My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.
— The Gospel of St. Luke

It’s typical here in south for someone to say that Grammy’s grits or Mama’s biscuits are “so good, they must be sinful.” It’s all too common for us to think that being good and holy means suffering and that God may want us to be happy - just not too happy… Thankfully, that’s just not the case. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. St. Paul says that the fruit of a life led in the Holy Spirit is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” If any of us had all of those things, we’d undoubtedly be very very happy. It’s not that God wants us to be unhappy, He just doesn’t want us to think that our happiness comes from this life. 

Our human brains are very limited. We’re not unlike Pavlov’s dogs. Every time Dr. Pavlov rang a bell, he showed the dogs food and fed them. Eventually, every time the bell rang, the dogs started to salivate. If my brain starts to associate happiness and fulfillment with the blessings of this world, then that could well endanger my eternal salvation. I might become too attached to this world and too detached from God. It’s necessary, then, for God to give me a reminder that this world is not the source of my happiness… Sometimes he does that with a gentle nudge - sometimes He does it with a 2x4 to the face. Either way, it’s what we need and it’s about what’s good for us… And I mean really GOOD, not just in this world but in Heaven.

And so don’t be fooled into believing that God wants bad things for us or that anything good in this life must be unchristian. It couldn’t be more the opposite. God wants good for us - but sometimes what’s good isn’t as obvious as we might thing. A child may think it’s a good idea to eat a dozen cookies - it’s only later that he discovers the error of his ways… (I still can’t eat Oatmeal Raisin…)

Insights From Second Street

As you all know by now, Mrs. Phyllis Scott tendered her resignation as principal of St. Mary’s last week. Mrs. Scott was a great gift to St. Mary’s in her short time with her and I hope that all of us have taken or will take time to pray for her and for our school.

But where do we go from here…? A high turnover of principals is not a good sign. It’s good in that it brings new ideas and new enthusiasm, but stability is so essential to the success of any school or parish. And that’s a great concern for me as the pastor and for parents. Unfortunately, answers haven’t yet revealed themselves. For the time being, we (parents, faculty and myself) are going to have to work together, put aside differences and trust in God’s providence.

Now, I’m not asking for blind optimism… Nor am I calling for naivë enthusiasm. What we need is a willingness to deliberately hope in God while working hard for our shared goals - namely the 1) salvation and 2) success of our kids. Even if you don’t have a little one at St. Mary’s, every parishioner at Immaculate has a stake in the school because every parishioner has a stake in the future of Immaculate Conception and the future of Natchitoches. We all have an investment in the future and so we all have reason to pray. The road ahead is undoubtedly going to be challenging. At the same time, God uses all things to the good of those who love Him.

And so we are setting out with hope in God and our eyes wide open… Let us all pray that the Bells of St. Mary’s may long be sung faithfully and proudly on East Fifth. St. Philomena, Pray for us!

The Jargon

by Fr. Ryan

In years past, the little practical details of Mass didn’t have to be taught… They were just little things you picked up as time went by. After the adjustments to the Sacred Liturgy in the years following the Second Vatican Council, though, the breadth of options and experimentation led to a Mass confusion - pun intended. Because there were now ten “right ways” to do things instead of one, no one really knew how to do anything or why we do it. Of course, there never was really more than one right way… There was only a more principle-oriented approach rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.

From time to time, I will write about some detail or other of Mass Etiquitte. Today, I want to talk about genuflection. The purpose of genuflection is to acknowledge and honor God when we enter His Real Presence. And so when we enter the Church or the Chapel, we ought to genuflect. While it’s most preferable to do this at the door of the Church, it’s a long-standing custom to genuflect before entering the pew rather than at the door. A good genuflection is made when the right knee deliberately touches the ground just for a moment. It’s praiseworthy to make the Sign of the Cross as you do so. If you’re unable to genuflect so that your knee touches the ground - for whatever reason - then you should forgo it completely and bow profoundly instead. A good profound bow is made from the waist with the head downward. It should be a real bow of the waist and not just a head bow. If even that is impossible because of health, then make whatever sign of reverence you can. 

What we should not do is curtsey. Making some kind of half genuflection motion… That’s not honoring God. It’s not deliberate. It’s not even usually a full stop in our walking. It’s going through the motions. The genuflection is a reminder to us and witness to others that this place is somehow special. So do what you can and do it for the right reason.

Parish News

  • October 4th is a Basilican Feast Day • Our next indulgenced Basilican Feast Day is Friday, October 4th ― The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, Patron of the first Catholic Church in Natchitoches. Oct. 4th is also First Friday, so we’ll have the usual 6:30a Mass, Adoration from the end of Mass until Benediction at 5:15p, then an additional evening Mass at 6p. Both Masses will end with the proper prayers for the indulgence. All are welcome!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 HERE or contact the office and we’ll register for you.

Parish Events

  • 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
  • Thurs, 10/17, St. Mary’s Football Game, 7p Home v. Montgomery
  • Mon-Fri, 10/21-10/25, Diocesan Priests’ Retreat, No Daily Masses
  • Tues, 10/29, 2014 Pilgrimage Meeting, 6:30p @ Church Hall

Within the Sanctuary

Sat 9/28, 4p  Levi Thompson, (Lector) • Elaine Bacon, David Bouchie, Carl Henry, Jimmy Gunter, (EMHC) • C.J.Bouchie, M.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)

Sun 9/29, 9a Sydney Frederick, (Lector) • Ed Smith, Cindy Smith, Emelda Odom, (EMHC) • Reagan & Ryan Cunningham, BB.Behrendsen, (Altar Boys)

Sun 9/29, 11a Karen Apponey, (Lector) • Graham Ragland, Linda Lee, Tara Whitehead, (EMHC) • V.Maggio, M.Leone, S.Maggio, (Altar Boys)

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)

Memorials & Prayer Intentions

The Sanctuary Candles this week are offered for in Memory of Calvert Scott by Adele Scott

Holy Masses

  • Sat 4p Miriam Adams
  • Sun 9a Pro Populo
  • Sun 11a Richard Ragland
  • Mon 6:30a Amanda Rozman
  • Mon 8a Calvert Scott
  • Tue 6:30a Delora Ponthieux
  • Tue 10a SMS Students
  • Wed 6:30a Emily Heiman & Tommy Myrick
  • Wed 9:20a SMS Faculty
  • Thu 6:30a Gladys McFerren
  • Thu 8:10a SMS Benefactors
  • Fri 6:30a Latief Ackel
  • Sat 8a Raymond Arthur

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:

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

Parish Finances

Our Sunday Collection last week was $7,491.

Thank you for your generous return to our Lord!

For more information on our finances, click here.