From The Font

“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”

Some modern “thinkers” have used this verse to say that the entire moral teaching contained in the Ten Commandments may be set aside because Jesus says that Love is the new law! They are - of course - bonkers. Still, Jesus has forever changed the moral law… Not in terms of what’s right and wrong. That’s as fixed and rock solid as human nature. It’s entirely unchanging.

But for the Jewish mind - as for Muslim mind - God’s law is an end in itself. Obedience is identical with holiness and goodness and human perfection. But for Christ, the law is a tool - a means to an end - which reveals and perfects our real mission - which is to know, love and serve God! For the Christian, love is our purpose but love as Jesus defines it in His teaching and reveals it by His Passion, Death and Resurrection.

The truth is that the command to love the Lord was present as early as the Ten Commandments. It’s right there in the book of Exodus and again in Deuteronomy. The thing about love, though, is that it’s hard to measure. It’s hard to put a number on the amount that I loved God today… We can jokingly measure the love of husband and wife by the size of the jewelry. We can jokingly measure the love of a parent by the dollar cost of lost work and school tuition and the like. But it’s hard for any law really - not jokingly - to quantify love. And so, the Jews had a hard time knowing what “love the Lord” really meant. They knew how to give a 10% tithe. They knew not to eat meat after sundown on certain days. They even knew how many steps you were allowed to take before you broke the sabbath rest! But love’s a different animal.

Christ changed the central core perspective of the Jews by saying that the law isn’t what “justifies.” Love, rather than the law, requires not just obedience, but conversion and real mental and spiritual commitment. It requires sacrificing not just 10% of income or a certain amount of time to say required prayers - it requires sacrificing my will and my preference and my freedom… And that’s a tall order.

So we can imagine why the Scribes and Pharisees would’ve been so taken aback by this teaching. It wasn’t because they were bad people. It was because they literally had no way to begin to understand this teaching. We could imagine how confused a math professor might be confronted with a building project… So were the Jews when Jesus turned their whole religious perspective upside down.

Insights From Second Street

I love languages. Any given word in English goes back through Old French or Middle English to this or that root word that gives it so much context and life. Even a simple word like Salmon goes all the way back to the Anglo-Norman verb Salīre “to leap.” 

Without context, language and practice and even belief are sterile and absurd. Why bring a spider-infested, needle-shedding tree into our homes once a year? Why give our children personal names? Why flavor food or style hair? We take these practices for granted, but without context - they’re ridiculous.

Within the Church, we have the same necessity. Everything that we do must flow from somewhere. Either it is commanded by God (directly or indirectly) or it’s a necessary part of our humanity. God commands us to offer the Holy Eucharist for His Glory and the Salvation of the World, and so, we do. God commands us to baptize all the nations, and so, our parish has a website which aids in that mission. Humanity needs words of challenge and encouragement and instruction and support, and so, I preach different kinds of sermons week to week.

Since the 1960s, an odd and unhelpful mentality has arisen in the Church that somehow the Holy Spirit wanted to cast aside all the context of history and recreate the Church anew as if from scratch. Of course, this is ridiculous and yet an almost manic fear of all things not Vatican II pervaded Churches until the last decade or so. Anyone who questioned the merit of folk music at Mass was anti-Vatican II. Anyone who presented an academic paper against communion in the hand was trying to “turn the Church around.” Thankfully, that mentality is fading - but it’s still a temptation to see the “Pre-Vatican II” era as somehow separate from the “Spirit of Vatican II” era. In reality, there’s no distinction. There’s no such thing as “Pre-Vatican II” practice or thinking. In fact, most of the things associated with Vatican II (the priest facing the people rather than the Lord in the tabernacle, communion in the hand, Mass in the vernacular, etc) were not prescribed or recommended by the Council at all. The priest facing the people doesn’t appear in a single paragraph or footnote of any of the sixteen documents. 

What we as Catholics must realize is that our faith traces back to the first promise of Abraham, to the establishment of the liturgy in the Tent of Meeting with Moses and Aaron to the coming of Christ to the wisdom of the Fathers to the great reformer Popes to the simplified liturgy of today. After all, Jesus Christ is the same Yesterday, Today and Forever!

Parish News

MBIC ITALY PILGRIMAGE Please continue to pray for those travelling to represent the Minor Basilica at the Major Basilicas in Rome.  

FRI, 10/31, ALL-SCHOOL MASS & PARADE OF SAINTS As has become tradition, our little ones at St. Mary’s will dress up as Saints in honor of All Saints Day and attend the All-School Mass as saints. After Mass, our saintly students will parade around the gym before heading off to class. All are welcome to attend. Mass begins at 9am, the gym will be open at 8:30a.

ST. MARY’S SENIOR NIGHT The next SMS Football game (& Senior Night) will be Fri., 10/31, against LaSalle. Kickoff is at 7p at Turpin Stadium. Pray for a safe, fun and victorious season. GO TIGERS!

Sat, 11/1, is NOT a Holy Day of Obligation 8a Mass will be the Mass of All Saints. 4p & Sunday Masses will be the Mass of All Souls.

FIRST SATURDAY This Saturday is kept in honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. First Saturday Mass and Benediction are at the usual time, 8a. 

SOLEMN REQUIEM FOR ALL SOULS At 5p on the evening of All Souls’ Day, Nov 2, the NSU Chamber Choir will sing for a Solemn Mass in intercession for all the faithful departed. The Mass will be celebrated in the Extraordinary form. It will last one hour and fifteen minutes and will count for the Sunday obligation. This particular Mass hasn’t been celebrated in this area in many years - special thanks in advance to Fr. Martin Laird and Dc. Whitehead for their assistance in making it possible.

DAILY MASS IS FOR EVERYONE Remember that we have daily Mass here at Immaculate at 6:30am Monday through Friday and at 8am on Saturday. Holy Mass is also offered Monday at 8am in the SMS Chapel. All are welcome!

Parish Events

  • Wed, 10/29, CCD Class, 6-7:30p @ St. Mary’s
  • Fri, 10/31, SMS All School Mass & Parade of Saints, 9a
  • Fri, 10/31, Senior Night - SMS vs. LaSalle, 7p @ Turpin Stadium
  • Sat - Mon, 11/1 - 11/3, Blessing of Hunters in honor of St. Hubert at all Masses
  • Sat, 11/1, First Saturday, 8:45a Vocations Club
  • Sun, 11/2, Daylight Savings Time Ends
  • Sun, 11/2, All Souls’ Day Solemn High Requiem, 4:30p
  • Wed, 11/5, Parish Supper, CCD, & Wed. Night Adult Catechism, 5-7:30p @ St. Mary’s
  • Fri, 11/7, First Friday, 5:15p Way of the Cross & Benediction of the MBS
  • Fri, 11/7, SMS vs. NW Lena, 7p (Away)
  • Thu, 11/13, Feast of St. Francis Xavier Cabrini - Patron of Diocese of Alexandria
  • Fri, 11/14, Way of the Cross & Prayer, 7:45a @ St. Mary’s
  • Fri, 11/14, Way of the Cross, 5:15p @ MBIC
  • Tue, 11/18, Pastoral Council Meeting, 6p
  • Wed, 11/19, CCD & Wed. Night Adult Catechism, 6-7:30p @ St. Mary’s
  • Fri, 11/21, Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • Fri, 11/21, Grandparents Day, 10a @ St. Mary’s
  • Fri, 11/21, St. Mary’s NOON DISMISSAL
  • Fri, 11/21, Way of the Cross, 5:15p @ MBIC

Parish Finances

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Within the Sanctuary

Sat, 10/25 4p Levi Thompson, (Lector) • Michael & Joanne Yankowski, (EMHC-CI) • D.&M.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)

Sun, 10/26 9a John Ackel, (Lector) • Emelda Odom, (EMHC-CI) • Stephen Taylor, Cissy Picou, (EMHC-CH) • G.Fidelak, G.&J.Ingrish, (Altar Boys)

Sun, 10/26 11a Kathy Bundrick, (Lector) • Patsy Melder, (EMHC-CI) • Joseph Sklar, Linda Lee, (EMHC-CH) • W.Lee, A.&J.Parker, (Altar Boys)

Sat, 11/1 4p Kathleen Hicks, (Lector) • David Bouchie, Micky Hennigan, (EMHC-CI) • J.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)

Sun, 11/2 9a Rebecca Lavespere, (Lector) • John Vandersypen, (EMHC-CI) • Edward & Cindy Smith, (EMHC-CH) • J.Miley, M.&P.Vienne, (Altar Boys)

Sun, 11/2 11a John Laborde, (Lector) • Lucile Ingram, (EMHC-CI) • Barbara Laborde, Haley Johnson, (EMHC-CH) • J.Burrell, E.Norwood, (Altar Boys)

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

Memorials & Prayer Intentions
Holy Masses

  • Sat 4p: Red & Sadie Thomas 
  • Sun 9a: Pro Populo
  • Sun 11a: Richard Ragland & Don Shanklin
  • Sun 5p: Kevin Morgan
  • Mon 6:30a: Jean Lee
  • Mon 8a: Sam Fowler
  • Tue 6:30a: Mary G. Gordon
  • Wed 6:30a: Mr. A.B. Chenault
  • Thu 6:30a: Gary LaBar, Jr.
  • Fri 6:30a: Eula Henry
  • Sat 8a: Harry Gongre, Jr.

Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for this Month are that the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence. And that, World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.

Please pray for our Sick & Suffering: Lolette Allen, William Lynn Basco, Lauren Bienvenu, Tripp Bostick, Chad Bouchie, Mar-Lou Brasher, Cayleigh Braud, Marion Brossette, Flo Brouillette, Bailey Byrd, Sonya Campbell, Carolyn Carter, Marie Charleville, Emilia Cofio, Woody Cox, Kim Cunningham, Lela Mae Dalme, Joe Davis, John DeFee, Richard DeVargas, RJ Ducote, Angela Eversall, Marguerite Felchle, Tom Foshee, Reba Friday, Paula Gagymad, Kramer Gahagan, Patsy Gallion, Sophie Gill, Christi Gootee, Elizabeth Governale, Joyce Hayne, Deborah G. Hernandez, Sue Van Hook, Kalita Jones, EvaGrace Keyser, Gary Kilgore, Jheanny Ladao, Jaden Eli Lodridge, Patricia Loftin, Joseph Longo, Mary Frances Lowrey, Lisa Mack, Dominic Majorie, Danny Manuel, Jack McCain Jr., Meg Michael, Lacey Mitchum, Mary Moss, Shane Niette, Mary Odom, Judy Risty, Sharon Roach, Wes Rollo, Makaehan Ross, Shirley Roy, Lillian Ryals, Joseph Ryan, Donna Slaughter, Lil Taylor, Clay Thompson, Ren Todtenbier, Brent Trichel, Rosalind Trussell, Patricia Vazquez, Julien Vienne, Ruthie J. Wallboughly, Jessica Warner, Janine Waters, & Glen & Mary Williams