I have waited, waited for the LORD, and he stooped toward me and heard my cry.

From the very beginning, God encourages and expects us to wait on Him. From Adam and Eve, to Noah, to Moses, to Isaiah, to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane...we are instructed again and again in the necessity of waiting for God. Adam and Eve are sent out of Eden to wait for salvation... Noah is told to build the ark and then to wait... Even once he gets inside, he has only to wait for the storm to pass and the waters to subside. Not once does God give him any clue about how long he has to wait. Moses and Israelites wander in the desert for forty years… Forty years to travel about 1000km (620m). That’s less than a month’s walk - even by a camel caravan. But these moments signal one of the great truths of our humanity - we change. We evolve and develop new ways of thinking and acting based upon experience. Some people call that wisdom.

It is by waiting on the Lord - by allowing knowledge and understanding to “sink in” - that we grow in wisdom. It’s by allowing these insights to become a part of ourselves that we grow in the knowledge and love of God… And so we wait. We wait on the Lord. He gives us a little taste of understanding and then - sometimes months later - that understanding finally takes hold and we’re ready for more.

Of course, we can help speed the process along by prayer, penance, works of mercy, and obedience. We can wait on Him in an active way and not merely a passive way.  We can meditate on those things that God had revealed to us. We can really try to put into practice the wisdom of the saints who have gone before us… But at some point, we must merely consign ourselves to wait on the Lord. Not because it makes sense or because it is a “good use of my time,” but because it what God has made us to do.
 

Insights From Second Street

We live in a world of propaganda and misrepresentation. Put simply, our television and news media lie to us. As it has been since Adam and Eve got the boot from Eden, they do this for power and money. It’s what makes the world go ‘round without Jesus. Eternal life is a bit of a game changer!

One of the great lies that has taken deep root in our culture is that the Catholic Church put a big red stamp on the foreheads of certain people. If you’re divorced and remarried, you get a big red stamp… no Communion for you! If you’ve had an abortion, you get a big red stamp… the Church hates you! If you experience same sex attraction, you get a big red stamp… don’t even bother walking through the doors! Of course, all of this is rubbish! 

The Church - like Jesus Christ Her head - welcomes everyone! The Church is a place of sanctuary for saints and sinners alike… And saints and sinners alike have a home in the Church - in part because all saints are sinners and all sinners are just saints in the making… The Church is in the business of getting people to heaven - making saints. The difficulty arises when we realize that getting to heaven and becoming a saint is not some kind of silly Joel Olsteen catch phrase - it’s hard work. It requires real sacrifice, real prayer, real penance... And it requires allowing God to change and shape and mold me. 

Church is not just something we do; it’s the crucible in which we are transformed “from glory to glory” as the scriptures say. We are “refined like silver in the furnace.” Those who are remarried may have a difficult road ahead. Those who are victims of the abortion culture may have a long road to recovery and freedom. Those who experience same-sex attraction may have some tough choices to make. The same could be said for a thousand kinds of struggles that real people face in the real world. And, it’s true, some people don’t have the courage to face them - so they take the easy way out. But saints never do that. And so, if you or someone you know wants to choose what’s right rather than what’s easy - let them know that they have a home in the Church!
 

The Jargon…

by: Fr. Ryan

Since the time of Fr. Foster, the parish has offered “The Word Among Us” as a spiritual enrichment. The little magazine includes spiritual tidbits and other aides in the spiritual life. The parish makes a bulk order annually. This has been very expensive - over $1,500 per year. After doing some research, I’ve found several other excellent resources in the same basic format. The “Magnificat” magazine is a good example. It includes daily Mass readings, morning and evening prayer, and daily meditations as well as a few longer feature-length articles. 

Rather than continue spending big so that a few people can benefit with a very limited choice, the parish has cancelled its bulk subscription to “The Word Among Us.” It seems unfair and unreasonable to make such a large purchase on an ongoing basis when so few benefit from it. In its place, we will provide subscription information for several other options on a single flyer. Individual parishioners who would like to subscribe to a spiritual magazine can choose from one of these several options and receive their personal subscriptions directly at their homes. If they would prefer, parishioners are welcome to come to the office for assistance in ordering.

Let me also apologize to everyone who really enjoys “The Word Among Us” and for whom this decision is frustrating. In a perfect world, money issues like this wouldn’t matter. Still, I hope that those who have developed the habit of spiritual reading will continue it through a spiritual magazine or through longer-form reading. This so-called “Lectio Divina” is an essential part of growth in the spiritual life. God reward all of you who are working to grow in the knowledge and love of God!


Parish News

The Parish Office will be Closed on Mon, Jan 20th, for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

DAY OF ENRICHMENT FOR CATECHISTS TRANSFERRED The diocese liked our idea of a day of Enrichment for Catechists and Teachers so much, they scheduled their own on the same day as ours! Our Day of Enrichment will be rescheduled to another time. All are invited to contact the Diocese of Alexandria Office of Religious Education for more information about the Diocesan Day of Enrichment. (318) 445-2401.

JAN 22nd IS THE 40th ANNIVERSARY OF THE ROE v. WADE DECISION This Wednesday is a day of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting for the more than 50 million American babies murdered in the name of “choice.” Everyone should make every effort to offer up as much penance as they can on this day and to take time to pray at least a Rosary. Mass will be offered at Immaculate at 6:30a and at St. Anthony’s at noon.

DON’T FORGET OUR *NEW* SUNDAY EVENING EVENTS Every Sunday evening, Solemn Vespers is offered at 4:30p. It consists of Benediction of the Holy Eucharist and the singing of psalms and spiritual songs. It is followed by, but not connected to, the 5p Mass which is offered in the Extraordinary Form. Mass concludes around 6p. Vespers are required of a Minor Basilica so please consider coming on some regular basis! All are welcome.

A CHANGE FOR ALTAR BOYS We will continue to schedule servers as we always have, but beginning this weekend, any boy who is trained to serve, who is at Church ten minutes before Holy Mass, and who would like to serve, may come to the sacristy. We only need two servers for any Mass, but we can accommodate quite a few more. I hope this helps to encourage some of our more enthusiastic young men!


Parish Events

  • Mon, 1/20, Martin Luther King Day, NO School & Parish Office CLOSED
  • Wed, 1/22, 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade Decision
  • Wed, 1/22, CCD & Wednesday Night Adult Catechism, 6-7p @ St. Mary’s
  • Sun-Fri, 1/26-1/31, Catholic School’s Week
  • Wed, 1/29, CCD & Wednesday Night Adult Catechism, 6-7p @ St. Mary’s
  • Sun, 2/2, Blessing of Throats in Honor of St. Blaise
  • Sun, 2/2, Candlemas, 5p Mass @ MBIC
  • Wed, 2/5, CCD & Wednesday Night Adult Catechism, 6-7p @ St. Mary’s

Parish Finances

Our Sunday Collection last week was $9,140.

Thank you for your generous return to our Lord!

For more information on our finances, click here.


Within the Sanctuary

Sat 1/18 4p Kathleen Hicks, (Lector) • Elaine Bacon, David Bouchie, (EMHC-CH) • Jimmy Gunter, Mickey Hennigan, (EMHC-CI) • D.Bennett, J.Friedel, C.J.Bouchie, (Altar Boys)    

Sun 1/19 9a Joe Cunningham, Jr., (Lector) • James & Alice Barrios, (EMHC-CH) • Aimee Wright, (EMHC-CI) • C.&J.Cunningham, BB.Behrendsen, (Altar Boys)

Sun 1/19 11a Ed Giering, (Lector) • Chris & Jennifer Maggio, (EMHC-CH) • Joseph Sklar, (EMHC-CI) • E.Norwood, I.Lovemore, M.Leone, (Altar Boys)    

Sat 1/25 4p Mike Bouchie, (Lector) • Carl Henry, Kathleen Hicks, (EMHC-CH) • Red & Jo Lapeyrouse, (EMHC-CI) • D.Bennett, J.Friedel, C.J.Bouchie, (Altar Boys)

Sun 1/26 9a Steven Taylor, (Lector) • James & Betty Durham, (EMHC-CH) • Stephen Taylor, (EMHC-CI) • M.McCart, P.Vienne, M.Vienne, Jr., (Altar Boys)

Sun 1/26 11a Gilen Norwood, (Lector) • Sam & Lillie Misuraca, (EMHC-CH) • Tara Whitehead, (EMHC-CI) • W.Mayeux, V.Maggio, S.Maggio, (Altar Boys)

*Altar Boys who are not scheduled may serve if space permits. Come to the Sacristy 10 minutes before Mass.
 

Memorials & Prayer Intentions

The Sanctuary Candle this week is offered in Memory of Buddy Masson by Melba Ackel.

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

Holy Masses

  • Sat 4p: N.L. Vercher
  • Sun 9a: Essie Mae Huckaby & Mary & Stanley Gates Family
  • Sun 11a: Pro Populo
  • Sun 5p: Dora Jeansonne
  • Mon 6:30a: Lambre Family
  • Tue 6:30a: Clay Hennigan
  • Tue 10a: SMS Students
  • Wed 6:30a: Red & Sadie Thomas
  • Wed 9:20a: SMS Faculty
  • Thu 6:30a: Dorthy Benefield
  • Thu 8:10a: SMS Benefactors
  • Fri 6:30a: Raymond Arthur
  • Sat 8a: Lauren Bienvenu


Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for this Month are that all may promote authentic economic development that respects the dignity of all peoples. And that, Christians of diverse denominations may walk toward the unity desired by Christ.
 

Please pray for our Sick & Suffering: Lolette Allen, Lauren Bienvenu, Mark Birch, Bill Boone,  Kathy Bostick, Tripp Bostick, Chad Bouchie, Flo Brouillette, Bailey Byrd, Carolyn Carter, Emilia Cofio, Woody Cox, Kim Cunningham, Lela Mae Dalme, Joe Davis, John DeFee, Marguerite Felchle,  Alma Fernandez, Tom Foshee, Reba Friday, Vicki Gahagan, Sophie Gill, Joyce Hayne, Deborah G. Hernandez, Sue Van Hook, Kalita Jones, Pam Kerry, Mary Keyser, Paul Keyser, Gary Kilgore, 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, Patricia Vazquez, Billie Vercher, Julien Vienne, Ruthie J. Wallboughly, Tyler Ward, Jessica Warner, & Janine Waters