From The Font

“Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.”

And so we have one of the most complex and difficult questions in all of scriptural study - why doesn’t Jesus want people to know who He really is? And it’s a good question! Jesus, after all, came as the “incarnate Son of God.” He is the teacher. He is the “bridegroom.” He “is the vine” and we “are the branches.” He is the center of our faith… And if this were the only time Jesus told His disciples to shush, we could dismiss it or talk around it. But it happens all the time. 

Jesus tells those He heals to be quiet. He pulls His disciples aside and tells them truths that He consciously hides from others. He reveals Himself to the apostles in ways that He doesn’t to other disciples. He doesn’t speak up to people in authority… But at the same time, Jesus still heals. He works public miracles. He teaches. It doesn’t make sense! 

In fact, in the minds of most Protestant scholars, this gigantic problem (which is part of the larger “synoptic problem”) is usually just washed over as Jesus being forced to play politics. Of course, that answer isn’t very satisfying when we think about how politically incorrect Jesus is. A far better answer is found in the Church. And I mean that literally. The Church is the answer. If Jesus had come to create a cult of personality around Himself, then he would have made Himself the center of all things. But He doesn’t. Even when He works a miracle, He points to God the Father. Jesus reminds us that everything He says He heard from His Father. 

Now, if Jesus came not to create a cult of personality, but to establish a Church… Then He would have to walk a tightrope. He would need to establish enough credibility (by teaching and by miracles) to get things going, but also point beyond Himself both vertically (to God) and horizontally (to the future leaders of that Church). He would also need to train the future leaders (by private instruction and by example). He would also need to establish the Church in a living and organic way - as both a natural and supernatural institution - (on the rock of Peter) rather than in a merely intellectual way (based on a sacred text like Judaism or Islam). 

In fact, a thorough study of the Scriptures reveals exactly that Jesus clearly came to establish a Church - not merely to stand as the Messiah that the Jews expected. And it’s only in light of this that we’re able to explain his seemingly problematic behavior… 

Insights From Second Street

The beginning of anything is always a time of possibilities. Even though the kids are usually grumpy at the beginning of school, there’s an electricity and an excitement. It’s actually a great moment for reflection upon our lives. It’s not by accident that we start off thriving on change and newness and grow to prefer stability and regularity. If each decision in life is a choice for one thing and against a thousand others, as we age we say “no” far more than we say “yes.” We begin to appreciate the importance and the essential role that saying “no” plays in our lives and we learn to relish those rare moments of “yes” that bring us a kind of new youth.

It’s easy, though, to get sullen and locked in as we see the number of years on this Earth shift in balance. As the number ahead lessens and the number behind grows, there’s an odd sense that somehow we are more limited that we used to be. But no Christian should ever feel that what is ahead is less! What is ahead is death, judgement and our eternal reward. Every day counts toward that judgement! Everyday is nothing but “yes” if we want to go to heaven. Every day is an adventure! Whether we’re in a nursing home, a coma, a book club or a seniors’ mountain climbing society… Every day as a Christian has eternal consequence and what lies ahead is infinite whereas what lies behind is finite.

As the kids barrel down the newly painted halls, the chaos and the noise are a reminder to all of us of the potential of youth! But youth is not all good. Youth is unformed, undisciplined, unpossessed and unable to be put entirely at the service of the Lord. Age and wisdom shape youthful energy into strength, courage, virtue, holiness and sanctity which God uses to bring about true good in our families, our community and our world. The kids at St. Mary’s are a lot like a powerful river somewhere flowing with mighty strength and potential… But it’s only when the well-planned, well-formed architect designs the dam and the power-plant that the river is truly made useful and beneficial. 

And so this beginning reminds us of our ongoing purpose and mission to form ourselves and to allow ourselves to be formed by God at each moment. There’s a pop song that says it well: “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” May our beginnings be oriented toward our true end: eternal life in Jesus Christ!

The Jargon…

by: Tommy Myrick

The Church encourages us to take an active part in the New Evangelization. However, this term is not always understood. How do we become part of the New Evangelization? What is our part in sharing the Gospel with the world?

We don't have to start going door to door to evangelize our community. Many times, our Faith must speak for itself. The first step in undertaking the New Evangelization is making sure that we ourselves are first being evangelized. This means that we must be fostering within ourselves and our families a deep prayer life.

The most important aspect of this type of prayer life is regular attendance of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. People throughout the ages have come to believe by witnessing the Sacred Liturgy. There have been several saints that have converted to the Faith after attending Mass as a non-believer. Invite your friends to church. Answer questions they have as you are able. If there are questions that you cannot answer, ask your priest.

The next step is to take the Faith out into the world. We are called to be witnesses to the truth, a city on a hill that cannot be hidden. We can do this by living our prayer life publically. We are called to practice abstinence and penance every Friday (not just during Lent). We don't have to do as the Pharisees and blow horns and make proclamations that we are doing penance. We simply let our actions speak for themselves. I had the opportunity to witness to a young woman at a local grocery store. She was curious about the items I was purchasing. I explained that it was Friday, and that all Catholics are to practice some form of abstinence and penance every Friday. I was the second person that day to explain that to her! If we plant seeds, there will eventually be a harvest!

If we begin to make a conscious effort to grow in our Faith, others will take notice. Some will become interested themselves. Who knows how many lives we will touch when we make our Faith real for ourselves and each other!

Parish News

PARISH SUPPER & CCD BEGIN 9/3 Our first Parish Supper, Wed. Night Adult Catechism & CCD night will be Wednesday, Sept. 3rd, at St. Mary’s. We’ll have food for free in the Cafeteria (donations welcome). At 6p, the kids will go to CCD and Fr. Ryan will give a talk in the Chapel for all who are interested. Invite other parishioners and/or your non-Catholic friends to attend!

FOOTBALL JAMBOREE IS AUGUST 29th The annual NSU High School Football Jamboree will be Friday, 8/29, at Turpin Stadium. The game schedule is: 6p - Loyola vs. Winnfield • 7:15p - Natch. Central vs. Leesville • 8:30p - St. Mary’s vs. Many • Advanced Tickets will go on sale at St. Mary’s Monday, 8/25, for $8. (All advanced ticket proceeds will go to St. Mary’s.) Tickets will also be on sale for $10 at the front gate on the day of the Jamboree. Please come out & cheer on our local teams!

VIRTUS SEMINAR COMING UP Anyone interested in volunteering to work with children in the Church/at St. Mary's, needs to be certified in order to do so. Volunteers can meet that obligation at any VIRTUS seminar. Upcoming seminar will be: Tues, 9/2: 6pm @ St. Mary's Library.

PRIEST RETREAT Fr. Stephen will be out of town on Retreat Monday, 8/25 - Friday, 8/29.  Please keep him in your prayers. 

NEW LAY-LED SPIRITUALITY COURSE Mrs. Eve James and Mrs. Kathy Merrick will lead a small group spirituality course based on the teachings of St. Ignatius of Loyola entitled “Lord, Teach me to Pray.” The groups will meet weekly for 12 consecutive weeks beginning in September. One group will meet at Monday 3:30p and the other on Thursday at 6:30p. The course is not operated by the Minor Basilica; it is lay-led. For more information, contact Mrs. Eve James at (318) 352-4391.

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.

Parish Events

  • Fri, 8/29, NSU High School Football Jamboree
  • Mon, 9/1, Parish Office CLOSED, Labor Day
  • Wed, 9/3, 1st Parish Supper, CCD Class, & Wed. Night Adult Catechism, 5-7:30p @ St. Mary’s
  • 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 @ St. Mary’s
  • Wed, 9/17, CCD Class & Wed. Night Adult Catechism, 6-7:30p @ St. Mary’s
  • Wed, 9/24, CCD Class & Wed. Night Adult Catechism, 6-7:30p @ St. Mary’s
  • Thu, 9/25, Women's Resource Center Gala, 5:30p

Parish Finances

Our Sunday Collection last week was $7,028. 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, 8/23 4p Levi Thompson, (Lector) • Carl Henry, Elaine Bacon, (EMHC-CI) • D.&M.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)

Sun, 8/24 9a Karen Apponey, (Lector) • John Vandersypen, (EMHC-CI) • Edward & Cindy Smith, (EMHC-CH) • J.Miley, M.&P.Vienne, (Altar Boys)

Sun, 8/24 11a Ed Giering, (Lector) • Joseph Sklar, (EMHC-CI) • Sam & Lillie Misuraca, (EMHC-CH) • C.Fisher, S.&V.Maggio, (Altar Boys)

Sat, 8/30 4p Elaine Bacon, (Lector) • Kathleen Hicks, Jimmy Gunter, (EMHC-CI) • D.Bennett, J.Friedel, (Altar Boys)

Sun, 8/31 9a Rebecca Lavespere, (Lector) • Buddy Giering, (EMHC-CI) • James & Betty Durham, (EMHC-CH) • A.&C.Lirette, S.&T.Lirette, (Altar Boys)

Sun, 8/31 11a Joe Payne Williams, (Lector) • Patsy Melder, (EMHC-CI) • Jean Gill, Linda Lee, (EMHC-CH) • 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

The Sanctuary Candle this week is offered for the Special Intentions of the Ahren Family by Sarah Ahren.

The Sanctuary Flowers and icons this week are offered in celebration of Sr. Lindsay Anne Durham and Sr. Theresa Diem Khong on their First Profession of Religious Vows to the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and Brother Michael David for 43 years as a Consecrated Religious.

Holy Masses

  • Sat 4p: Mark Birch & Rusty Bostick
  • Sun 9a: Essie Mae Huckaby
  • Sun 11a: Pro Populo
  • Sun 5p: Eula Henry
  • Mon 6:30a: Dicky & Janell de Vargas
  • Mon 8a: Dora & Gerald Jeansonne
  • Tue 6:30a: David M. Smith
  • Wed 6:30a: Harry Gongre, Jr.
  • Thu 6:30a: Janell de Vargas
  • Fri 6:30a: John & Susan Godfrey
  • Sat 8a: Bill Boone

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 Recently Deceased: Mrs. Ora Lee Young & Mr. Michael Bouchie

Please pray for our Sick & Suffering: Lolette Allen, William Lynn Basco, Lauren Bienvenu, Tripp Bostick, Chad Bouchie, Mar-Lou Brasher, Cayleigh Braud, 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, Kramer Gahagan, Vicki Gahagan, Patsy Gallion, Sophie Gill, Christi Gootee, Joyce Hayne, Deborah G. Hernandez, Sue Van Hook, Kalita Jones, EvaGrace Keyser, Gary Kilgore, Martha LaCaze, Jheanny Ladao, Jaden Eli Lodridge, Patricia Loftin, Joseph Longo, Lisa Mack, Dominic Majorie, Danny Manuel, Jack McCain Jr., Faris Michael, Meg Michael, Lacey Mitchum, Mary Moss, Shane Niette, Mary Odom, Sharon Roach, Wes Rollo, Makaehan Ross, Shirley Roy, Lillian Ryals, Joseph Ryan, Donna Slaughter, Lil Taylor, Clay Thompson, Ren Todtenbier, Brent Trichel, Rosalind Trussell, Patricia Vazquez, Julien Vienne, Ruthie J. Wallboughly, Jessica Warner, Janine Waters, & Glen & Mary Williams