At every moment in this history of the world before this moment, hope ended at death. Hope was tied, entirely and inextricably, to the circumstances of the world. Imagine the sadness that people must feel when they believe that! Many, many people today are lost in the morass of this kind of existential sadness.
What if my happiness and my hope is tied up with what happens around me? Well, my finances decide my happiness. My family situation decides my happiness. My local and national politics decide my happiness. Those in authority (religious, civil and otherwise) decide my happiness. No wonder people are more depressed now than ever before.
For the Christian, our happiness and our hope are settled firmly in the promise of God. My hope and my happiness - as Ryan Humphries - is in the promise of heaven. And that allows me to look without fear at the political disaster unfolding in our nation… (Interestingly, as a historian and a philosopher with focus on political philosophy - I can attest that things are much, much worse than they seem.) I can look without great concern at my own financial situation. I can look without fear at the concerns of the parish and of the larger Church. I can face concerns about the school. And I can face them not as a disinterested spectator, but as a very invested, very concerned part because I do not believe for a second that success in this world has any meaningful impact upon salvation! I want the kids to get to heaven… I want you as parishioners to get to heaven… I want to get to heaven! None of that depends upon the circumstances around us… It depends upon right belief, right hope, and right reaction to whatever God puts on our plate… And that means that we’re ready and able to know, love, and serve the Lord whatever may come…. That kind of hope is a pretty good feeling.
Insights From Second Street
Passiontide has begun! After last week’s brief island of Rosy joy, we now approach the heart of the Christian life - the Easter Triduum - in which we memorialize and re-live the suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. This “paschal mystery” is what makes Christianity a religion - the worship of a God - and not merely an invention (like “New Age”) or an ethical system (like Buddhism). We believe that God - the creator of the universe who Himself was not made but merely exists by His own power - chose to enter into His creation in the form of a human being like us. In that form - truly God and truly man - He choose to experience the rending of suffering and death. In that form - truly living God, truly dead man - He rose by His own power as God and returned to be among us for a time in order that we might follow after Him.
To prepare our hearts for this mystery - which really can’t be understood by our small ideas and words - we cover the statues. We redouble our Lenten commitments. We set aside our own brilliant insights and ideas and allow God to give us the understanding that can only come from the Holy Spirit. We do this by personal prayer and by a whole bevy of deeply symbolic moments beginning with veiled statues, continuing through to the procession with palms, the washing of feet, the reposition of the Holy Eucharist, the Good Friday processions, prostrations, and the Veneration of the Cross. All of this culminates in the Easter Vigil where the new fire is lit from the old Oil of Chrism and that flame is carried into the dark Church. There, we hear the story of salvation beginning with Genesis. We sit in darkness as the stories and tales of our spiritual heritage strengthen us. Only then are we ready to take up the Gloria once again, to hear the bells, to sing the Alleluia, and to witness the Sacrifice. Only through the darkness of Good Friday can we come forth from the tomb on Easter Sunday!
by: Fr. Humphries
I love a man in a hat! When I first visited Europe, I went to the ancient town of Saltzburg in Austria and wandered through the Old Town district. In a small shop literally carved into a cliff of rock, I met a gigantically fat man who was surrounded by a hysterically comic mountain of hats. I really can't communicate briefly how absurd the scene was! I wandered in and asked the guy what kind of hat would look good on me. He turned his head - I don't think he could've walked more than a foot or two either way - and picked up a hand-made Fedora. He put it on my head and scowled. Then he picked up another hat and smiled. He said "One Hundred Euro." I looked in the mirror and he was right. I paid and I've been hooked on hats ever since.
When people ask why the priests and deacon wear "the hats," I'm tempted to say "because they're awesome!" The reality is that they are a sign of humility and a sign of office. The tradition of covering the head is very scriptural. Beginning with the early Jews, the clergy and the women were expected to pray with covered heads. They were blessed by nature with a nearness to God that required a veil. In the past fifty years, the tradition fell away - to our detriment. Now, only the bishop is required to cover his head during the Mass. Still the option remains for the priests & deacons to cover their heads while seated. During the "festal" and "penitential" seasons (basically outside of Ordinary Time), we clergy cover our heads as a sign of humility akin to ladies veiling their heads. It is a sign of solemnity as well as humility.
Additionally, the biretta (as the hat is officially called) is a sign of office and authority. It takes on different colors and adornments for differing kinds of priests, deacons, monsignors, and other lesser prelates. Typical priests and permanent deacons wear identical birettas… If there were more variety in the parish, the birettas would change color and help us to know which priest is which rank. For now - we can simply say that we wear the birettas as a sign of humility and of office.
OLIVE WOOD CARVINGS FOR SALE! The Bethlehem Group will be visiting our parish April 5-6. They will have beautiful, handmade olive wood carvings from the Holy Land for sale. All proceeds from the sale will be used to buy food and other necessities for the needy families in the Holy Land. Please help as much as you can.
SAINT MARY’S FASHION FOLLIES Our St. Mary’s Spring fundraiser will take place this Friday, 4/11. Please call the school or speak to a St. Mary’s student for more information.
MINOR BASILICA CLEANING DAY! Volunteers are needed to help clean the Church on Saturday, April 12th, from 9a-1p (for Holy Week and Easter). Cleaning supplies will be provided. For more information, call Carol Green at 352-7707.
OUR ANNUAL GOOD FRIDAY PROCESSION IS BACK On Good Friday, Apr 18th, at 10a, we will once again offer our walking Way of the Cross procession. There will be a break in the middle and a light meatless repast at the end. All are welcome to attend. There is no cost.
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 6 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 email@example.com -Or- contact Ashley Hebert at (318)352-3422 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sat, 4/5, Veiling of the Statues
- Tue, 4/8, Lenten Confessions, 5-6p
- Wed, 4/9, CCD & Wednesday Night Adult Catechism, 6-7p @ St. Mary’s
- Fri, 4/11, St. Mary’s Fashion Follies
- Fri, 4/11, Way of the Cross, 5:15p
- Sun, 4/13, Palm Sunday
- Sun-Sat, 4/13-4/19, Holy Week
- Tue, 4/15, Chrism Mass, 11a @ the Cathedral in Alexandria
- Tue, 4/15, Lenten Confessions, 5-6p
- Wed, 4/16, Last CCD of the Year, 6-7p @ St. Mary’s
- Wed, 4/16, Last Wednesday Night Adult Catechism until August
Our Sunday Collection last week was $7,483.
Thank you for your generous return to our Lord!
For more information on our finances, click here.
Within the Sanctuary
Sat 4/5 4p Kathleen Hicks, (Lector) • David Bouchie, Micky Hennigan, (EMHC-CH) • Nita Maggio, Jimmy Gunter, (EMHC-CI) • D.Thibodaux, M.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)
Sun 4/6 9a Joe Cunningham, Sr., (Lector) • James & Alice Barrios, (EMHC-CH) • Aimee Wright, (EMHC-CI) • G.Ingrish, J.H.Ingrish, J.Miley, (Altar Boys)
Sun 4/6 11a John Laborde, (Lector) • Barbara Laborde, Joseph Sklar, (EMHC-CH) • Jean Gill, (EMHC-CI) • A.Parker, J.Parker, C.Fisher, (Altar Boys)
Sat 4/12 4p Levi Thompson, (Lector) • Michael & Joanne Yankowski, (EMHC-CH) • Red & Jo Lapeyrouse, (EMHC-CI) • J.Friedel, D.Bennett, (Altar Boys)
Sun 4/13 9a Roger Cunningham, (Lector) • Michael King, Buddy Giering, (EMHC-CH) • John Vandersypen, (EMHC-CI) • R.Cunningham, R.Cunningham, M.McCart, (Altar Boys)
Sun 4/13 11a Gilen Norwood, (Lector) • Sam & Lillie Misuraca, (EMHC-CH) • Linda Lee, (EMHC-CI) • W.Mayeux, D.Thompson, W.Lee, (Altar Boys)
*Altar Boys who are not scheduled may serve if space permits. Come to the Sacristy 10 minutes before Mass.
Memorials & Prayer Intentions
- Sat 4p: Clay Hennigan & Tena Cullins
- Sun 9a: Pro Populo
- Sun 11a: Shirley Ragland
- Sun 5p: Tommy F. Abraham, Sr.
- Mon 6:30a: John Luke Fair
- Mon 8a: Ruth Marie Smith
- Tue 6:30a: Harry Gongre, Jr.
- Tue 10a: SMS Students
- Wed 6:30a: Essie Mae Huckaby
- Wed 9:20a: SMS Faculty
- Thu 6:30a: Mr. & Mrs. Orin Foster
- Thu 8:10a: SMS Benefactors
- Fri 6:30a: Mr. Emmett Scott
- Sat 8a: Sarah Kessler
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 Sick & Suffering: Lolette Allen, Lauren Bienvenu, 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, Richard DeVargas, Marguerite Felchle, Alma Fernandez, Tom Foshee, Reba Friday, Paula Gagymad, Vicki Gahagan, Sophie Gill, Joyce Hayne, Deborah G. Hernandez, Sue Van Hook, 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, Tristan Snyder, Ren Todtenbier, Brent Trichel, Rosalind Trussell, Patricia Vazquez, Billie Vercher, Julien Vienne, Ruthie J. Wallboughly, Tyler Ward, Jessica Warner, & Janine Waters