Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom.

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When Pope John Paul II stepped out onto the Loggia in 1978 as Pope, the first words out of his mouth were “Be Not Afraid!” That became the theme of his entire papacy. Over and over again he encouraged a world that was in the midst of a Cold War. He encouraged a world that was still facing the deadly threat of communism. He encouraged a world that looked at deceitful and corrupt leaders who were consciously leading their people into spiritual and moral poverty. And into the midst of this mire and filth, the Pope from Poland prescribed hope in the face of fear.

Jesus, too, stood in an historical moment wrought with fear. The Romans had conquered. The Jewish faith had been suppressed into a matter of more or less “private devotion.” You know - freedom of worship but not freedom of religion… There was corruption and oppression and no sense of any light at the end of the tunnel. Jesus prescribed hope… not in a nameless, faceless force - but in Him.

Our culture stands on a precipice. Our leaders are morally bankrupt. They baldly advocate for sins that cry to heaven for vengeance. There are four of those in the bible: Homicide, Sodomy, Oppression of Widows & Orphans and Cheating Laborers of their Due. Our national leaders happily advocate for abortion, unnatural marriage and the redistribution of wealth. We have good reason to fear. We have good reason to tremble! But our response must not be despair. It must be hope!

Our hope is not in leaders or economics, it is in the Father who is pleased to give you the kingdom. God does not prescribe fear but courage. After all, what can separate us from the love of God? What can keep us out of heaven? The worst that can happen to us is suffering here and now which will be as naught compared to the glory that is to be revealed. How can we not say: Be Not Afraid! 

Insights from Second Street

Monday was a Basilican Feast Day. It was, in fact, the anniversary of the Dedication of our Sister Basilica San Maria Majore in Rome on the beautiful tree-lined Via Merulana. Tradition holds that a wealthy Roman nobleman Liberius and his wife were childless and they wanted to give their substantial wealth to some cause in honor of Our Lady. They prayed that she would reveal the right cause. On the night of August 5, in the Roman summer heat, snow fell on the Esquiline Hill. So they paid for the Church which has stood there ever since.

Simply put, a Basilican Feast is a day of plenary indulgence for those who attend Holy Mass in the Minor Basilica. It’s a source of grace for the entire community, even those who aren’t Catholic. We’ve gotten into the habit of thinking that the grace of the Sacraments is only for those who attend Mass or consciously seek it out. Not so! Grace is a real but invisible substance which is absolutely essential to our lives. It is the very life of God which animates (literally “in-souls”) our lives. Grace flows through the Church into the world. A Minor Basilica is a place of privileged grace for all who desire it. We are truly blessed!

On Basilican Feasts, we’ll have our usual 6:30a morning Mass and an additional Mass in the evening at 6p with the proper prayers for the indulgence after each Mass. The other conditions are the “usual” ones: Confession, Holy Communion and detachment from sin. We have 8 Basilican Feasts throughout the year and one additional indulgenced feast (on July 29) which is basically the same. It’s worth you time and so make every effort to attend and bring someone along with you!

The Jargon...

by Fr. Ryan

“Fraternal Correction” is the way that monks and nuns describe the obligation of one Christian to another to perform the spiritual works of mercy. Within the Christian life, it is not the duty of the old and wise to correct the young and foolish; it is, rather, the duty of all Christians, young and old, foolish and wise, to correct their peers and to encourage one another to holiness. It’s not about the wagging of fingers and it’s not just for the “collars and the cowls.” It is part of the vocation of the laity to exercise the Spiritual Works of Mercy! Real love is getting people into heaven! But am I my brother’s keeper? If I see someone I love losing himself in addiction, ought I to act? If I see him or her falling deeper into depression or debt, ought I to act? If I see him or her falling deeper into the bondage of sin, ought I to act? YES! Fraternal correction is not just for priests, nuns, and religious brothers. It is for every one of us. Not because it’s fun or easy, but because it is part of the commandment to “Love thy neighbor.” Real love is found in doing what it takes to help one another into heaven. Practically, our fraternal correction begins with personal prayer time. We ask God for the words to say and that he would prepare the hearer - after all, if the soil isn’t ready, the words won’t bear fruit. Then, we tell the person that we love them, and proceed to correct or admonish them from a place of sincere concern. If a logical argument or some evidence needs to be presented, we do it gently. Finally, we leave them to consider the matter. If they listen, thanks be to God. If not, we continue to pray for them and remain open to correcting them again in God’s time. It’s not for any of us to tell someone how to live his or her life… That’s the Holy Spirit’s job! 

Parish Announcements

  • August 15 is a Holy Day of Obligation. Holy Mass for the Assumption of Our Lady will be offered on Wednesday night at 6p and on Thursday at 6:30a and 6p. The Thursday Evening Mass will be the “Conventual” Mass with music and incense. All other Masses will be “Simple” Masses.
  • August 19 is the First Day of SchoolEveryone is asked to get praying for St. Mary’s as the teachers begin their preparation and the kids begin grieving the loss of 10am wake up calls. St. Thomas Aquinas, patron of students, pray for us all!
  • The SMS Steak Supper is August 23The annual Steak Supper is coming up on the campus of St. Mary’s. The fundraiser is a gigantic assistance to us and, heck, there’s steak involved. Watch the bulletin for more info or call the office. Thanks in advance to everyone who helps out with the cooking, the serving and the eating 
  • VIRTUS Seminars are coming upAnyone interested in volunteering to work with children in the Church, needs to be certified in order to do so. Volunteers can meet that obligation at any VIRTUS seminar. Upcoming seminars will be: Mon, 8/12: 6pm @ Parish Hall, in Natchitoches, Thurs, 8/22: 5:30pm @ St. Juliana Church, in Alexandria, Mon, 8/26: 6pm @ Parish Hall, in Natchitoches. Only one seminar is necessary.
  • 2 Weeks left to sign up for RetrouvailleDo you feel alone, frustrated, and/or angry with your spouse? Do you argue or go without speaking to one another? Does talking about it only make it worse? This program has helped thousands of couples experiencing marital difficulty at all levels. For confidential information about or to register for the Retrouvaille of Acadiana August program, which begins with a weekend August 23-25, 2013, call 1-800-470-2230 or visit the web site at HelpOurMarriage.com 

Parish Events

For a complete calendar of Parish Events, click here. To add this calendar to your app or device, click here

Within the Sanctuary

Sat, 8/10  4pm

Chris Henry, (Lector) • Mary Hicks, Jimmy Gunter, Mickey Hennigan, Eve James, (EMHC) • J. & D.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)

Sun, 8/11  9am

Karen Apponey, (Lector) • Michael King, Stephen Taylor, John Vandersypen, (EMHC) • J. & C.Cunningham, A.Behrendsen, (Altar Boys)

Sun, 8/11  11am

Joe P. Williams, (Lector) • Joseph Sklar, Jean Gill, Haley Johnson, (EMHC) • M.Leone, S.Maggio, I.Lovemore, (Altar Boys)  

Sat, 8/17  4pm

Levi Thompson, (Lector) • Elaine Bacon, David Bouchie, Mike & Joanne Yankowski, (EMHC) • C.J.Bouchie, M.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)

Sun, 8/18  9am

Rebecca Lavespere, (Lector) • Ed & Cindy Smith, Mary Darby, (EMHC) • G.Ingrish, C.Lirette, T.Hare, (Altar Boys)

Sun, 8/18  11am

Ed Giering, (Lector) • Cecilia Cook, Patsy Melder, Tara Whitehead, (EMHC) • V.Maggio, W.Lee, D.Thompson, (Altar Boys)

Memorials & Prayer Intentions

The Sanctuary Candles this week are offered in Memory of Lt. Cameron Hall, USN by Evan & Margaret Hall.

The Sanctuary Flowers this week are offered in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary by Kenneth & Sara Methvin (High Altar) & Brother Michael Elvestrom (Altar of the BVM)

Holy Masses

  • Sa 4p Billy & Carlie Barbier Family
  • Su 9a Thomas E. Porter
  • Su 11a Pro Populo
  • Mo 6:30a Charlie & Cindy Humphries
  • Tu 6:30a Anthony D’Angelo
  • We 6:30a Jean Maricelli
  • We 6p Pro Pontifex
  • Th 6:30a Lt. Cameron Hall, USN
  • Th 6p Pro Populo
  • Fr 6:30a Richard & Shirley Ragland
  • Sa 8a Elma Abraham

Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for this Month are that parents and teachers may help the new generation to grow in upright conscience and life. And that, the local Church in Africa, faithfully proclaiming the Gospel, may promote peace and justice.

Please pray for our Recently Deceased: Ed McClung & Gladys McFerron

Please pray for our Sick & SufferingLolette Allen, Lauren Bienvenu, Mark Birch, Bill Boone, Tripp Bostick, Dewitt Booty, Chad Bouchie, Flo Brouillette, Carolyn Carter, Emilia Cofio, Alton Cooper, Johnny Cox, Kim Cunningham, Lela Mae Dalme, Joe Davis, John DeFee, Alma Fernandez, Lucy Flores, Reba Friday, Tom Foshee, Anne Giering, Lillian Giering, Joyce Hayne, Deborah G. Hernandaz, Deanna Hickman, Pam Kerry, Mary Keyser, Martha LaCaze, Daniel Laroux, Jaden Eli Lodridge, Joseph Longo, Johnnie Mallory, Lisa Mack, Faris Michael, Meg Michael, Mary Moss, Barbie Neuhauser, Shane Niette, Jo Norwood,  Judy Risty, Sharon Roach, Makaehan Ross, Shirley Roy, Amanda Rozman, Joseph Ryan, Donna Slaughter, Brent Trichel, Sue Van Hook, Billie Vercher, Jessica Warner, Janine Waters, & Ruthie J. Wallboughly

Parish Finances

Our Sunday Collection last week was $9,505.38

Thank you for your generous return to our Lord!

For more information on our finances, click here.