From The Font
“Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair? When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies, it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die. But if he turns from the wickedness he has committed, he does what is right and just, he shall preserve his life.”
Many non-Catholics and those interested in conversion get stuck in the same place when discussing the mercy of God and His Church. They can’t fathom how God could forgive the most heinous sins just because the one who did the sin is sorry for it. How could God forgive a rapist or a murderer or a thief whose crimes can’t be undone or made right just because that person has asked for forgiveness?
It’s really the same boggle that weighs down the older brother in the parable of the Prodigal Son. Those who have never felt the true pain of contrition simply can’t believe that someone who does something evil can have enough soul to be sorry for it… Like Socrates, he believes evil is merely the lack of understanding and discipline. But those who are close to sinners and who believe in sin at a visceral level know that contrition is nothing so easy as a shift in mind. The truly contrite have come to understand that sin has ripped their soul and that facing that damage is the only way to healing. They have discovered that sin isn’t a word on a list - it’s why the world is as broken as it is. And when that person faces the consequences of his or her actions, he or she discovers the futility of acting as one’s own messiah. Author JK Rowling uses the image of tearing to describe the fruit of sin. The primary antagonist in the Harry Potter series is Voldemort, a wizard who has torn his soul into seven pieces in an effort to gain immortality. The only way to put his soul back together is contrition… But the pain of the effort is beyond him and thus he is described as inhuman.
Jesus Himself tells the parable of the king and the servant which He concludes by asking “who will love him more?” The disciples answer, “the one who was forgiven more!”
In short, mercy seems foolish to the one who has not yet realized his own mercilessness. Forgiveness seems easy to one who has not realized his own need for it. Thanks be to God, though, that while we were still sinners, He died for us and showed us mercy we could never find on our own!
Insights From Second Street
Last week, I wrote about the relics on the altar. The include the True Cross of Jesus Christ, four unknown martyrs, Pope St. Pius X and St. Theresa of Avila. Interestingly and unbeknownst to me, Pope St. Pius X is also one of the relic placed inside the altar when Fr. Chemino had it installed in 2006 for the 150th anniversary of the Dedication of the Church.
Many will remember the spectacular ceremony surrounding the arrival of the relics of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus (of Lisieux). Fr. Chemino had seventy-two dozen roses around the Church as the children entered to great musical and ritual ceremony. Her relics - associated with many miracles - were enthroned inside the altar of sacrifice beneath the beautiful marble “mensa” which was itself cut from the same stone quarry as Michelangelo’s Pieta. The altar itself is a kind of wooden box (that was recently reinforced with a steel beam) inside of which is a small shelf to which is attached a reliquary similar to the ones on top of the altar. In that reliquary are the relics of Pope St. Pius X and St. Thérèse.
The story of St. Thérèse is truly amazing. She was born into a saintly family - both of her parents have been beatified and are expected to be canonized as saints. Even as a little child, Thérèse was devout. At the age of six, she experienced what she called “total conversion.” By the age of twelve, she was petitioning to enter the convent. At the age of 14, she went on pilgrimage to Rome and - through a series of events that can only be the work of the Holy Spirit - she met the Pope who gave her special permission to enter the convent early. The next year, she was accepted as a Carmelite.
From the very beginning of her religious life, Thérèse believed in a “Little Way.” She believed that small things done with great love mattered more than great things. She spent much of her religious life in and out of the sickbed and ultimately died at the age of 24.
Almost immediately, miracles became associated with her. She once wrote that she would “spend her heaven by doing good on earth.” She was canonized as a saint in 1914. In 1997, Pope St. John Paul II - who had a great devotion to her - named her a Doctor of the Church.
Thérèse remains a miracle worker to this day and her prayers are often sought for children and for those struggling to live the Christian life well.
PRIEST RETREAT Many priests of the diocese will be on retreat this week (9/29–10/3) at Maryhill. Please keep them in your prayers.
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.
PARISH SUPPER & CCD CLASS 10/1 Our next Parish Supper, Wed. Night Adult Catechism & CCD night will be Wednesday, Oct. 1st, at St. Mary’s. We’ll have food for free in the Cafeteria beginning at 5p (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!
ST. MARY’S FOOTBALL The next SMS Football game will be Fri., 10/3, against Haughton. Kickoff is at 7p at Haughton High School. Pray for a safe, fun and victorious season. GO TIGERS!
OCTOBER 4th IS A BASILICAN FEAST DAY Our next indulgenced Basilican Feast Day is Saturday, October 4th ― The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, Patron of the first Catholic Church in Natchitoches. Oct. 4th is also First Saturday, so we’ll have the usual 8a Mass, 8:45a Vocations Club, then the usual evening Mass at 4p. Both Masses will end with the proper prayers for the indulgence. All are welcome!
OCTOBER 11-12, 2014 - MARRIED COUPLES RETREAT The Office of Religious Formation and Training is hosting a Married Couples Retreat for all married couples with Chris O'Neill, a professor and currently a teacher at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Hammond. The retreat begins at 9a on Saturday and ends at noon on Sunday. It will be held at Maryhill Renewal Center - Ducote Hall. The cost is $120/couple and includes one night stay with meals. To register on-line or for more information, call 318-445-6424 ext 221 or www.diocesealex.org/youngadultministry.
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.
- Wed, 10/1, Parish Supper, CCD, & Wed. Night Adult Catechism, 5-7:30p @ St. Mary’s
- Fri, 10/3, SMS vs. Haughton, 7p (Away)
- Wed, 10/8, CCD Class & Wed. Night Adult Catechism, 6-7:30p @ St. Mary’s
- Thu, 10/9, SMS vs. Block, 7p @ Turpin Stadium
- Wed, 10/15, CCD Class & Wed. Night Adult Catechism, 6-7:30p @ St. Mary’s
- Fri, 10/17, SMS vs. Montgomery, 7p (Away)
- Mon-Wed, 10/20-10/29, 1st MBIC Pilgrimage to Italy
- Wed, 10/22, CCD Class & Wed. Night Adult Catechism, 6-7:30p @ St. Mary’s
- Fri, 10/24, SMS vs. Logansport, 7p (Away)
- Wed, 10/29, CCD Class & Wed. Night Adult Catechism, 6-7:30p @ St. Mary’s
- Fri, 10/31, Senior Night - SMS vs. LaSalle, 7p @ Turpin Stadium
- Wed, 11/5, Parish Supper, CCD, & Wed. Night Adult Catechism, 5-7:30p @ St. Mary’s
- Fri, 11/7, SMS vs. Northwood, 7p (Away)
Within the Sanctuary
Sat, 9/27 4p Levi Thompson, (Lector) • Michael & Joanne Yankowski, (EMHC-CI) • D.&M.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)
Sun, 9/28 9a Roger Cunningham, (Lector) • John Vandersypen, (EMHC-CI) • Edward & Cindy Smith, (EMHC-CH) • M.&P.Vienne, J.Miley, (Altar Boys)
Sun, 9/28 11a Gilen Norwood, (Lector) • Linda Lee, (EMHC-CI) • Joseph Sklar, Patsy Melder, (EMHC-CH) • A.&J.Parker, W.Lee, (Altar Boys)
Sat, 10/4 4p Kathleen Hicks, (Lector) • Micky Hennigan, David Bouchie, (EMHC-CI) • J.Thibodaux, C.J.Bouchie, (Altar Boys)
Sun, 10/5 9a Stephen Taylor, (Lector) • Cissy Picou, (EMHC-CI) • James & Betty Durham, (EMHC-CH) • R.&R.Cunningham, A.Behrendsen, (Altar Boys)
Sun, 10/5 11a Ed Giering, (Lector) • Lucile Ingram, (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
The Sanctuary Candle this week is offered in memory of Calvert Scott by Adele Scott.
The Sanctuary Flowers this week are offered in honor of the Choirs of Angels & the Archangels by Br. Michael David, Soli Deo Gloria.
- Sat 4p: Red & Sadie Thomas & Madeline Matthews
- Sun 9a: Pro Populo
- Sun 11a: Richard Ragland & Wallace Firman
- Sun 5p: Owen Elliot Black
- Mon 6:30a: Fr. Jaime Medina-Cruz
- Mon 8a: Lillian Anne Giering
- Tue 6:30a: Francis Cecelia Michael
- Wed 6:30a: Dicky & Janell de Vargas
- Thu 6:30a: Kerry Friedman
- Fri 6:30a: Mary Jean Thomas
- Sat 8a: Audrey Troquille Grant
Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for this Month are that the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life. And that, Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.
Please pray for our Recently Deceased: Mrs. Martha LaCaze
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, Sonya Campbell, Carolyn Carter, Marie Charleville, 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, Elizabeth Governale, Joyce Hayne, Deborah G. Hernandez, Sue Van Hook, Kalita Jones, EvaGrace Keyser, Gary Kilgore, Jheanny Ladao, Jaden Eli Lodridge, Patricia Loftin, Joseph Longo, Mary Frances Lowrey, Lisa Mack, Dominic Majorie, Danny Manuel, Jack McCain Jr., 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