Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear.

Carnivale = carne + vale. Carne is Latin for meat. Vale is Latin for farewell. So the carnival season was established for the purpose of eating up all the meat in the house before the six week long fasting season of Lent. Prior to the 1920s or so, every day of Lent was a day of fasting and abstinence from meat. It made Ramadan look like amateur hour! By the 1960s, the fasting was no longer mandatory, but every day remained a day of abstinence from meat (just as every Friday throughout the year is a day of abstinence from meat).

This fasting and abstinence wasn't random though. It came from the command of Jesus not to fret about the needs of the body. We fast to remind ourselves that our "needs" aren't as real as we think they are and to offer to the Lord our fragility. And that matters! As fasting has been made more and more optional - so we have become more and more mediocre. If you want to grow in holiness, fast! 

With Lent right around the corner, it's worth meditating upon today's Gospel. Do not worry! Jesus tells us that this is a choice. We needn't worry about the things of this life. Food and drink and shelter are a big deal, but He has conquered death! Even if we die, Jesus has us well in hand. With that kind of security, what have we to fear?

Nothing! Sure, we need to make plans for ourselves and our families, but when God changes those plans - good! Too much concern for our lives is hugely detrimental to God's will for us and to our eternal salvation. The more we keep our eyes fixed on Heaven, the more likely we will be to get there. The more we focus on the details here below, the more likely we are to end up even further below than here!

Insights From Second Street

This Wednesday marks the transition from the green vestments of the time after Epiphany to the violet vestments of Lent - which are traditionally embroidered with gold to show that the light of joy is never truly lost even amidst the somber sobriety of penance… Green, purple and gold - the colors of Mardi Gras.

More often than we ever really think about, the Church is present amidst the collision of seemingly opposite forces. It is the Church that guides us from Good Friday to Easter Sunday. It is the Church that explains how the death of Baptism - which is what St. Paul calls the “descent into the waters” - can be so quickly made a sign of hope and new life. "Unless a grain fall to the ground and die, it remains just a grain - but if it dies, it produces much fruit!" Over and over and over again, we are confronted by the fact that our human minds simply cannot comprehend more than one line of reasoning at a time. Over and over and over again, we realize how little we ought to rely upon our own powers of reasoning to decide that which is right and that which is wrong.

As we approach this Lent, let us offer up not just the penance of fasting from something - but also the penance of relying on someone. Relying on our Lord and His Church. "The foolishness of God confounds the wisest of the wise!" In many ways, the foolishness of the world which is embodied by Mardi Gras is replaced by the foolishness of God which is embodied by spreading ashes on our foreheads, opting to abstain from certain foods and performing religious rituals that seem wildly out of date. Everything from the funny hats the priest wears (the biretta) to the washing of feet in Holy Week is at odds with the wisdom of the world. But it is not at odds with the wisdom of God… So let this Lent be a time to meditate upon that which is true wisdom and that which is truly a feast for fools.

The Jargon…

by: Tommy Myrick

Ash Wednesday is the first day of the liturgical season of Lent. It marks the beginning of a time that the Church has called us to fast, pray, and do penance. The reason why it is called Ash Wednesday is rather obvious, but why do we do it? Why do we receive ashes on our foreheads? Is there a significance?

There is if you think like a first century Jew. Catholicism is the fruition of Judaism. Many of our traditions and celebrations can be traced directly to our Jewish roots! In the Old Testament, we see that people would place ashes on their heads when they were going through a time of mourning and/or penance. We, like our Jewish brethren, keep this practice on Ash Wednesday as we enter a time of prayer, fasting, and penance.

Traditionally, the ashes used on this day are made from the burning of the palm branches from the previous Palm Sunday. These ashes can be mixed with a little oil or water to help make them adhere to the forehead better. These ashes are blessed, and then distributed to the people. This blessing makes the ashes a sacramental, (like rosaries, bibles, prayer cards, etc.) and therefore, should not be intentionally rubbed off before the end of the day. It is also a witness of our call to repentance and union with our Lord. As we prepare ourselves for Lent, may we stand as witnesses to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to the world around us.

Parish News

GIFT SHOP NEEDS VOLUNTEERS Now that the Gift Shop has reopened, we are in of volunteers. The Hours are: Mon-Fri, 10a-2p • Sat, 10a-4p • Sun, 9:30a-11:30a. Anyone interested in volunteering to work a shift during the week, please contact the office and leave your information with Susan.

ASH WEDNESDAY IS THIS WEDNESDAY, 3/5 It is NOT a Holy Day of Obligation, but it is a day of mandatory fasting and abstinence from meat and meat products. Everyone is encouraged to begin Lent right by observing the requirement to fast and, if possible, by attending Holy Mass and receiving your ashes. Masses will be offered on Wednesday at 6:30a and 6p in the Church and at 9a at St. Mary’s School.

***CCD Students are reminded to meet at the Minor Basilica (instead of St. Mary’s School) for CCD this Wednesday to attend Ash Wednesday Mass at 6p.

FIRST FRIDAY BENEDICTION & WAY OF THE CROSS Every Friday of Lent, Father will pray the Way of Cross at 5:15p in the Church. This Friday is also First Friday, and so, the Way of the Cross will be offered before the Blessed Sacrament with Benediction following. Please remember to sign up for an hour of prayer on this First Friday if you are able.

Parish Mission: March 11-13 Beginning Tue, 3/11, and ending Thu, 3/13, internationally acclaimed speaker and expert, Fr. John Zuhsdorf will present a three part mission on our Catholic Identity and what he calls the “Marshal Plan” for the Church. Talks will begin at 6p each night. Fr. Zuhlsdorf’s blog - What Does the Prayer Really Say? - has upward of 30 million views and he is truly a dynamic and worthwhile speaker! We also flew him in from across the country… So please plan to attend these excellent presentations!

ST. JOSEPH’S ALTAR The celebration of St. Joseph's Altar will be Sunday, 3/16, at 1p. See upcoming bulletins for more details.

Parish Events

  • Mon-Tue, 3/3 - 3/4, Mardi Gras Holiday, NO School & Parish Office CLOSED
  • Wed, 3/5, Ash Wednesday - Day of Fasting & Abstinence - Holy Mass @ 6:30a, 9a(SMS), & 6p
  • Wed, 3/5, CCD Mass, 6p @ The Minor Basilica  
  • Fri, 3/7, Benediction & Way of the Cross, 5:15p
  • Tue-Thu, 3/11-3/13, Parish Mission: Fr. John Zuhlsdorf - 6p each night, Confessions 5-6p
  • Wed, 3/12, CCD, but NO Wednesday Night Adult Catechism, 6-7p @ St. Mary’s
  • Thu, 3/13, Basilican Feast Day: Anniversary of the Election of Pope Francis, Holy Mass @ 6:30a & 6p
  • Fri, 3/14, Way of the Cross, 5:15p
  • Sun, 3/16, St. Joseph’s Altar, 1p @ KC Hall
  • Tue, 3/18, Lenten Confessions, 5-6p

Parish Finances

Our Sunday Collection last week was $6,756.

Thank you for your generous return to our Lord!

For more information on our finances, click here.

Within the Sanctuary

Sat 3/1 4p Elaine Bacon, (Lector) • TBA & TBA, (EMHC-CH) • Kathleen Hicks, Nita Maggio, (EMHC-CI) • D.Bennett, J.Friedel, (Altar Boys)

Sun 3/2 9a Sydney Frederick, (Lector) • James & Alice Barrios, (EMHC-CH) • Aimee Wright, (EMHC-CI) • A.Lirette, M.Vienne, P.Vienne, (Altar Boys)

Sun 3/2 11a Ed Giering, (Lector) • Joseph Sklar, Sam Misuraca, (EMHC-CH) • Lillie Misuraca, (EMHC-CI) • J.Parker, A.Parker, D.Thompson, (Altar Boys)

Sat 3/8 4p Kathleen Hicks, (Lector) •  Michael & Joanne Yankowski, (EMHC-CH) • Micky Hennigan, Carl Henry, (EMHC-CI) • C.J.Bouchie, J.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)

Sun 3/9 9a Michael King, (Lector) •  James & Betty Durham, (EMHC-CH) • John Vandersypen, (EMHC-CI) • B.Behrendsen, C.Lirette, G.Fidelak, (Altar Boys)

Sun 3/9 11a Joe Payne Williams, (Lector) •  Lina Lee, Jean Gill, (EMHC-CH) • Cecilia Cook, (EMHC-CI) • S.Maggio, E.Norwood, J.Burrell, (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 John Bacon by Elaine Bacon.

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

Holy Masses

  • Sat 4p: Bob Methvin
  • Sun 9a: Pro Populo
  • Sun 11a: Shirley Ragland & Donna Doll
  • Sun 5p: Jacob Everitt Freel
  • Mon 6:30a: Ruby Thibodeaux Jeansonne
  • Tue 6:30a: Deceased Members of Ray & Gwen Ponthieux Families
  • Wed 6:30a: Susan Phillips
  • Wed 9a: SMS Students & Faculty
  • Wed 6p: Msgr. Roland Bordelon
  • Thu 6:30a: Helen Bostick
  • Fri 6:30a: Harry Gongre, Jr.
  • Sat 8a: The Will Bollich Family

Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for this Month are that all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women. And that, many young people may accept the Lord’s invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.

Please pray for our Sick & Suffering: Lolette Allen, Lauren Bienvenu, Mark Birch, Bill Boone, Kathy Bostick, Tripp Bostick, Chad Bouchie, Mar-Lou Brasher, 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, Paula Gagymad, Vicki Gahagan, Sophie Gill, Joyce Hayne, Deborah G. Hernandez, Sue Van Hook, Laura E. Jabbia, Kalita Jones, Mary Keyser, Paul Keyser, Gary Kilgore, Martha LaCaze, Jheanny Ladao, Daniel Laroux, Jane Locke, Jaden Eli Lodridge, Joseph Longo, Lisa Mack, Faris Michael, Meg Michael, Lacey Mitchum, Mary Moss, Shane Niette, Mary Odom, Sharon Roach, Wes Rollo, Makaehan Ross, Shirley Roy, Amanda Rozman, Joseph Ryan, Donna Slaughter, Billy Smith, Brent Trichel, Rosalind Trussell, Patricia Vazquez, Billie Vercher, Julien Vienne, Ruthie J. Wallboughly, Tyler Ward, Jessica Warner, & Janine Waters