From The Font

"His heart was moved with pity for them."

It may seem a little condescending to us who value independence so highly, but these words of St. Matthew ought to bring great consolation. Just as the jazzy song says: “Come just as you are.” The Lord invites us to be near Him not because we’re perfect, but because we’ve sought Him. 

The crazy thing about the human heart is that while it is fickle and while it somehow likes Romantic Comedies starring Jennifer Aniston, it does these things because it is searching for the truth. As St. Augustine said, “My heart is restless until it rests in Thee.” That longing of the heart for the beloved is less of a search for something and more of a homesickness for someone. Whether we can pinpoint it or not - whether we’d use these words or not - every human heart was “knit together is the mother’s womb” by Jesus “through whom all things were made.” “Without Him, nothing was made.” That longing to be back home is within us as a kind of homing beacon that calls us to a destination that seems foreign even though it’s more natural than anything else created. But as the apostle Thomas says when Jesus tells him, “where I am going, you know the way,” “Lord, we don’t know where You are going, how can we know the way?” We all feel that question in our bones!

The fact is that we “see now dimly as in a mirror.” But that will not be the case for all time. Rather, one day “we will see Him as He is.” Until then, we humble ourselves and ask for direction. And we do it for the one reason that every man on every highway in the world refuses to admit - we just can’t figure it out on our own! There is no soulless GPS to direct us; we actually have to stop and ask for directions. And once we have those directions, we have to follow them! We can’t invent our own shortcuts and we can’t make our own course corrections. We have to stop, over and over, and ask for guidance from the Lord, Himself, and from the Church who knows the roads by long experience.

God demands this of us for one reason, because it is necessary. We have to remember that when God made this world, “His heart was moved with pity.” When Adam and Eve screwed it up, “His heart was moved with pity.” When our parents gave us life, “His heart was moved with pity.” And now, as we long for our real home, His heart is moved with pity. The Lord loves us - let us follow after Him.

Insights From Second Street

Since about the 8th century, the Church has recognized the need to have different levels of solemnity at Mass. Some Masses need to be simple, some need to be ornate and some need to be a mixture. Some Churches can and should do better music. Some can have a cadre of thirty altar boys. Some just can’t. And so three levels arose that would be ordinary parts of the ordinary parish: The Low Mass, the High Mass and the Solemn Mass.

The Low Mass was to have little or no music. It was to have fewer servers and less ceremony. It was, in a word, to be practical. The Solemn Mass was to be very ornate. It has more servers, more ceremony, more solemnity. It was to be like heaven coming down into the sanctuary. The High Mass - the middle ground - was to be a simplified form of the Solemn Mass. It was still supposed to be heaven on Earth, but in a way that required fewer resources and that could be repeated weekly.

In practice, most parishes between the 8th century and 1960, had a High Mass or two weekly and a few Low Masses. The Solemn Mass was reserved for special occasions. In 1962, the Second Vatican Council argued that every Sunday Mass should be a High Mass. Some parishes tried that, but it was harder than anyone expected. (For once, Natchitoches was not the exception to the rule!) Nowadays, more and more parishes are returning to the tried and true method of Degrees of Solemnity. 

In practice here at Immaculate, the Sat 4p has been, basically, a Low Mass. It has fewer servers, no incense, less ceremony and less music. The Sun 9a and 11a are High Masses with incense, fancier vestments, the presence of the deacon, more servers, more ceremony and more music. This division works well theologically and it works well as a function of our purpose as a Minor Basilica. 

Our plan is to continue this basic division. We’re going to remove a few of the sung parts from the 4p Mass - those which we are allowed to remove - and allow the Mass to be a little simpler. What we are not planning to do, though, is to make way for a Sat 4p “blue jean” Mass. That would be on the edge of sacrilege. The Mass may be simple, but it must never become casual - we must never reduce the Holy Sacrifice of Calvary to what is more convenient. Rather, we must consciously and deliberately offer ourselves to the Lord in a mode that is most conducive to prayer and spiritual growth. And that, we can do.

Parish News

AUGUST 5th IS A BASILICAN FEAST DAY Tuesday, August 5th, is the Feast of Our Lady of the Snows. A Plenary Indulgence has been extended by the Holy Father for our Church. We will have a simple Mass at 6:30a and a festal Mass at 6p. Both Masses will end with the proper prayers for the Plenary Indulgence. All are welcome!

MBIC CALENDAR CORRECTION Due to unexpected scheduling conflicts, our parish Wednesday Night Adult Catechism events at St. Mary’s will now begin in September. The August parish supper that would have served as a kickoff, has been moved to September 3rd. Apologies for the inconvenience.

TAA GUN RAFFLE The St. Mary’s Tiger Athletic Association is sponsoring a year long gun raffle. There are 105 prizes and every ticket has 105 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, the MBIC Parish Office, or from any member of the TAA. Tickets are limited and cost $100 each. The 1st drawing will be Wednesday, October 1st.

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.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! Radio Maria is requesting volunteers on Wednesday, August 6, from 9:30am till noon to help fold, stuff and label letters for Radio Maria announcements.  We will meet in the Church Hall at St. Augustine Church.  The letters are to the KBIO radio market only.  We can be contacted at 888-408-0201.

CONFESS YOUR SINS & BE WASHED CLEAN Remember that father is in the confessional 30m before weekday Masses and 45m before weekend Masses. Drop in and get yourself right with the Lord. The Act of Contrition is on the wall and there’s a cheat sheet outside the confessional. Don’t be deceived - we all need a regular confession. You can find confession cards with the prayers and an examination of conscience in the pews and in the back of the Church!

Parish Events

  • Tue, 8/5, Indulgenced Feast Day - Feast of Our Lady of the Snows, Holy Mass @ 6:30a & 6p
  • Sat, 8/9, Day of Enrichment for Deacons in Honor of St. Lawrence
  • Fri, 8/15, Holy Day of Obligation - Assumption of the BVM, Holy Mass @ 6:30a & 6p
  • Fri, 8/15, 1st Day of School for St. Mary’s
  • Fri, 8/22, SMS Steak Supper
  • Fri, 8/29, Natchitoches High School Football Jamboree
  • Mon, 9/1, Office CLOSED, Labor Day
  • Wed, 9/3, 1st Parish Supper, CCD Class, & Wed. Night Adult Catechism, 5-7:30p
  • Fri, 9/5, First Friday, Benediction of the MBS, 5:15p
  • Sat, 9/6, First Saturday, Vocations Club of Natch. Meeting, 8:45a
  • Sat, 9/6, Mother-Daughter Champagne Brunch, 9a 
  • Tue, 9/9, Magnificat Pilgrimage Meeting, 6p
  • Wed, 9/10, CCD Class & Wed. Night Adult Catechism, 6-7:30p
  • Wed, 9/17, CCD Class & Wed. Night Adult Catechism, 6-7:30p
  • Wed, 9/24, CCD Class & Wed. Night Adult Catechism, 6-7:30p
  • Thu, 9/25, Women's Resource Center Gala, 5:30p

Parish Finances

Our Sunday Collection last week was $5,771. Thank you for your generous return to our Lord!

To Donate Onlineclick here or scroll to the bottom of this page.

For more information on our parish finances, click here.

Within the Sanctuary

Sat, 8/2 4p Levi Thompson, (Lector) • Michael & Joanna Yankowski, (EMHC-CI) • David & Matthew Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)

Sun, 8/3 9a Roger Cunningham, (Lector) • Alice Barrios, (EMHC-CI) • Reagan & Ryan Cunningham, Tristan Hare, (Altar Boys)

Sun, 8/3 11a Kathy Bundrick, (Lector) • Patsy Melder, (EMHC-CI) • Adam & Jay Parker, Warner Lee, (Altar Boys)

Sat, 8/9 4p Kathleen Hicks, (Lector) • David Bouchie, Micky Hennigan, (EMHC-CI) • Jeremy Friedel, (Altar Boys)

Sun, 8/10 9a John Ackel, (Lector) • John Cunningham, (EMHC-CI) • Jeff & Carol Green, Michael King, (EMHC-CH) • C.Cunningham, B.Behrendsen, M.McCart, (Altar Boys)

Sun, 8/10 11a John Laborde, (Lector) • Cecilia Cook, (EMHC-CI) • Chris & Jennifer Maggio, (EMHC-CH) • W.Mayeux, J.Burrell, S.Maggio, (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: Daniel Chesal
  • Sun 9a: Sister Lindsay Durham
  • Sun 11a: Gene Doll, Shirley Ragland, & Red & Sadie Thomas
  • Sun 5p: Pro Populo
  • Mon 6:30a: Special Intentions
  • Tue 6:30a: Deceased Members of Ray & Gwen Ponthieux Families
  • Wed 6:30a: Mervin LeBlanc
  • Thu 6:30a: Janell de Vargas
  • Fri 6:30a: Tony Ruggiero & Laura Marr Johnson
  • Sat 8a: Patricia LeBlanc & Christopher S. Metoyer

Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for this Month are that refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights. And that, Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.

Please pray for our Sick & Suffering: Lolette Allen, William Lynn Basco, Lauren Bienvenu, Kathy Bostick, Tripp Bostick, Chad Bouchie, Mar-Lou Brasher, Marion Brossette, Flo Brouillette, Bailey Byrd, Carolyn Carter, Marie Charleville, Lauren Clancey, Emilia Cofio, Woody Cox, Kim Cunningham, Lela Mae Dalme, Joe Davis, John DeFee, Richard DeVargas, RJ Ducote, Angela Eversall, Marguerite Felchle, Tom Foshee, Reba Friday, Paula Gagymad, Vicki Gahagan, Patsy Gallion, Sophie Gill, Christi Gootee, Joyce Hayne, Deborah G. Hernandez, Frederick Hickman, Sue Van Hook, Kalita Jones, EvaGrace Keyser, Gary Kilgore, Martha LaCaze, Jheanny Ladao, Raymond Litton, Jaden Eli Lodridge, Patricia Loftin, Joseph Longo, Lisa Mack, Dominic Majorie, Danny Manuel, Dave McGee, Faris Michael, Meg Michael, Lacey Mitchum, Mary Moss, Shane Niette, Mary Odom, Sharon Roach, Wes Rollo, Makaehan Ross, Shirley Roy, Joseph Ryan, Donna Slaughter, Clay Thompson, Ren Todtenbier, Brent Trichel, Rosalind Trussell, Patricia Vazquez, Julien Vienne, Ruthie J. Wallboughly, Tyler Ward, Jessica Warner, Janine Waters, & Glen & Mary Williams