Prior to 2005, this Octave Day of Easter was simply called "Low Sunday." Each of the eight "Days of Easter" is celebrated liturgically as Easter Sunday… And so, after an entire week of celebrating, Low Sunday was a chance to bring the party to a dignified end. And when the last Alleluia is finally chanted, a sense of calm returns to the sanctuary.
Too many people misunderstand peace merely as the absence of discord. But peace is not universal pacifism. It's not some utopian dream where "we all just get along." That's not peace - it's delusion. Human nature cannot be stripped of itself. Peace comes not from the absence of strife, but from the fullness of grace. It comes when the hunger and desire for sin is subdued by the love and the goodness of God. The peace that we find on Low Sunday is the same peace that we find when Jesus enters the room with Apostles and floods them with His presence. He's not ghostwriting for Hallmark when He says "Peace be with you." He's literally filling them with grace. He's giving them a full dose of His blessing so that they're sinful natures may be reigned in and that they may act and think from the truest and most godly parts of themselves. This is the same sentiment that God offers to us from the mouths of His priests at every Mass… "The Lord be With You!" Even our response evokes this sense: "and with your SPIRIT." True peace is not found in the world, but in the soul.
Many will note that this Sunday is no longer called "Low Sunday." Since 2005, at the order of Pope St. John Paul II, this octave day of Easter is now "Divine Mercy Sunday." It's a different focus for the day, but not a different sentiment. God's mercy and his peace are the same thing! The forgiveness that God freely gives and the peace that flows from it are identical… they are both God's grace in the soul merely being experienced differently… That's something worth meditating on!
Insights From Second Street
On October 16, 1978, for the second time in two months, the senior Cardinal Deacon of the Roman Catholic Church stepped on to the main balcony overlooking St. Peter's Square and announced "Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum!" And the people cheered. Onto the balcony walked the dapper sixty-two years young Karol Wojtyła. An unknown Cardinal from communist Poland, Wojtyła combined the names of the two popes of the Second Vatican Council and took the name of his predecessor. Pope John Paul II had the second longest papal reign in recorded history. His slow death from Parkinson's Disease and Septicemia spoke volumes to a world which had warmly embraced both abortion and euthanasia as part of an entire ethos which the Pope called "the culture of death."
Honest historians will also make note of his profound effect upon Soviet Communism. His visits to Poland had a profound impact upon the world and his support of the Solidarność movement almost single-handedly brought a bloodless end to Polish Communism.
Moreso even than these two great witnesses to the power of the Church and of God, Pope John Paul II's writings constitute one of the five or six most important bodies of philosophical and theological work in the last thousand years and they could well be in the top twenty-five for all of human history. His works on the meaning of suffering, the dignity of the human being before God, and the radical and essential connection between the biological and the spiritual aspects of creation stand alongside the likes of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. (It's nearly certain that he will be named a Doctor of the Church in the years to come.)
For most people, though, it's not his personal, intellectual, or political accomplishments that stand out. He was the pope… They loved him. They saw his love for God and they saw his faith and his fearlessness and his passion and his humanity. They saw that a real person could love God and be loved by God. That personal witness, more than anything else, makes him a saint. And now, we can say with the crowds at his funeral, "Santo Subito!" Sainthood now!
by: Tommy Myrick
Today we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. It was promoted by Pope John Paul II along with the canonization of St. Faustina in 2000. Today is a special day marked with the dispensation of a plenary indulgence under the usual rules. (Go to confession, receive the Eucharist on the Feast, be detached from venial and mortal sins, pray for the intentions of the Pope, and participate in the prayers and devotions in honor of the Divine Mercy in a church or chapel.) The faithful who cannot participate in the devotions may say one Our Father and the Creed in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament adding the prayer: “Merciful Jesus, I trust in you.” Additionally, to the faithful who for a justified reason beyond control cannot go to a church or chapel, only with the recitation of one Our Father and Creed before a devout image of Jesus, adding "Merciful Jesus, I Trust in you," will obtain the plenary indulgence that day with the condition of fulfilling the usual sacramental requirements later.
Father will be leading the devotions at 3pm on Divine Mercy Sunday. All are encouraged to attend and receive the mercy of the Lord! Jesus I trust in You!
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR CONFIRMATION CLASS Prayers & Congratulations to our 2014 Confirmandi! Thanks to Mr. Michael King and to all of our Confirmation teachers, past and present, who have gotten them this far. Thanks, also, to Bishop Herzog for his pastoral direction and support.
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION IS NEXT WEEKEND All First Communicants and their parents are reminded that a mandatory practice will be held Saturday (5/3) at 9a in the Church. First Holy Confessions will be heard at that time. The Mass of First Communion will be offered at 9a, Sunday (5/4). Photos may be taken from 8a to 8:30a or after Mass from 10a to 10:30a.
ST. MARY’S MAY CROWNING As per our long-standing tradition, the students of St. Mary’s will mark the first Friday of May with prayers and the crowning of the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The students will process from the site of the old school to the Church beginning at around 8:30a on Friday, May 2. All are welcome to join us in venerating Our Lady.
FIRST FRIDAY & FIRST SATURDAY The First Friday & Saturday of each month are kept in honor of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Adoration on First Friday begins after morning Mass and continues until Benediction at 5:15p. Sign-up at the back of the Church if you can watch with the Lord for an hour. First Saturday Mass and Benediction are at the usual time, 8a.
OCTOBER 20-29, 2014 PILGRIMAGE TO ITALY You are invited to join Fr. Ryan Humphries, Fr. Chris Decker, and the Magnificat Travel Group for a 10-day pilgrimage to Italy. Our pilgrims will travel through Assisi (Umbria), Florence (Tuscany), Orvietto, Rome, and the Vatican City. Trip highlights will include the Tomb of St. Francis, the Miracle of the Eucharist, the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Roman Forum, the Catacombs, the Trevi Fountain, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the Tomb of Pope Saint John Paul II. We only have 3 available spots left and the deadline to register is Friday, August 1, 2014. For more information, contact Magnificat Travel Group at (337)291-1933 or firstname.lastname@example.org -Or- contact Ashley Hebert at (318)352-3422 or email@example.com.
- Sun, 4/27, Divine Mercy Sunday, Devotions at 3p
- Sun, 4/27, Confirmation, 11a
- Fri, 5/2, St. Mary’s May Crowning, TBA @ the MBIC
- Sun, 5/4, First Holy Communion & May Crowning, 9a
- Sun, 5/11, St. Mary’s Baccalaureate Mass, 9a
- Mon, 5/12, St. Mary’s Graduation, TBA @ St. Mary’s
- Tue, 5/13, Basilican Feast Day: Our Lady of Fatima, Holy Mass @ 6:30a & 6p
- Tue, 5/20, St. Mary’s Last Day of School
- Sun, 5/25, Prayers for Soldiers in honor of Memorial Day
- Mon, 5/26, Memorial Day, Parish Office CLOSED
Our Sunday Collection last week was $10,496.
Thank you for your generous return to our Lord!
For more information on our finances, click here.
Within the Sanctuary
Sat 4/26 4p Kathleen Hicks, (Lector) • Elaine Bacon, Carl Henry, (EMHC-CH) • Kathleen Hicks, Jimmy Gunter, (EMHC-CI) • D.Bennett, (Altar Boys)
Sun 4/27 9a Karen Apponey, (Lector) • Stephen Taylor, Cissy Picou, (EMHC-CH) • Emelda Odom, (EMHC-CI) • A.Lirette, C.Lirette, S.Lirette, T.Lirette, (Altar Boys)
Sun 4/27 11a Gilen Norwood, (Lector) • Patsy Melder, Jean Gill, (EMHC-CH) • Lucile Ingram, (EMHC-CI) • S.Maggio, V.Maggio, E.Norwood, (Altar Boys)
Sat 5/3 4p Levi Thompson, (Lector) • David Bouchie, Jimmy Gunter, (EMHC-CH) • Nita Maggio, Micky Hennigan, (EMHC-CI) • D.Bennett, (Altar Boys)
Sun 5/4 9a Rebecca Lavespere, (Lector) • James & Betty Durham, (EMHC-CH) • Alyssa Odom, (EMHC-CI) • A.Behrendsen, R.Cunningham, R.Cunningham, (Altar Boys)
Sun 5/4 11a Greg Burke, (Lector) • Chris & Jennifer Maggio, (EMHC-CH) • Jean Gill, (EMHC-CI) • S.Maggio, C.Fisher, D.Thompson, (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 Special Intentions by Joe & Pat Cunningham.
- Sat 4p: Red & Sadie Thomas
- Sun 9a: Richard Ragland & Essie Mae Huckaby
- Sun 11a: Pro Populo
- Sun 5p: Sylvian LeVasseur
- Mon 6:30a: Calvert Scott
- Mon 8a: Russell Bretthauer
- Tue 6:30a: Rae Laborde & Harold Rosbottom
- Wed 6:30a: James Prudhomme
- Thu 6:30a: Peggy Glascock
- Fri 6:30a: Stephanie Barnhill
- Sat 8a: Don Barker
Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for this Month are that governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources. And that, the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.
Please pray for our Recently Deceased: Billy Joe Smith & Louis Fair Hyams, Jr.
Please pray for our Sick & Suffering: Lolette Allen, Lauren Bienvenu, Bill Boone, Kathy Bostick, Tripp Bostick, Chad Bouchie, Mar-Lou Brasher, Flo Brouillette, Bailey Byrd, Carolyn Carter, Lauren Clancey, Emilia Cofio, Woody Cox, Kim Cunningham, Lela Mae Dalme, Joe Davis, John DeFee, Richard DeVargas, Angela Eversall, Marguerite Felchle, Alma Fernandez, Tom Foshee, Reba Friday, Paula Gagymad, Vicki Gahagan, Sophie Gill, Irma Harper, Joyce Hayne, Deborah G. Hernandez, Sue Van Hook, Kalita Jones, EvaGrace Keyser, Mary Keyser, Paul Keyser, Gary Kilgore, Martha LaCaze, Jheanny Ladao, Daniel Laroux, Jaden Eli Lodridge, Patricia Loftin, Joseph Longo, Lisa Mack, Faris Michael, Meg Michael, Lacey Mitchum, Mary Moss, Shane Niette, Mary Odom, Effie Patrick, Sharon Roach, Wes Rollo, Makaehan Ross, Shirley Roy, Amanda Rozman, Joseph Ryan, Donna Slaughter, Tristan Snyder, Ren Todtenbier, Brent Trichel, Rosalind Trussell, Patricia Vazquez, Billie Vercher, Julien Vienne, Ruthie J. Wallboughly, Tyler Ward, Jessica Warner, Janine Waters, & Glen & Mary Williams