Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned.

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We could ask ourselves: why bother with complicated theological subtleties like the Trinity? Why worry with all the details and complexities of prayer, the moral life, the nature of God and the five syllable words of philosophy and theology? Doesn't Jesus teach in parables? Doesn't the scripture itself promise that "the Holy Spirit himself will intercede with inexpressible groanings" where knowledge of how to pray is lacking? And, ironically, the answers to those questions would almost certainly contain plenty of long words and theological mumbo jumbo!

But when we arrive at a scripture like our Gospel today, we're confronted with what seems like a contradiction… "Whoever does not believe has already been condemned." And then we cry out "what do I really need to believe? It's not clear! What is it to believe in the name of the only Son of God?!?"

The simple truth is that Jesus did teach simply to simple people. But He also spoke to Pilate in Latin and posed Nicodemus philosophical questions. He called His disciples aside from time to time to give them more in depth instruction and lessons. Jesus spoke in different ways and different modes to different audiences. And over the course of centuries the Church has learned and understood very deeply the various modes of Divine Revelation. The Church knows the scriptures. She also knows and recognizes the authority of Sacred Tradition and magisterial pronouncements (both of which are scriptural modes of revelation).

With all of this knowledge, the Church has - like Jesus - said that ordinary Catholics need to know the practical conclusions of lots and lots of complicated theology. To that end, we have the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Priests use the CCC to explain the practical, specific aspects of faith and morality. Priests, Bishops, Brothers, Sisters, Monks, Nuns, catechists, theologians and experts each have specific kinds of knowledge proper to their work. At the end, though, we have to trust the Church to provide what each of us needs to rightly believe… Otherwise, "to whom shall we go?"

The precise amount of knowledge that any one of us needs is best discovered by our own hunger for it. If anyone has no interest at all in knowing about God, that’s probably a bad thing… If anyone can’t bring himself to care about anything other than theology, maybe the seminary is a good place to consider! For most of us though, questions arise and we ought to make every effort to address them to a trusted friend, a priest or even to the Catechism. From there, let your studies develop organically… 


Insights From Second Street

Father’s day was first celebrated at the YMCA is Spokane, Washington, on June 19, 1910. It was invented, of course, to compliment Mother’s day which began in 1908. Both days - like so many civil holy-days - have been largely reduced to a scheme to sell greeting cards. But it doesn’t have to be! And, thankfully, for many of us here in the south, Father’s day is an opportunity not only to celebrate and to pray for our Fathers but for the Family at large.

As I ponder masculinity and fatherhood - not as a natural father but as a spiritual one - I wonder whether or not Father’s day makes the same kind of sense that Mother’s day does… In my mind, Mother’s Day is unquestionably essential! As Catholics, Marian feasts are hugely important. Mothers are the object of affection, nurture, gentleness,  kindness, safety, warmth and security. These are psychological principles as well as spiritual ones… 

Contrarily, fathers are not generally associated with that kind of romantic, sweet, card-and-chocolate celebration. Men are called by nature and scripture to lay down their lives for their families and to be a sign of God’s love for the people entrusted to them. That calls for an entirely different kind of recognition. The man in scripture rejoices to see his family in safety. The man in scripture is about strength and courage and virtue (a word that comes the Latin for “man”). That kind of image - which should also include kindness and gentleness but in a manly way, of course - doesn’t really shout out “buy me a card with a puppy on it!” 

Of course, these are just thoughts… Cultures throughout history have had all kinds of pictures of the ideal man - from Stalin to Napoleon to Justin Bieber. (God help us all!) But it’s important from time to time for us to ask the big questions. What kind of men do we want our husbands to be? What kind of men do we want our boys to become? What does it take to be a good father? What does it take to be a good priest?

My father will read this article, so I can assure him: Dad, you’re getting a card - no puppies - don’t fret! Still, I wonder what Father’s Day ought to look like. Whatever is the answer, I don’t think it should be too similar to Mother’s Day. Studies show that the psychologically healthiest child will have both a mother and a father figure… Logic follows that they would be sufficiently different from one another so as each to contribute something unique while at the same time being complementary. I don’t really have one good answer, but sometimes the questions are even better!


The Jargon…

by: Sem. Justin Ward

Prayer of petition and intercession are both asking for stuff. Petition usually means asking for things for yourself while intercession means praying on behalf of someone else. In our selfish little worlds, both forms of prayer tend to be quite the opposite of reaching out in love. In fact, we may often take the embarrassing attitude of a spoiled child wondering if God really cares about our needs. But that doesn’t mean that these forms of prayer are bad, or opposed to love. They just need to be approached correctly. At its heart, asking God for “stuff” is the recognition that He is the source of all goodness, and the loving Father who cares for his Family. Prayers of petition are an expression of trust. Trust is the foundation of any relationship. It is something that should always be strengthened and never neglected.

What about intercession? Again, intercession is the acknowledgment of God as the source of all goodness. But there is something even cooler going on with intercession. Some may ask the question why we pray, since prayer won’t change the mind of God. Why would we pray for someone’s healing? If He is going to heal that person as a sign of his love and power, is He not going to do it? It is true that praying for healing won’t change God’s mind. But it does show trust that God could do it if He wanted to. It may also be a good witness to the sick person who may be lacking trust to ask for themselves. This is a good line of thought. But it doesn’t quite go far enough. You see, we also believe (know) that not only is God the source of all goodness, but in His love for us he has invited us to participate in his divine life. That means He wants us to be part of his bestowing goodness on the world. So when we pray for others, we aren’t changing God's mind. We’re not manipulating him into granting our wish (by the way, that’s what paganism does). But we are participating in any blessing, grace or actual healing that he chooses to give to the person we’re praying for. God wants us to be part of the gift giving.


Parish News

FR. RYAN ON VACATION From Mon, Jun 16, to Thu, Jun 26, Fr. Ryan will be visiting his parents near Tampa. Please pray for his safe travels. Those in need of a priest for an emergency can call the office during office hours or the emergency line listed on the bulletin.

OLIVE WOOD CARVINGS FOR SALE! The Bethlehem Group will be visiting our parish June 14-15. 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.

TAA GUN RAFFLE The St. Mary’s Tiger Athletic Association is sponsoring a year long gun raffle. There are 104 prizes and every ticket has 104 chances to win. Guns range from 9mm handguns to hunting rifles to Shotguns. A complete list of prizes and draw dates can be obtained from St. Mary’s School or from any member of the TAA. Tickets are limited and cost $100 each.

CDA BAKE SALE The Catholic Daughters of America will be hosting a Father’s Day Bake Sale Sat-Sun, 6/14-6/15, before & after all the Masses. Baked goods can be purchased with Cash or Checks.

SPECIAL SATURDAY MASSES FOR JUNE & JULY ONLY Continuing until Sat, 7/26, Fr. Ryan will offer an additional Saturday evening Mass at St. Mary’s School at 5:30p. The Mass will count for your weekend obligation. All are welcome.


Parish Events

  • Saturdays of June & July, 5:30p Additional Saturday Evening Masses at St. Mary’s Chapel
  • Sun, 6/15, Father’s Day, Blessing of Fathers at Weekend Masses
  • Mon-Thu, 6/16-6/26, Fr. Ryan on Vacation
  • Thu, 6/19, 6p, Solemn High Mass in Honor of Corpus Christi
  • Sun, 6/29, Basilican Feast Day: Ss. Peter & Paul, Holy Mass @ 9a, 11a & 5p
  • Fri, 7/4, Office Closed for Independence Day
  • Tues - Wed, 7/8-7/16, After Morning Weekday Masses and All Sunday Masses, Novena to Our Lady of Mt Carmel with Investiture into the Brown Scapular after all Weekend Masses
  • Sat, 7/26, 9am, Grandparents-Grandkids Brunch in the Parish Hall in Honor of Ss. Joachim & Anne, Grandparents of Jesus
  • Sat-Sun, 7/26-7/27, Blessing of Grandparents at all Masses
     

Parish Finances

Our Sunday Collection last week was $9,765.

Thank you for your generous return to our Lord!

For more information on our finances, click here.


Within the Sanctuary

Sat 6/14 4p Kathleen Hicks, (Lector) • David Bouchie, Micky Hennigan, (EMHC-CI) • J.Friedel, (Altar Boys)

Sun 6/15 9a Roger Cunningham, (Lector) • Alyssa Odom, (EMHC-CI) • R.&R.Cunningham, A.Behrendsen, (Altar Boys)

Sun 6/15 11a Greg Burke, (Lector) • Haley Johnson, (EMHC-CI) • W.Mayeux, I.Lovemore, (Altar Boys)

Sat 6/21 4p Levi Thompson, (Lector) • Nita Maggio, Elaine Bacon, (EMHC-CI) • J.Thibodaux, D.&M.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)

Sun 6/22 9a Sydney Frederick, (Lector) • Cissy Picou, (EMHC-CI) • C.&J.Cunningham, J.Miley, (Altar Boys)

Sun 6/22 11a Kathy Bundrick, (Lector) • Tara Whitehead, (EMHC-CI) • D.Thompson, M.Leone, E.Norwood, (Altar Boys)

*Altar Boys who are not scheduled may serve if space permits. Come to the Sacristy 10 minutes before Mass.


Memorials & Prayer Intentions
Holy Masses

  • Sat 4p: Sandi Ponthieux
  • Sat 5:30p: Ren Todtenbier
  • Sun 9a: Pro Populo
  • Sun 11a: William J. Stanton, Jr. & Sr. and Red & Sadie Thomas, Mazie Williamson
  • Sun 5p: Ada Gallien Evans
  • Mon 6:30a: Dicky & Janell de Vargas
  • Tue 6:30a: Billy Smith
  • Wed 6:30a: Clay Hennigan
  • Thu 6:30a: Mark Birch
  • Fri 6:30a: Sam Fowler
  • Sat 8a: Deceased Members of Giering & Erwin Families


Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for this Month are that the unemployed may receive support and find the work they need to live in dignity. And that, Europe may rediscover its Christian roots through the witness of believers.


Please pray for our Sick & Suffering: Lolette Allen, William Lynn Basco, Lauren Bienvenu, Bill Boone, Kathy Bostick, Tripp Bostick, Chad Bouchie, Mar-Lou Brasher, Marion Brossette, 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, Patsy Gallion, 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, Jaden Eli Lodridge, Patricia Loftin, Joseph Longo, Lisa Mack, Dominic Majorie, Faris Michael, Meg Michael, Lacey Mitchum, Mary Moss, Shane Niette, Mary Odom, Effie Patrick, Sharon Roach, Wes Rollo, Makaehan Ross, Shirley Roy, 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, & Chris Winder