From The Font

“Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”

That’s faith! Peter had no reason to think that this would work. Like so many things, he probably just opened his mouth and the words were past his lips before he even registered what he was saying… What’s more, Jesus didn’t need to prove Himself. Perhaps the most interesting detail of the story is that Peter gives Jesus the order to call him, but doesn’t act until Jesus obeys. It’s such an odd story of mutual obedience.

The thing about obedience to God is that everything is ordered by God. From those parts of evolution that are true (and there are lots) to the natural law of our human hearts to the religious law of the Church that decides you can’t get married on a Sunday in Lent - all of creation is ordered by the mind of God “which confounds the wisest of the wise.” Human wisdom is just so limited! And so Peter asks the Lord to call Him.

Think of how radically different things would’ve gone had Peter decided to rush in without being called. In the mind of the world, the thing is the thing - the act is the act - and intention and purpose and divine call are meaningless attributes. For the world, contraception doesn’t matter because it’s no big deal - even though most contraceptive pills are Class I carcinogens. And sure, medicine is medicine. But intention and purpose and command are not meaningless additions. Murder is not bad because a heart stops beating - murder is bad because it makes the killer into a false God. Homosexual activity is not bad because of medical reasons or even because emotional love is lacking - it’s bad because it is contrary to the command of God. 

So it is that Peter proves in this story that the commands of God trump even the laws of nature. His intention to follow the commands of God take precedence even over the fact that churning water can’t support any weight at all. And when he takes his eyes off of Jesus, even for an instant, he is lost.

This story is a powerful witness to us of the power and value of obedience as the highest form of love. If all love is sacrifice, then obedience is a sacrifice of the most fundamental power that we have - the power of choice. Real love puts the beloved about everything else - it is the height of unfairness and injustice (in a good way). This same injustice is what God promises to us at the moment of Eternal Judgement if we love Him by following His commands!

Insights From Second Street

The Greek Philosopher Archimedes famously said: "Give me a fulcrum and I shall move the Earth!" The fulcrum of anything is that central point to which every part looks for its balance, support and grounding. In the Holy Mass, that central point in Jesus Christ. Christ is present bodily in the tabernacle. He is present actually, but not bodily, in the Priest and the Altar. He is present mystically in the congregation. As in life, all things in the Church are hierarchical. 

Because Christ is present in three modes in the Church during Mass, there is a logical layout (or "ordination") of worship. Logically, the tabernacle is the center with an image of Christ crucified above it. Everything is ordered to that beating heart of the Church. Also logically, the altar and the priest are "at" the tabernacle. The mystical Body of Christ (the faithful in the congregation), then, are situated near to the sacrificial altar. 

From about 325AD until 1969, that meant that everyone in the Church (priest and faithful) faced the crucifix & tabernacle together. In that posture, the entire Christ stands united (head, actuality and mystical body). In 1969, a German fad wherein the priest faced the congregation with his back to the tabernacle, gained widespread popularity. (No mention of this experiment was made in Vatican II.) It spread like wildfire. Rome, of course, asked priests and bishops to stop. After some years, the practice was "tolerated." Some experts searched history books to find justifications in history, but nothing of substance was found. In our time, the practice is retained by sheer force of momentum. "People like it." Of course, Mass attendance among Catholics is down by over 50% since the practice was begun, so there are some serious questions to be asked about the value of continuing the experimental practice…

I should add at this point that all of the above points in this little article come not from Fr. Ryan Humphries but from Pope Benedict XVI in his book "The Spirit of the Liturgy." In that same text, Pope Benedict advises priests to ensure that the altar is always decorated with six candlesticks and an image of the Christ. These decorations should be large enough to make clear that Christ, neither the priest nor the congregation, is the center (fulcrum) of the action at Holy Mass. For the vast majority of the Mass, the priest is interacting with the congregation, but when He is at the Altar, the priest is addressing God the Father in Heaven, made present most perfectly in Christ in the tabernacle. Until such time as the force of momentum makes the more correct orientation possible, the appointments on the altar are placed to remind everyone - priest and congregation - that we are not the fulcrum, Christ is the fulcrum. 

The Jargon…

by: Tommy Myrick

Just recently I attended the 2014 CMAA Colloquium. The Colloquium is an annual gathering of Catholic musicians in America, but also draws international interests as well. There were priests and musicians from France, England, Uganda, and Canada as well. We had workshops, breakout sessions, and opportunities to sing in a number of different scholas and choirs. There was Mass every day with music provided by the different scholas and choirs. It was a deeply spiritual and educational experience!

On July 4th, the fourth full day of the Colloquium, we had Mass in the Ordinary Form at St. John the Evangelist Church in Indianapolis, IN. On this day, lots of people were coming into the city to enjoy some of the local festivities. There were rock bands, event security, all kinds of interesting people, and about 240 participants in this year’s Colloquium. Needless to say, it was an interesting mix!!!

On this day, I realized why the Church has to be something not of this world. Outside there was loud music (which could be heard inside the church), the hustle and bustle of this fast paced world, and hundreds (if not thousands) of souls wandering here and there. In the midst of this modern chaos, we who were attending the Colloquium were assembling to take part in Holy Mass. Here, we had stepped out of time and space to be with our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. It was not like anything you could find on the streets of Indianapolis at the time.

While all this was happening inside the church, outside a rock band was beginning to play. You could hear the growls of guitars and the pounding of drums during the quieter parts of the Mass. After the Mass, we had Benediction, and one of the polyphonic choirs sang a lovely contemporary arrangement of “O Saving Victim” by Zachary Wadsworth. At this point, one line from the piece stood out: “Our foes press on from every side, thine strength bestow”. This is not in reference to the rock band, however.

Our foes are the Devil, all his agents, and the tactics they use to separate us from the love of God. Outside those church walls, there were any number of distractions and temptations for the occasion of sin. Remember, people are not your enemy. As it says in Ephesians 6:12- “For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.” Fight against the adversary with prayers and supplications. Strengthen yourself by going to Mass and receiving the spiritual nourishment that is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Finally, remember that even though our foes close in on every side, that Jesus said, “and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it (the Church)”-Matthew 16:18

Parish News

TAA STEAK SUPPER TICKETS FOR SALE! Steak Supper Ticket - $45 • 1 Steak Supper Ticket with a Fall Sports Pass - $100 • 2 Steak Supper Tickets with an All Sports Pass - $175 • You can purchase your tickets from Laura Friedel and the St. Mary’s students outside of Church this weekend or anytime at St. Mary’s School. The Steak Supper is Friday, August 22nd.

MBIC GIFT SHOP The August edition of the Magnificat and other new merchandise has arrived at the Gift Shop. Come by and see us sometime!

AUGUST 15th IS A HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION Holy Mass for the Assumption of Our Lady will be offered on Thursday night at 6p and on Friday at 6:30a and 6p. The Friday Evening Mass will be the “Conventual” Mass with music and incense. All other Masses will be “Simple” Masses.

DAILY MASS IS FOR EVERYONE Remember that we have daily Mass here at Immaculate at 6:30am Monday through Friday and at 8am on Saturday. Monday, 8/11, the 8am Mass at St. Mary’s will begin again.

THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL IS AUGUST 15th Everyone is asked to start praying for St. Mary’s as the teachers begin their preparation and the kids begin grieving the loss of 10am wake up calls. St. Thomas Aquinas, patron of students, pray for us all!

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, 8/15, 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, 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 $9,695. 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, 8/9 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)

Sat, 8/16 4p Mike Bouchie, (Lector) • Nita Maggio, Elaine Bacon, (EMHC-CI) • C.J.Bouchie, J.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)

Sun, 8/17 9a Sydney Frederick, (Lector) • Emelda Odom, (EMHC-CI) • Buddy Giering, Cissy Picou, (EMHC-CH) • G.Fidelak, G.&J.H.Ingrish, (Altar Boys)

Sun, 8/17 11a Gilen Norwood, (Lector) • Tara Whitehead, (EMHC-CI) • Haley Johnson, Barbara Laborde, (EMHC-CH) • D.Thompson, M.V.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

The Sanctuary Candle this week is offered in Memory of Shirley Ragland by Graham Ragland.

Holy Masses

  • Sat 4p: Shirley Slimer
  • Sun 9a: Pro Populo
  • Sun 11a: LaFoye Burkhalter
  • Sun 5p: Billy Smith
  • Mon 6:30a: David M. Smith
  • Mon 8a: Selma Shivers
  • Tue 6:30a: Barbara Patrick
  • Wed 6:30a: Essie Mae Huckaby
  • Thu 6:30a: Junior Sklar
  • Thu 6p: Ora Lee Young
  • Fri 6:30a: Ethel O. Mouch
  • Fri 6p: Pro Populo
  • Sat 8a: Shirley & Richard Ragland

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 

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, 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, 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, Lil Taylor, Clay Thompson, Ren Todtenbier, Brent Trichel, Rosalind Trussell, Patricia Vazquez, Julien Vienne, Ruthie J. Wallboughly, Tyler Ward, Jessica Warner, Janine Waters, & Glen & Mary Williams