He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.
— Luke, Chapter 15

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No story is as beloved by sinners and saints alike as the Prodigal Son. It covers both kids of sinners - those who sin in action and those who sin in thought. Both kinds of sinners are welcomed into the feast. To everyone involved the Father of Love and Mercy is present. It's such a joyful story and it should be.

So many people in the world are like the two sons in that they are afraid to admit their sin. They're afraid to admit their imperfections. But Christians must never be afraid to acknowledge the truth that God is God and we are not! Christians should rejoice to "boast in our weaknesses." Why? Because it glorifies God that He can use even a sinner like me to do great things. It is only when we look at our faults head on that we experience God's overwhelming divine mercy. And that mercy is infinitely more powerful than the approval of friends and neighbors. Whether we are the kind of sinner who acts out in sins - sins of the flesh, sins against justice, sins against charity, sins of sloth or laziness - or the the kind of sinner who acts out in thought - sins of pride, sins against zeal, sins of judgement - or a little of both, we are just a heartbeat away from the mercy of God. It's there for the asking!

That is the great message of the parable of the Prodigal Son - God's mercy. The Father is always waiting to run to us, embrace us and kiss us. He is always ready to forgive and to strengthen and to edify. His mercy is always at the ready! The only obstacle to that bottomless well of joy is you! (Or me!) The only thing that can separate us from the love of God is our own unwillingness to ask for it.

Don't let this message of mercy be lost on you. Go to confession! Pray the act of contrition every night. Bore through whatever fear of judgement or ostracism you may have and let the mercy of God fall upon you like the  kiss from the Father!

Insights From Second Street

Now that you've had to endure my chanting for a couple weeks, it makes sense to ask "What makes music sacred?" I assure you, if a good voice is in the answer… I'm in trouble!

Seriously, what makes music sacred? There are really two things. First, the text must be truly sacred. In fact, it should be a direct quotation from the scriptures or a prayer from the Mass or the Breviary. A song about God - or worse a song about us - is not sacred music… It's just a song about God. It's no more sacred than a song about my mom or a song about a pretty flower. Second, the music must exist to elevate the text and not the other way around. If the music comes first and then the text is adjusted to "fit," then the song is more about the musical theme than the words it conveys. That doesn't make it bad - it just doesn't make it sacred.

The idea of "sacred" music didn't start with Christianity, it goes back to the root of all religions. All religions have some form of chant which solemnizes the words of prayers and elevates them from mere speech to ritual worship. And that's the intent behind the Church's call for truly sacred music. There's nothing wrong with a hymn about how much we love God. But we can't call that sacred music.

So perhaps the better question is why does sacred music matter? That's a whole different kettle of fish. The short answer is that sacred music orients us. It directs us out of ourselves and toward that which is not us. Music has always been a mystical part of the human experience. It brings together math and art and beauty and truth into a one-ness that engages the emotions and the mind. It's truly elevating. When we create music that is other-worldly it lift us up out of our mundane world and transports us to those scenes in the Book of Revelation where the 144,000 elect stand chanting "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty!" to the Lamb upon the Altar. That's a little dramatic, but that's why we're doing what we're doing. That and the Church tells us to!

The Jargon

by Ashley Hebert

...BREAKING NEWS...The MBIC will depart for it’s first parish pilgrimage to Italy on October 20, 2014! We will be working with Magnificat Travel Group out of Lafayette, LA, for an all-inclusive 10-day trip through Italy. Between Oct. 20-29, 2014, our pilgrims will travel through Assisi (Umbria), Florence (Tuscany), Orvietto, Rome, & the Vatican City. We are so excited! 

Next month, (Oct. 2013), our contacts from Magnificat will come here to host a meeting/orientation to discuss the trip with anyone interested. The meeting will provide information regarding the trip details & price, discount options, payment plan options, and more. Currently, we are estimating the cost to be between $3,500-3,800 per pilgrim. This price includes everything except for 1 meal a day(lunch) & personal spending money! What a deal! (There are also upgrades and extra activities that can be added to anyone’s trip for additional fees.) 

There is a strong possibility that registration & full/partial payment for the trip will begin at the conclusion of this meeting. Those seriously interested in committing to the trip should register & pay the $500(non-refundable) deposit ASAP. Once registration begins, MBIC parishioners will have 3 weeks to register. After those 3 weeks, Fr.R will open up registration to the public in addition to MBIC parishioners, until our trip quota is met (i.e. other Church parishes, his radio show audience, etc.). We plan on taking a group of 40-50 pilgrims to Italy. Please see upcoming bulletins for an update on the meeting’s date & time.

As always, if you have any questions regarding this trip, please do not hesitate to contact me! You can drop by the office anytime, or contact me at (318)352-3422 or evangelization@minorbasilica.org

Parish News

  • Attention Single Catholic Men 18-30 Years of Age • The Knights of the Holy Eucharist, a community of lay brothers faithful to Holy Mother Church and dedicated to fostering reverent devotion to Our Eucharistic Lord, invite you to discern your vocation to the brotherhood at their House of Formation, located at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama. More at Knights.org
  • Daily Mass is for Everyone • Remember that we have daily Mass in Natchitoches every day of the week. Here at Immaculate, daily Mass is at 6:30am Monday through Friday and at 8am on Saturday. We also have an 8am Mass at St. Mary’s on Monday. Do it for God - do it for yourself. Come to Mass and stretch your faith. He’s waiting for you!
  • Confess Your Sins and Be Washed Clean • Remember that father is in the confessional 30m before weekday Masses and 45m before weekend Masses. Drop in and get yourself right with the Lord. The Act of Contrition is on the wall and there’s a cheat sheet outside the confessional. Don’t be deceived - we all need a regular confession. You can find confession cards with the prayers and an examen of conscience in the pews and in the back of the Church!
  • The St. Mary's School Advisory Council Has Been Established • Fr. Humphries is happy to announce the formation of an official St. Mary's School Advisory Council. All other advisory councils and school boards are thus dissolved. He has appointed Jim Cole, Dustin Cross, Rachel Cunningham, Ken Gardener, Chris Guillet, Steve Horton, Mary Long, Melanie McCain, Krista Sklar, Nina Thibodaux, Shawn Wheat and Payne Williams to a one year term. The council will meet monthly. Thanks to all who have agreed to serve. Please remember to pray for all our students, parents, faculty and benefactors!

Parish Events

  • Wed, 9/18, CCD Classes, 6p @ St. Mary’s School
  • Fri, 9/20, St. Mary’s Football Game, 6p vs. Winnfield @ Home
  • Wed, 9/25, CCD Classes, 6p @ St. Mary’s School
  • Fri, 9/27, St. Mary’s Football Game, 6p @ Arcadia
  • Tues, 10/1, Diocesan Finance Workshop, KC Hall, 6p
  • Wed, 10/2, F3 Night & CCD Classes, 5-7p @ St. Mary’s School
  • Fri, 10/4, Basilican Feast Day/First Friday, St. Francis of Assisi, 
  • Sat, 10/5, SMS Alumni Weekend
  • Wed, 10/9, CCD Classes, 6p @ St. Mary’s School
  • Fri, 10/11, St. Mary’s Football Game, 6p @ Block
  • Tu-Sa, 10/15-10/19, Parish Directory Photos, Tu-Fr 2p-9p & Sa 10a-5p
  • Wed, 10/16, CCD Classes, 6p @ St. Mary’s School

Within the Sanctuary

Sat, 9/14 4p Elaine Bacon, (Lector) • Joanne & Mike Yankowski, Jimmy Gunter, Carl Henry, (EMHC) • D.Bennett, J.Friedel, (Altar Boys)

Sun, 9/15 9a John Ackel, (Lector) • Betty & James Durham, Carol Green, (EMHC) • G.Ingrish, C.Lirette, T.Hare, (Altar Boys)

Sun, 9/15 11a Joe Payne Williams, (Lector) • Jean Gill, Darrell Hickman, Cecilia Cook, (EMHC) • M.Leone, W.Lee, S.Maggio, (Altar Boys)

Sat, 9/21, 4p Mike Bouchie, (Lector) • Eve James, Mary K. Hicks, Nita Maggio, Joanne Yankowski, (EMHC) • J.&D.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)

Sun, 9/22, 9a Joe Cunningham, Sr., (Lector) • Michael King, Buddy Giering, Alyssa Odom, (EMHC) • S.&T.Lirette, (Altar Boys)

Sun, 9/22, 11a John Laborde, (Lector) • Barbara Laborde, Joseph Sklar, Chris Maggio, (EMHC) • I.Lovemore, D.Thompson, E.Norwood, (Altar Boys)

Memorials & Prayer Intentions

The Sanctuary Candles this week are offered for a Special Intention by The Hebert Family

The Sanctuary Flowers this week are offered in memory of Helen Bostick by Kathy Bostick

Holy Masses

  • Sat 4p Terry Scott
  • Sun 9a Marva Cunningham
  • Sun 11a Pro Populo
  • Mon 6:30a Harry Gongre, Jr.
  • Mon 8a Janell deVargas
  • Tue 6:30a Frank & Loretta Viger, RIP
  • Tue 10a SMS Students
  • Wed 6:30a Doris Landvader, RIP
  • Wed 9:20a SMS Faculty
  • Thu 6:30a Jimmy Scott
  • Thu 8:10a SMS Benefactors
  • Fri 6:30a Tommy & Laura Solomon
  • Sat 8a Bill Boone

Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for this Month are that people today, often overwhelmed by noise, may rediscover the value of silence and listen to the voice of God and their brothers and sisters. And that, Christians suffering persecution in many parts of the world, may by their witness, be prophets of Christ’s love.

Please pray for our Sick & Suffering : Mai Levy Abington, Lolette Allen, Lauren Bienvenu, Mark Birch, Bill Boone, Tripp Bostick, Dewitt Booty, 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, Reba Friday, Tom Foshee, Anne Giering, Lillian Giering, Sophie Gill, Joyce Hayne, Deborah G. Hernandaz, Pam Kerry, Mary Keyser, Martha LaCaze, Daniel Laroux, Clay LeGros, Jaden Eli Lodridge, Joseph Longo, Johnnie Mallory, Lisa Mack, Faris Michael, Meg Michael, Mary Moss, Barbie Neuhauser, Shane Niette, Jo Norwood, Mary Odom, Judy Risty, Sharon Roach, Makaehan Ross, Shirley Roy, Amanda Rozman, Joseph Ryan, Donna Slaughter, Brent Trichel, Sue Van Hook, Billie Vercher, Jessica War- ner, Janine Waters, & Ruthie J. Wallboughly

Parish Finances

Our Sunday Collection last week was $9,019.

Thank you for your generous return to our Lord!

For more information on our finances, click here.