SCHEDULE 
The Parish Office will CLOSE for the holidays 
            Friday, Dec. 20th @ Noon 
                   and will RE-OPEN
             Monday, Jan. 6th @ 8a.

              Within those two weeks,
        the office will only be OPEN on
        Monday, Dec. 23rd • 8a-Noon
                             and
          Monday, Dec. 30th • 8a-4p.

NO CCD, JAN. 1st Instead, students should attend Mass in observance of the Holy Day of Obligation. Those Mass times are listed below.

NEW YEARS' DAY IS A HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION New Years’ Day is also the “Solemnity of The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God.” It is a Holy Day of Obligation. Our usual Holy Day Mass schedule is a Vigil Mass the night before (Tue, 12/31) at 6p & two Masses on the day of obligation (Wed, 1/1) at 6:30a & 6p. Please make every effort to attend and to consecrate the new year to Our Lord!

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.

JANUARY 10th IS A BASILICAN FEAST DAY Friday, Jan. 10th, is the Anniversary of the Elevation of the Minor Basilica. A Plenary Indulgence has been extended by the Holy Father for our Church. An additional Mass of indulgence has been added on Saturday, Jan. 11th, as part of the town's Tri-Centennial events. The usual 6:30a Mass on Fri(1/10) & the additional 10a Mass on Sat(1/11) will both end with the proper prayers for the Plenary Indulgence. All are welcome! **The 8a Mass on Sat(1/11) will not offer indulgences.**

 

Parish Events

  • Sat, 12/28, Additional Saturday evening Mass, 5:30p @ St. Mary’s School
  • Tue, 12/31, Holy Day of Obligation VIGIL - Feast of Mary, Mother of God @ 6p
  • Wed, 1/1, Holy Day of Obligation - Feast of Mary, Mother of God @ 6:30a & 6p
  • Wed, 1/1, NO CCD Classes - Instead, students should attend HDO Mass
  • Fri, 1/3, First Friday Devotions
  • Sat, 1/4, First Saturday Devotions
  • Fri, 1/10, Basilican Feast Day - Anniversary of the Elevation of the Minor Basilica @ 6:30a
  • Sat, 1/11, Basilican Feast Day - Anniversary of the Elevation of the Minor Basilica @ 10a
  • Mon, 1/20, Martin Luther King Day, NO School & Parish Office CLOSED
  • Mon-Fri, 1/27-1/31, Catholic School’s Week
  • Sun, 2/2, Blessing of Throats in Honor of St. Blaise

Parish Finances

Our Sunday Collection last week was $8,880.

Thank you for your generous return to our Lord!

For more information on our finances, click here.


Within the Sanctuary

Sat 12/28 4p Mike Bouchie, (Lector) • Elaine Bacon, David Bouchie, Nita Maggio, Michael Yankowski, (EMHC) • D.Bennet, J.Friedel, (Altar Boys)    

Sun 12/29 9a Rebecca Lavespere, (Lector) • Jeff & Carol Green, John Cunningham, (EMHC) • T.Hare, M.Vienne, Jr., P.Vienne, (Altar Boys)

Sun 12/29 11a Joe Payne Williams, (Lector) • Chris & Jennifer Maggio, Lucile Ingram, (EMHC) • S.Maggio, W.Lee, C.Fisher, (Altar Boys)

Tue 12/31 6p Kathleen Hicks, (Lector) • P.Vienne, M.Vienne, Jr., (Altar Boys)    

Wed 1/1 6p Gilen Norwood, (Lector) • J.Burrell, (Altar Boys)

Sat 1/4 4p Levi Thompson, (Lector) • Kathleen Hicks, Mickey Hennigan, Jimmy Gunter, Carl Henry, (EMHC) • M.Thibodaux, D.Thibodaux, J.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)    

Sun 1/5 9a Karen Apponey, (Lector) • Michael King, Alyssa Odom, Emelda Odom, (EMHC) • R.Cunningham, R.Cunningham, A.Behrendsen, (Altar Boys)

Sun 1/5 11a John Laborde, (Lector) • Linda Lee, Barbara Laborde, Patsy Melder, (EMHC) • S.Maggio, V.Maggio, D.Thompson, (Altar Boys)
 

Memorials & Prayer Intentions

The Sanctuary Candle this week is offered in Memory of Daniel Chesal by David & Susan Chesal.

The Sanctuary Flowers may be offered in memory of a loved one by contacting the office.
 

Holy Masses

  • Sat 4p: Samuel R. Maggio
  • Sat 5:30p: Janell deVargas
  • Sun 9a: Pro Populo
  • Sun 11a: Richard Ragland
  • Sun 5p: Daniel Chesal
  • Mon 6:30a: Brennan Manning
  • Tue 6:30a: Buddy Masson
  • Tue 6p: Helen Bostick 
  • Wed 6:30a: Dora Jeansonne
  • Wed 6p: John Boudreaux
  • Thu 6:30a: Mae Desidier
  • Fri 6:30a: Buster Gordy
  • Sat 8a: Mr. & Mrs. Benton R. Vernon, Jr.
     

Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for this Month are that children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need. And that Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.
 

Please pray for our Sick & Suffering: Lolette Allen, 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, Jaden Eli Lodridge, Joseph Longo, Lisa Mack, Faris Michael, Meg Michael, Lacey Mitchum, Fr. Joe Montalbano, 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