It’s always Peter who speaks for the apostles. Almost from the very beginning, Peter is the spokesman… Maybe it’s because he couldn’t keep his mouth shut… Maybe it’s because he was elected… Maybe it’s because he was appointed by God… Most certainly the later. Still, St. Peter is the one we turn to for the voice of the followers of Jesus. Even today, 20 centuries laters, we look to Peter. There have been good popes, bad popes, heretic popes, saint popes, warrior popes, monk popes, greedy popes and pretty much any other kind of pope you want in the list of the 265 successors of St. Peter. And in all that time, the Church has survived and thrived in all kinds of environments ranging from vicious persecution to official state recognition. It all seems to come back, though, to Peter.
Peter was an everyman. He was what we would call working poor. He was neither deeply religious nor especially virtuous nor supernaturally learned. He sinned and fell short of the Glory of God in his daily life. He was you and me. He imbibed the culture in which he lived. He was open to the spiritual realities of life - something that may be more difficult for us now than in his time… He was just another guy. And yet God chose him parallel to the way in which God chose Mary and John the Baptist and Jeremiah and St. Paul and a young actor/soccer goalie from Wadowice, Poland, named Karol Wojtyła. God revealed Himself to this young fisherman through a small miracle (the multiplication of a catch of fish) that modern scientists and school teachers would explain away in an instant. God showed him, for a single moment, the true breadth and depth of this life when it is offered entirely to Jesus. And then, after giving him a choice, Jesus started walking on the beach and left it to Peter to decide. Once Peter said yes, everything changed. It was then that Peter began to speak profound prophecies and to recognize Jesus as the Christ. Just like us, it was in his choice to accept God’s offering that he was made a new creation in Christ. And just like us, his life was required of him! For some of us sooner, for some of us later… For all of us, though, Peter is a kind of spiritual mirror in which we ought to recognize ourselves.
Insights From Second Street
“‘Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter said in reply, ‘You are the Christ.’” Well, they can’t all be right… Can they?
There is a right answer (Simon Peter’s) and a wrong answer… The inimitable Bishop Fulton Sheen wrote an essay which began with this passage. The essay was entitled “A Plea for Intolerance.” Tolerance is the golden calf of all dying cultures. No longer do we strive for excellence or truth - only uniformity. Tolerance, like quiet or sin, is not something in itself, but the absence of something. Tolerance is the absence of courage. Rather than inspire others to excellence or salvation - we are simply to accept that those around us - those we love even - will never be more than they are. If they wallow in the filth of sin, I will leave them to it. If they walk the wrong way, I smile encouragingly as they do so. Worst of all - if they truly hunger and thirst for truth, tolerance requires that I let them wander in starvation rather than feed them with the Truth… And all of this is done under the Satanic mantra “who am I” to judge, to lead, to correct, to admonish… Who am I… Who indeed?
YOU ARE A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST! That’s who you are. You are not preaching your own invented ideas! You’re not selling snake oil! You are someone who has found the Truth and that Truth has set you free… And yet many Catholics take the easy way out. How many of us have friends or family who use contraception? How many have opted to embrace the gay lifestyle? How many have continued to cast their vote for pro-abortion politicians? How many stand by and watch those same people go to Holy Communion week after week and “eat and drink condemnation upon themselves.” How many of us have chosen the cowardice of tolerance?
Now I’m not advocating what is too often called intolerance: hatred and condemnation! Uncharity has no place in the Christian life! Not ever! The true opposite of tolerance, though, is not what we now call intolerance, but courage. The intolerance Bishop Sheen is proposing is a call for courage and not imposing my will upon others! We have allowed our language to be reconditioned for too long. We have come to believe that cowardice in the name of tolerance is a good thing… But if Our Lord calls us to follow him and “to speak the truth in season and out of season,” how can we refuse?
JOIN US TO STAND FOR LIFE! Learn about what’s happening in the pro-life movement around the Nation and how you can get involved in the efforts to end abortion! Monday, June 30th, at the Natchitoches Arts Center, from 6-7:30p. Free admission. Free food provided. Donations are welcome. RSVPs appreciated. Contact Ryan Verret at email@example.com or 337-257-3029 — OR — Dr. Kimberly Litton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 318-613-5215.
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.
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL The MBIC will be hosting its annual Vacation Bible School at St. Mary’s School July 14-18, from 8a-Noon. Children between the ages of 4-12 are invited to attend. There is a suggested donation of $5 per child. Virtus trained teenager and adult volunteers are needed. For more information and/or to register as a volunteer or attendee, contact Jennifer Maggio at email@example.com or pick up registration forms at the back of the Church or at the Parish Office.
MBIC SOUP KITCHEN IN NEED! The Food Pantry for the MBIC Soup Kitchen is in need of items. Anyone interested in donating non-perishable items and/or canned goods can drop these items off at the Parish Office Monday-Thursday between 8a-11a and 1p-4p. There will also be a donation box in the Parish Hall for those interested in dropping off items there. Our food drive will end Sunday, July 6th. For more information, feel free to contact the Office at 318-352-3422.
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.
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.
Our Sunday Collection last week was $6,567.
Thank you for your generous return to our Lord!
For more information on our finances, click here.
Within the Sanctuary
Sat 6/28 4p Kathleen Hicks, (Lector) • Michael & Joanne Yankowski, (EMHC-CI) • J.Friedel, D.Bennett, (Altar Boys)
Sun 6/29 9a Karen Apponey, (Lector) • John Vandersypen, (EMHC-CI) • M.McCart, G.Fidelak, T.Hare, (Altar Boys)
Sun 6/29 11a John Laborde, (Lector) • Barbara Laborde, (EMHC-CI) • C.Fisher, S.&V.Maggio, (Altar Boys)
Sat 7/5 4p Mike Bouchie, (Lector) • Carl Henry, Jimmy Gunter, (EMHC-CI) • C.J.Bouchie, J.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)
Sun 7/6 9a John Ackel, (Lector) • Buddy Giering, (EMHC-CI) • George & John Henry Ingrish, (Altar Boys)
Sun 7/6 11a Gilen Norwood, (Lector) • Lillie Misuraca, (EMHC-CI) • W.Lee, A.&J.Parker, (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: James O Gunter
- Sat 5:30p: Richard deVargas
- Sun 9a: Special Intentions
- Sun 11a: Richard Ragland & Ruth Marie Smith
- Sun 5p: Pro Populo
- Mon 6:30a: Harry Gongre, Jr.
- Tue 6:30a: Deceased Members of Ray & Gwen Ponthieux Families
- Wed 6:30a: Janell de Vargas
- Thu 6:30a: Fair Hyams
- Fri 6:30a: Carmelete & Sam Maggio & deceased family
- Sat 8a: Sylvian LeVasseur
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, 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, Danny Manuel, Faris Michael, Meg Michael, Lacey Mitchum, Mary Moss, Shane Niette, Mary Odom, 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