From The Font
"Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?"
Love is always defined by a willingness to prioritize "the beloved" over myself. Servitude is defined in a dramatically similar way. When we speak of our relationship with Christ the King, we need not be distracted by the theological or spiritual subtleties. As Priest, Christ serves us. As King, we serve Him. As Prophet, He directs and instructs us in that service. As with all aspects of our connection with Christ, He is the first, the last and the one who makes everything in the middle possible. He is first in loving us and serving us by His sacrifice. He is last in that he is the goal and purpose of our service. He is everything in that it is only by His direction, assistance, strength, faithfulness and encouragement that our service becomes anything more than child's play.
In our democratic political system, we have an inherent distrust of kingship. But in our Catholic Faith, we must set aside the lesser good of politics and right order in favor of the greater good of eternal life. It is a great risk to the soul to think too often about the friendship of Christ and His role as assistant to us. It's easy to think that at the center of accepting Christ as my Lord and savior, is not so much Christ Jesus as "my" interests. It is only when we leave ourselves behind that we discover the overwhelming joy and life that He promises. When we try to trudge forward with all the weight and disorder that comes from my will, my ideas, my priorities and my best judgement, we find that Christ has little or no power to lift us up from the struggles which are so much heavier than the cross He asks us to carry.
To the one who humbles himself even as a slave of Christ the King, the discovery that He is no tyrant but rather a good and loving Father brings the kind of freedom that only God offers. As with so much of the Christian message, the paradox seems like madness. If you would save your life, then lay it down. If you want freedom, then surrender your will entirely… Mad as it may seem, it is truer and realer than any truth or reality that we may discover on our own in this life!
Insights From Second Street
Sir Winston Churchill once said, "Democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried." All forms of human government are bound by the sad truth that humans are human. And because humans are human, the safest government is the kind that gives the least power and authority to any one person. But... in history, some of the greatest moments of all time have been made possible because all worldly power was put into the hands of one man and he used that power justly and wisely. Sadly, almost every great kingdom collapsed because of those JR Tolkien called "lesser sons of greater sires." And so, which is the best form of government in theory? It's Monarchy! Well intentioned and wise kings and queens with absolute power to do good and avoid evil are without any question at all the best form of government. All those who celebrate this or that Executive Order of President Obama are acknowledging the best parts of monarchy. At the same time, those who decry this or that Executive Order are acknowledging the profound risk of monarchy. And so, whatever theory might tell us, we must embrace democracy in real practice, because human nature is human nature.
When we understand that, we understand why Christ is King and not merely President or Governor. He is truly good. He alone. He is King of the Jews, but not the Jews only. He is - as our feast says - King of the Universe. It was prophetic that the Jews begged Saul to be their king. They said that they wanted a king like everyone else. Of course, Saul turned out to be just like everybody else. So did David. So did Solomon. Despite their great works - they each became horrific sinners. Power corrupts, after all. And it is from this lineage that the eternal king, Jesus Christ, arose. He is our King forever and He should be! Kingship is only scary if the king is self-interested. When the king wants what is truly best for us... Then everything changes.
It's exactly that which we celebrate today. Truly Jesus is the King of the Jews and the king of us all. So we can fairly ask - what are we doing to be faithful subjects? What are we doing to be obedient to His Church? Are we seeking to glorify the king by our lives? Well, are we?
by: Tommy Myrick
Christmas is right around the corner. Natchitoches will be in full swing with the annual Natchitoches Christmas Festival, and life will get a little more festive. As we prepare for the season, I’d like to extend an invitation to any and all parishioners to sing with the Basilican Choir for our Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, and our traditional singing of Christmas carols 30 minutes prior to Mass. The Basilican Choir rehearses every Tuesday at 5:30 (with the exception of December 9th for Lessons and Carols). We would love for you to come sing with us! For more information, contact Tommy Myrick at 318-352-3422 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CDA BAKE SALE The annual CDA Thanksgiving Bake Sale will be Sat-Sun, 11/22 - 11/23, before & after all the Masses. Baked goods can be purchased with Cash or Checks.
COLLECTION CHANGES In an effort to curb the overwhelming number of second collections, our ushers will begin a new collection program in Advent. In short, the ushers will typically only pass one collection basket. Parishioners who have envelopes are asked to place both envelopes (regular collection & special/second collection) in the one collection as the ushers pass. Special envelopes have been prepared for guests who wish to differentiate their offering between regular and second collections. While we may see a slight decrease in collection amounts, Sunday Mass will be less encumbered and visitors will feel less put upon. Concerns or questions about this new methodology may be addressed to the parish office. As always, Fr. Ryan is happy to welcome anyone who wishes to discuss any aspect of parish life.
SMS BASKETBALL St. Mary’s will be hosting its annual City of Lights Basketball Tournament Mon, 11/24 - Wed, 11/26. Please pray for a safe, fun and victorious season. GO TIGERS!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING Fr. will be offering Holy Mass at 6:30a & 9a on Thanksgiving Day (Thurs, 11/27). All are welcome to attend.
PARISH OFFICE CLOSED Wednesday - Friday, 11/26 - 11/28, the Parish Office will be closed in observance of Thanksgiving. The Office will re-open Monday, Dec. 1st, at 8am. We pray that everyone has fun-filled and safe holiday!
WAY OF THE CROSS FOR THE HOLY SOULS On Fridays in November - which is the month devoted to prayer for the Faithful Departed - Father will pray the Way of the Cross at 5:15p in the Church. All are welcome to attend.
SPECIAL SATURDAY MASSES ADDED Fr. Ryan will offer an additional Saturday evening Mass at St. Mary’s School Chapel at 5:30p during the Advent and Christmas Seasons (11/22, 11/29, 12/6, 12/13, 12/20, 12/27, 1/3). The Mass will count for your weekend obligation. All are welcome.
- Sat - Sun, 11/22 - 11/23, CDA Bake Sale, after all Masses @ MBIC
- Sat, 11/22, Additional Weekend Mass, 5:30p @ St. Mary’s
- Mon - Fri, 11/24 - 11/28, Thanksgiving Break - NO SCHOOL
- Mon - Wed, 11/24 - 11/26, SMS City of Lights BBall Tourney
- Wed, 11/26, NO CCD Classes
- Wed - Fri, 11/26 - 11/28, Parish Office CLOSED, for Thanksgiving
- Thu, 11/27, Holy Mass, 6:30a & 9a @ MBIC
- Fri, 11/28, Way of the Cross, 5:15p @ MBIC
- Sat, 11/29, Additional Weekend Mass, 5:30p @ St. Mary’s
- Sun, 11/30, First Sunday of Advent
- Mon, 12/1, Advent Confessions, 5-6p @ MBIC
- Wed, 12/3, CCD & Wed. Night Adult Catechism, 6-7:30p @ St. Mary’s
- Fri, 12/5, Feast of St. Nicholas. Parish Office closed & School cancelled for Christmas Festival. Mass at 6:30am. First Friday Adoration & Benediction cancelled.
- Sat, 12/6, Natchitoches Christmas Festival. No morning Mass. First Saturday cancelled. No Confession. Evening Mass at 4pm & 5:30pm (at SMS).
- Sun, 12/7, Second Sunday of Advent.
- Mon, 12/8, Basilican Feast Day for the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. (Holy Day of Obligation) Mass at 6:30am & 6pm.
- Mon, 12/8, Advent Confessions, 5-6p @ MBIC
- Tue, 12/9, Lessons & Carols with the NSU Choirs.
- Wed, 12/10, CCD & Wed. Night Adult Catechism, 6-7:30p @ St. Mary’s
- Fri, 12/12, Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas.
Within the Sanctuary
Sat, 11/22 4p Kathleen Hicks, (Lector) • Michael & Joanne Yankowski, (EMHC-CI) • D.Bennett, J.Friedel, (Altar Boys)
Sun, 11/23 9a Joe Cunningham, Sr., (Lector) • John Vandersypen, (EMHC-CI) • James & Alice Barrios, (EMHC-CH) • C.Cunningham, G.&J.Ingrish, (Altar Boys)
Sun, 11/23 11a Joe Payne Williams, (Lector) • Linda Lee, (EMHC-CI) • Sam & Lillie Misuraca, (EMHC-CH) • A.&J.Parker, W.Lee, (Altar Boys)
Sat 11/29 4p Levi Thompson, (Lector) • Micky Hennigan, David Bouchie, (EMHC-CI) • J.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)
Sun 11/30 9a Roger Cunningham, (Lector) • Stephen Taylor, (EMHC-CI) • Jeff & Carol Green, (EMHC-CH) • R.&R.Cunningham, A.Behrendsen, (Altar Boys)
Sun 11/30 11a Greg Burke, (Lector) • Joseph Sklar, (EMHC-CI) • Chris & Jennifer Maggio, (EMHC-CH) • E.Norwood, S.Maggio, C.Fisher, (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 Ted & Tanner Tobin by Ginny Tobin.
- Sat 4p: Red & Sadie Thomas
- Sat 5:30p: Betty Breeland
- Sun 9a: Pro Populo
- Sun 11a: Gerald Burke, Brian Stuart, and Donald Gongre
- Sun 5p: Richard Ragland
- Mon 6:30a: Jean Lee
- Tue 6:30a: Janell de Vargas
- Wed 6:30a: Mona Bertrand
- Thu 6:30a: Sylvian LeVasseur
- Fri 6:30a: Shirley Ragland
- Sat 8a: Terry Scott
Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for this Month are that all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others. And that, young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.
Please pray for our Recently Deceased: Faris Edgar Michael, Jr. & Janine Waters
Please pray for our Sick & Suffering: Bob Allen, 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, Tom Foshee, Reba Friday, Paula Gagymad, Kramer Gahagan, Vicki Gahagan, Patsy Gallion, Sophie Gill, Christi Gootee, Elizabeth Governale, Joyce Hayne, Deborah G. Hernandez, Sue Van Hook, Kalita Jones, Michael Kearney, 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, Joseph Ryan, Donna Slaughter, Lil Taylor, Clay Thompson, Ren Todtenbier, Brent Trichel, Patricia Vazquez, Julien Vienne, Ruthie J. Wallboughly, Jessica Warner, & Glen & Mary Williams