In modern business, a salesman must always be ready with his “elevator pitch.” This is the half-minute speech that he can give to a prospective client on the elevator between the first and tenth floor so that the client will want to buy or at least hear more. Groups like the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons have this down to a science! Most Catholics, though, don’t really know what to say when someone poses a simple question like: “Why are you Catholic?” or “Why should I come to your Church this Sunday?” GK Chesterton - one of the greatest writers in the English Language - was stumped by this and ultimately said “there are ten thousand reasons all amounting to one reason: that Catholicism is true.”
In the scriptures, almost no one has an elevator pitch - including Jesus. Jesus always “taught to His audience.” When the rich and powerful approached, they were met with hard sayings from the Old Testament. When the poor and ignorant approached, they were met with simple parables. When contrite sinners approached, they were met not by instruction but by unimaginably bold proclamations: “Your sins are forgiven!”
And yet, we’re instructed: “always be ready to give an explanation.” Perhaps the only response that we can give to such instruction is to be ready to point to moments in our own lives when Christ has given hope or shown mercy or granted insight. Nothing touches like a story. Those of us who are specially gifted intellectually may be ready with a complex logical argument… But the vast majority of us are merely called to give witness. And so, “Why am I Catholic?” Well, when I was going through a hard time, I wandered into a Church and experienced a peace I’ve never known before… And then, when I was in doubt… And then, when I was afraid…
Insights From Second Street
God save us all, election season is here again. And the politicians are all showing us how far they are from the mind of Christ. No one seems to be interested in bringing about human flourishing. No one seems to care about growth in virtue or goodness or anything really human. Everyone seems to think that laws and systems can accomplish what used to be done by human goodness and virtue… They’re wrong.
It was Sir Winston Churchill who said that the greatest threat to national security is the loss of public virtue. Laws don’t change hearts. Bad people will be bad regardless of what laws bind them. Virtuous people will be good regardless of what laws constrict them. Abortion is a crime against humanity. The bible list only four sins which “cry out to heaven for vengeance:” “murder (Gn 4:10), sodomy (Gn 17:20-21), oppression of the poor (Ex 2:23), and defrauding workers of their just wages (Jas 5:4).” Abortion, unnatural marriage, the welfare state and taxation of income are generally supported by both major political parties… If we’re still deluding ourselves into thinking that government can do anything to help us (and I mean really help us) - we’re under the influence of Satan, himself. Go to confession. Pray the Rosary. And step back from whatever news and views your imbibing. The only thing that can save this mess of a society in which we find ourselves is a saint. Stop playing the game and BE THE SAINT. Pray, fast, give alms, obey the Church.
Every soul needs to realize that voting for someone who supports abortion - regardless of party or other views - is a sin. A sin. Period. Full stop. Voting for someone who supports blasphemous, unnatural marriage is also going to be a tough sell on judgement day. What we have to remember is that our choices - every one of them - are moral actions. From the choice to visit a pornographic website to the choice to wear immodest clothing to the choice to spread gossip to the choice to support legislation or policy, our choices are moral actions that have spiritual consequences. Our vote isn’t likely to change national policy, but it is going to come up on judgement day. Choose wisely!
For the longest time, I had to go to confession and say “I failed to say the Liturgy of the Hours (the prayers all priests are required to pray daily).” I had to confess it not because I intended not to say my prayers - but because I had misplaced the book… Again! About three years ago, an Italian created an iOS app called “iBreviary.” (The app is free and there is an Android version now.) It was like magic! I could tap once and there were my prayers. I still prefer the book, but the app saves me a lot of confessions!
While the app was written for priests, it had a sort-of unintended side effect. It made the Liturgy of the Hours accessible to lay people. The Liturgy of the Hours, also called the Breviary, is a simple liturgy of three psalms, a short reading, a gospel canticle and five intercessions concluded by the prayer of the day. Technically, there are five offices (Office of Readings, Morning Prayer, Daytime Prayer, Evening Prayer and Night Prayer). While priests pray all five, most lay people will pray Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer. Each office takes between 8 and 15 minutes depending on the speed with which you read and the time you might spend meditating. The Liturgy of the Hours used to be fairly familiar in our culture. Most parishes had what we now offer - a Sunday Vespers - where the psalms and prayers are accompanied by benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament. (Ours takes barely 20 minutes.) Sadly, most US parishes have abandoned the Sunday Vespers - much to their detriment. When Pope John Paul restructured the institution of a Minor Basilica, he commanded that Vespers be offered. It’s that important!
While the book version of the Liturgy of the Hours is quite complex involving three to five ribbons as well as several memorized dialogues and some knowledge of the liturgical calendar, the app is easy peasy. You tap on the office you want to pray and there it is… Every word is inline and easy to pray. I heartily encourage everyone to give it a try!
COMMUNION FROM THE CHALICE WILL BE DISCONTINUED UNTIL THE END OF FLU SEASON Citing new cases of MERS and continuing reports of Influenza and various Stomach Bugs, Holy Communion will be not be offered from the chalice for the near future. Remember, though, that Holy Communion under either species - bread or wine - is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus. Seen from heaven, the two species are identical. There is no discernable spiritual benefit in receiving both. The schedules for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion have been adjusted to reflect this change. The exact date for restarting Holy Communion from the chalice will be set when these new Flu bugs wind down.
PARISH DIRECTORIES ARE HERE! Any MBIC parishioners that had their picture taken by the Lifetouch photographers can come by the office to pick up their Parish Directory book. Thank you again to all the parishioners who participated!
OFFICE CLOSED FOR MEMORIAL DAY The Parish Office will be closed Monday, May 26th, in observance of Memorial Day. Regular office hours will resume Tuesday, May 27th.
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.
- 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
- Sun, 6/29, Basilican Feast Day: Ss. Peter & Paul, Holy Mass @ 9a, 11a & 5p
Our Sunday Collection last week was $9,540.
Thank you for your generous return to our Lord!
For more information on our finances, click here.
Within the Sanctuary
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)
Sat 5/31 4p Levi Thompson, (Lector) • Kathleen Hicks, Elaine Bacon, (EMHC-CH) • Red & Jo Lapeyrouse, (EMHC-CI) • J.Friedel, D.Bennett, (Altar Boys)
Sun 6/1 9a Michael King, (Lector) • Edward & Cindy Smith, (EMHC-CH) • Emelda Odom, (EMHC-CI) • M.&P.Vienne, B.Behrendsen, (Altar Boys)
Sun 6/1 11a Ed Giering, (Lector) • Jean Gill, Cecilia Cook, (EMHC-CH) • Patsy Melder, (EMHC-CI) • S.&V.Maggio, C.Fisher, (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 the Deceased Members of St. Mary's Class of 1964 on the 50th Anniversary.
- Sat 4p: Sandi Ponthieux
- Sun 9a: Pro Populo
- Sun 11a: Richard Ragland
- Sun 5p: Deceased Members of E.J. Giering and W.J. Erwin Families
- Mon 6:30a: Lt Cameron Hall, USN
- Tue 6:30a: Clay Hennigan
- Wed 6:30a: Julia Gallion
- Thu 6:30a: Agnes Sklar & Richard deVargas
- Fri 6:30a: Raymond Perot
- Sat 8a: Richard deVargas
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