From The Font

“I saw water flowing from the right side of the Temple, Alleluia!”

The Church can be seen hidden throughout in the Old Testament. There’s the Ark of the Covenant and the tent (“the tabernacle”) in which it dwelt. There’s the column of cloud and fire that led the Jews. There’s the image of the New Jerusalem that begins to appear with the later prophets. And there’s this verse from Ezekiel shows the most obvious image of the Church: the Temple of Solomon.

The temple is a sign of the Church in its architecture - with gates and passages and courtyards and the increasingly sacred sanctuaries-within-sanctuaries culminating in the Holies of Holies where the Ark “of the Presence” dwelt. It’s also a sign of the Church in that sacrifices and preaching were centered there. Many of its decorations are still visible in Catholic Churches where the candelabra and the relics and the golden vessels and the precious vestments and the funny hats are still part of the Sunday Mass.

Our scriptural reference to the Temple today goes even deeper and remains even more relevant. In this passage from Ezekiel - which used to accompany and begin the major Sunday Mass at each parish throughout the Easter Season - the connection between Christ, His Church and the Temple is unmistakable. When Christ was pierced with the lance, blood and water flowed from His right side. Of course, Christ’s death took place around the time of Passover. And at Passover, the Jews were required to sacrifice a one year old lamb. That sacrifice took place in the temple. And the lines were long. It certainly doesn’t make sense for us - but imagine the line for confession sometimes… Well, the sacrifice of the lamb was not a pleasant affair. In short, it required cutting the lamb’s throat and sprinkling the blood onto the altar. Then the father of the family would take the lamb back to his home or lodging and mark the doorposts and lintel of the door with the blood. (C.f. Exodus 12)

Now imagine the scene in the temple after about 5,000 lambs have been cut and bled… It’s not a pretty sight. Blood would pool up around the altar above the ankles… But that had been planned for in the design. A large drain which flowed from the right side of the temple cleared the blood and the water (used for purification) out like a stream from a garden hose over the cliff upon which the temple was located and into the Jordan river. And so, anyone looking from a distance at passover would have seen a steady stream of blood and water flowing from the right side of the temple… It may have still been visible as Jesus was being pierced on Mount Calvary…

Insights From Second Street

This weekend, we celebrate the anniversary of the Dedication of the Pope’s official Cathedral, the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran. 

Aside from it’s history and architecture - which are storied - the most interesting feature is the Scala Sancta - the Holy Steps. According to tradition, St. Helena (of finding the true Cross of Jesus under the basil bush fame) brought to Constantinople the steps that led to Pilate’s Praetorium - his official speaking platform. Of course, these steps were the ones upon which Christ walked during His Passion when Pilate pulled Jesus aside to speak with Him privately. It was at these steps that Pilate speaks with the voice of the modern world “Veritas? Quid set Veritas?” - “Truth? What is truth?” Confronted by Pilate’s unwillingness to see through his own worldliness, Jesus remained silent and descended the steps to receive His judgment of crucifixion and death. And so it is tradition that pilgrims ascend the Holy Steps on their knees praying in reparation for Pilate’s sin and recognizing that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life. 

The Scala Sancta - and the other fascinating features of St. John Lateran - point to the value and necessity of pilgrimage… Some things we need to see, touch and experience in order to realize viscerally the Christian mystery. That’s why Holy Mass must include not merely the intellectual aspects of faith, but the bodily ones like incense, precious vessels and vestments, chant and the like. The reason we celebrate these great Churches of Christendom like St. John Lateran, St. Mary Major and others is to make a kind of spiritual pilgrimage.

We are especially privileged to belong to a Church which is - itself - a place of pilgrimage. People come to this Basilica for the purpose of being viscerally connected with the Church. Why else would the Church command that we provide top notch liturgy? How can we fail to recognize our great calling as a Minor Basilica… It’s so easy for us to believe that this parish is about us… But it’s not! We don’t decorate the altar for us. We don’t sing music because it pleases us! At least I hope we don’t. If it’s just to please us - then let it be cast into the fire! What we do, we do to please God! What we do in this historic pilgrimage Church is to please God and to draw our visitor-pilgrims and ourselves into the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Anything less is religious entertainment and it has no place at Immaculate Conception, at St. John Lateran or at any Catholic Church anywhere!

The Jargon… 

by: Tommy Myrick

The Feast of St. John Lateran (San Giovanni in Laterano) does not commemorate a person in particular, but rather a church in Rome. It is the Cathedral of the Bishop of Rome (who is the Pope).

As the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, it ranks above all other churches in the Catholic Church, including St. Peter's Basilica. For that reason, unlike all other Roman Basilicas, it holds the title of Archbasilica.

The archbasilica is located outside of the boundaries of Vatican City proper, although within the city of Rome. However, it enjoys extraterritorial status as one of the properties of the Holy See. The church resides on the site of the palace of the Laterani family. This land was donated by Constantine for the construction of the church, the baptistry, and the Pope's residence (where the Popes lived until the papacy moved to Avignon). It was the first church built in Rome, and is the premier of the four Major Basilicas.

Emperor Constantine ordered its construction after his edict legalizing the free practice of Christianity. It was dedicated by Pope Sylvester on November 9th, 318. It was originally named Most Holy Savior, but after the 6th century, the names of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist were added. The Feast was only observed in Rome until 1565 when it was extended to all the churches of the Roman Rite.

Parish News

MBIC GIFT SHOP The November issues of the Magnificat are in. Advent candles, wreaths, children’s Advent Calendars, and Christmas items are now in the Gift Shop. If you would like to special order a gift for Christmas, now is the time to place the order. Gift Certificates are available. Come by and see us sometime!
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.

SMS BOOK FAIR St. Mary’s will be hosting its annual Book Fair Monday-Friday, Nov. 17th-21st, from 8a-3:30p. The book fair’s Family Night will be Tuesday, Nov. 18th, from 5-7p. The book fair will also be open Friday, Nov. 21st, from 8a-Noon in conjunction with Grandparent's Day. With a wide variety of merchandise for sale, including holiday books, this would be the ideal time to get a head start on your Christmas shopping and help support St. Mary’s!

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. 

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. 

PRIESTHOOD & RELIGIOUS LIFE Until you’re married or dead, every Catholic owes God the courtesy of considering a life dedicated to the Church as a priest, a nun or a religious brother. Every parent owes their child encouragement in discerning that life. And every Catholic is waiting for the heroism of the young. or (318)757-3834.

CALLING ALL ALTARBOYS Remember, 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. If you want to serve regularly, you are welcome!

Parish Events

  • 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, Grandparent’s Day, 10a @ St. Mary’s
  • Fri, 11/21, St. Mary’s NOON DISMISSAL
  • Fri, 11/21, Way of the Cross, 5:15p @ MBIC
  • 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, 12/7, First Sunday of Advent

Parish Finances

Our Sunday Collection last week was $10,272. Thank you for your generous return to our Lord!

To Donate Onlineclick here or scroll to the bottom of this page.

For more information on our parish finances, click here.

Within the Sanctuary

Sat, 11/8 4p Levi Thompson, (Lector) • Nita Maggio, Jimmy Gunter, (EMHC-CI) • J.Friedel, D.Bennett, (Altar Boys)

Sun, 11/9 9a Joe Cunningham, Jr., (Lector) • Elaine Bacon, (EMHC-CI) • Jeff & Carol Green, (EMHC-CH) • A.&C.Lirette, S.&T.Lirette, (Altar Boys)

Sun, 11/9 11a Gilen Norwood, (Lector) • Cecilia Cook, (EMHC-CI) • Chris & Jennifer Maggio, (EMHC-CH) • S.Maggio, C.Fisher, M.Leone, (Altar Boys)

Sat, 11/15 4p Levi Thompson, (Lector) • Carl Henry, Kathleen Hicks, (EMHC-CI) • D.&M.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)

Sun, 11/16 9a John Ackel, (Lector) • John Cunningham, (EMHC-CI) • Buddy Giering, Michael King, (EMHC-CH) • M.McCart, B.Behrendsen, G.Fidelak, (Altar Boys)

Sun, 11/16 11a Ed Giering, (Lector) • Tara Whitehead, (EMHC-CI) • Jean Gill, Patsy Melder, (EMHC-CH) • S.&V.Maggio, M.Leone, (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: Donna Doll
  • Sun 9a: Essie Mae Huckaby
  • Sun 11a: Pro Populo
  • Sun 5p: Calvert Scott
  • Mon 6:30a: Tony Ruggiero
  • Mon 8a: Sylvian Lavasseur
  • Tue 6:30a: Janell de Vargas
  • Wed 6:30a: Doris & Will Pierson and Elise James
  • Thu 6:30a: Lucien Branch
  • Fri 6:30a: Tina Holsumback
  • Sat 8a: Elizabeth Agostini

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, Rosalind Trussell, Patricia Vazquez, Julien Vienne, Ruthie J. Wallboughly, Jessica Warner, & Glen & Mary Williams