The early Church as we see it in the scriptures has the same three kinds of ordained ministers as we do in the Church today: Bishops, Priests (“Presbyters”) and Deacons. Each of these three “orders” of ministers had a specific kind of work. The Bishops were primarily concerned with teaching and governance. They were to be as “Christ the Head” and the successors of the Apostles. The Bishops had the “fullness of the priesthood of Jesus Christ” and so were to be “another Christ” (“alter Christus”) in each local Church… The idea being that the universal Church (“The Mystical Body of Christ”) consisted of the saints in heaven and those (baptized) faithful alive and visible “in” the Church. Each local Church, then, made present in a real way the Lord, His twelve apostles and the numberless disciples to whom Christ ministered during his Earthly life.
The presbyters were focused primarily on the day to day operation of the spiritual care of the faithful. The priests presided at the Eucharist, anointed the sick and, eventually, oversaw smaller house Churches within the local Church - a situation that lives to this day with the parish-diocese system. The presbyters were not teachers - they merely sermonized and encouraged based on the teaching of their local bishop.
The deacons were focused primarily on the corporal or bodily care of the faithful. They distributed food, and sometimes money, to those in need, visited and prayed with the sick and bought what was needed.
While modern Catholics tend to think of these “Holy Orders” through the lens of power and authority, the Church has never done that. These orders are orders of service and of self-sacrifice. Power-play and politics just have no place in the Church. From the beginning, Christ has called all Christians not to greatness, but to bow down at the feet of Jesus!
Insights From Second Street
The Day of the Lord has two meanings in the Sacred Scriptures. In the New Testament, it is the first day of the week on which we are called by the Third Commandment to attend Holy Mass, rest and recreate, spend time with family and generally give God room to work within us. In the Old Testament, though, especially in the Book of the prophet Joel, the Day of the Lord is that terrible day when Christ will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. It is a moment of horrifying finality when the devil will be utterly destroyed and the faithful will go to heaven while the unfaithful will be condemned to the lake of fire… Scary stuff.
As with so many parts of our faith, this overlap isn’t by accident. Nor should we buy into the modern goofiness that the “New Testament of mercy wipes away the Old Testament of wrath.” Hogwash! The “Day of the Lord” which we celebrate weekly and the “Day of the Lord” that we both anticipate and dread are both united in the virtue of justice. Justice, first and foremost, demands that each of us give God what “He is due.” Practically, that means we obey His commandments and in doing so, we show our love for Him and glorify Him and conform ourselves to Him. Each week at Mass, we give God our attention, our time and our worship. In doing this, we are participating in the ultimate “Day of the Lord” because we are being drawn nearer to our judgement and to our salvation in Christ. Each time we fail to keep holy the weekly “Day of the Lord,” we are also participating in the ultimate “Day of the Lord” in that we push ourselves nearer to the lake of fire.
Justice - contrary to common understanding - is not some arbitrary standard set by the universe… It’s part of our very creation. It can’t be separated out of our humanity any more than a soul or a mind can. As we keep holy the Lord’s Day we ought to be conscious that we are also approaching the Day of the Lord and doing so with ever greater Hope.
Every Sunday night at 7p I go upstairs to my room, log in to Skype, and broadcast a live radio show along the gulf coast from Pensacola to Beaumont. The show is called “Catholic Underground” or the “CU Weekly.” Fr. Christopher Decker, three lay people and I, talk about the intersection between faith and modern technology. Sometimes it’s which TV Shows have been cancelled and renewed. Sometimes it’s new medical tech that allows for diabetic testing via a temporary tattoo. Sometimes it’s the roots of clericalism and the reasons for saying “I believe” instead of “We believe” at Mass.
I started the show with Fr. Chris about eight years ago. In 2006, when blogging was still fairly new, a nerd of great inventiveness applied the principles of blogging to audio and video files and “podcasting” was created. Fr. Chris and I liked the idea and so I, as a priest, and he, as a deacon, began recording half hour audio shows and making them available online. As time passed, we tried different formats and brought different panelists on board. At times the show was downloaded only a few hundred times. At other times, thousands were downloading every episode. Now, we simulcast the show over terrestrial radio and the internet (at CatholicUnderground.tv). Live listeners can enter a group chat and contribute to the discussion as it’s happening. Others will download the show via iTunes and listen to it at the gym or in the car.
While it started as just something fun to do, CatholicUnderground has grown into a serious apostolate with devoted fans, regular donors and legal 501(c)(3) status. It’s also become a real part of the New Evangelization. Our mission has evolved from “do something neat” to engage in mission work on what Pope Benedict calls “the digital continent” (aka the internet). In the last years we’ve had people email in that they listen to the show and have returned to the Church. We’ve had people return to confession or finally seek an annulment. It’s amazing what God can do through something simple… Do you have any hidden gift that could be put at God’s service?
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, POPE ST. JOHN PAUL II May 18 was the birthday of our beloved Pope John Paul II, now a saint of the Church. Today would be a good time to ask for special favors and graces, especially for those who are suffering governmental persecution or suffering from debilitating disease.
ST. MARY’S LAST DAY IS TUESDAY, MONDAY 8AM MASS DISCONTINUED UNTIL AUGUST The last day of School for St. Mary’s is Tuesday. For this reason, the Monday 8am Mass will not be offered again until school resumes in August. Thanks to all who attended this school year to pray for our kids!
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 1 available spot 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.
LAY-LED EVENTS Thank you to all of our enthusiastic parishioners who are taking the call of Vatican II to lay leadership seriously! On Monday evenings, a Bible Study Group meets in the Rectory at 6p. On Wednesdays, a Rosary Group meets in the Church at 10:30a.
DON’T NEGLECT THE SOULS OF THE SICK Don’t forget to call the priest when someone you love becomes seriously or chronically ill. The difficult time of physical decline is so much more spiritually beneficial with the assistance of the sacraments. Don’t assume father knows - call the office!
- 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
- Mon-Sat, 6/8-6/14, Ember Week
- Sun, 6/15, Father’s Day, Blessing of Fathers at Weekend Masses
- Sun, 6/22, Corpus Christi Sunday, Procession following the 11a Mass
Our Sunday Collection last week was $6,317.
Thank you for your generous return to our Lord!
For more information on our finances, click here.
Within the Sanctuary
Sat 5/17 4p Mike Bouchie, (Lector) • Jimmy Gunter, David Bouchie, (EMHC-CH) • Carl Henry, Elaine Bacon, (EMHC-CI) • C.J.Bouchie, J.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)
Sun 5/18 9a John Ackel, (Lector) • James & Alice Barrios, (EMHC-CH) • Aimee Wright, (EMHC-CI) • G.Fidelak, J.Miley, M.McCart, (Altar Boys)
Sun 5/18 11a John Laborde, (Lector) • Barbara Laborde, Haley Johnson, (EMHC-CH) • Tara Whitehead, (EMHC-CI) • J.Burrell, I.Lovemore, (Altar Boys)
Sat 5/24 4p Elaine Bacon, (Lector) • Micky Hennigan, Kathleen Hicks, (EMHC-CH) • David Bouchie, Nita Maggio, (EMHC-CI) • D.&M.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)
Sun 5/25 9a Stephen Taylor, (Lector) • Buddy Giering, Michael King, (EMHC-CH) • John Vandersypen, (EMHC-CI) • T.Hare, G.&J.Ingrish, (Altar Boys)
Sun 5/25 11a Gilen Norwood, (Lector) • Sam & Lillie Misuraca, (EMHC-CH) • Jean Gill, (EMHC-CI) • M.Leone, E.Norwood, 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
- Sat 4p: N.L. Vercher
- Sun 9a: Essie Mae Huckaby & Thomas Eric Hagelin
- Sun 11a: Pro Populo
- Sun 5p: Penny Adams
- Mon 6:30a: Janell de Vargas
- Tue 6:30a: Harry Gongre, Jr.
- Wed 6:30a: Dorothy Benefield
- Thu 6:30a: Tom Quantrille
- Fri 6:30a: Harry Gongre, Jr.
- Sat 8a: Walter Ledet
Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for this Month are that the media may be instruments in the service of truth and peace. And that, Mary, Star of Evangelization, may guide the Church in proclaiming Christ to all nations.
Please pray for our Recently Deceased: Adolf Sklar, Jr., Nathan Ezernack & Mrs. Johnnie Mallory
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, 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