From The Font
“This is exactly what you requested of the LORD, your God, at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let us not again hear the voice of the LORD, our God, nor see this great fire any more, lest we die.’”
The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence! Here are the Jews begging the Lord not to work miracles and not to the speak to them directly. Nowadays, most Christians - who stand on the other side of the fence of history - would scream just the opposite: “Make yourself known to us God! Show us a miracle.” Of course, that puts us in the company of King Herod who almost mocked Jesus with his requests for a show.
God’s revelation of Himself is not something that we can really understand. God is entirely, well, God. This world is His creation. What’s more, our human senses and our human minds simply aren’t equipped to perceive God, Himself. This is why the Hebrew scriptures are full of moments where God has to dull the senses of His prophets “lest they die.” Even the quotation above from our first reading includes this troublesome phrase. Just as too much sunlight can blind us and too much noise can deafen us... So, too, our senses cannot handle too much of God’s revelation. In some sense, we have to be careful what we ask for.
In addition to this matter of our capacity to perceive the revelation of God, there is the Divine Plan that God has for our salvation to consider. Jesus, Himself, reminds us that, “it is better not to see and yet to believe.” In the Gospel, Jesus is known to the demons and yet He silences them lest His plan be disrupted.
This modern hunger for evidence is partly driven by the age in which we live. We are taught that skepticism is a good thing. We are taught that we should question everything and that will, in some way, be good for us. This is nonsense, of course. But we live in an age that has rejected reason and logic while pretending to embrace it. The only remedy for this affront to our humanity is faith. Not blind belief in whatever - but faith that is confirmed by that which makes us human - reason and love. If we ask our Lord not for a sign, but for a confirmation… We will not be left alone. No Muslim Imam or Hindu Guru could make that kind of claim, but a Catholic priest can. Spend a few months making a regular confession and going to communion and watch what happens!
Insights From Second Street
In Latin, the word for Lent is just Quadragesima, “forty days.” It lacks pizazz to be sure. From the earliest days of the Church, there was a season of pre-Lent called Septuagesima, “seventy days.” That’s not even an accurate count of days! Still, the season itself was basically just dismissed and removed in the mess of the 1960s.
The season of pre-Lent came onto my radar when I learned the Traditional Mass. I thought it was an odd thing that was probably no great loss. In the past six years, though, I have discovered that I couldn’t be more wrong. Septuagesima’s purpose is to start priming the pump for prayer and meditation. For three Sundays before Ash Wednesday, the priest wears purple vestments and the Gloria and Alleluia are omitted. That’s it. That little gesture, though, takes away an amazing amount of the jarring transition that comes on Ash Wednesday. You wouldn’t think so… I didn’t think so… Now I do. For most of us, Ash Wednesday comes like a deer across a dark road. We go from any old ordinary time Sunday to full blown Lent.
It’s amazing how much impact the little things in the Liturgy start to matter if let them. The Mass is not designed to be randomly assembled. Nowadays, too often, we get the idea that the Mass is like a box of Legos that we can assemble as we like. This hymn can go here and that comment there. But every detail of the Mass - even the entrance, offertory and communion music and the basic premise of the sermon - is actually laid out in the Missal. There are strictly-speaking no “options” for those things. We do what we do now because of a loop-hole within a loop-hole which has gained so much momentum in the Western world that it’ll take years to get Pandora back in her box…
The common sense in us would say that we’d get more people in the pews by taking full advantage of the loopholes to make the Mass as user friendly as can be. But, if the last fifty years are an example, loopholes don’t increase congregations, they decrease them… dramatically. (More than 50% of self-identified Catholics attend Mass less than once a month!) On this first day of pre-Lent, we have an opportunity to start paying attention to the little details… From the incense, to the return of the fancy cross and the priests’ hats… Those things all have their place in the Liturgy and history says they have an effect on our faith.
by: Fr. Ryan
In 2014, as part of our mission as a Basilica to promote the teachings of the Holy Fathers and to facilitate associated pilgrimages and missions, Ashley Hebert was hired as our Director of Evangelization.
Ashley Hebert is originally from Ville Platte, Louisiana. She is engaged to Chris Ducote of Pineville, LA, and the two will enter into the Sacrament of Marriage on January 2, 2016.
Ashley is a graduate of McNeese State University in Lake Charles with a degree in Graphic Design. Over and above her academic work, though, Ashley’s qualifications come from her real life experience. Ashley has lived in full time mission work in the Philippines. She has a background in marketing and in working with local Catholic Churches in the Diocese of Lafayette. Ashley also has a background in youth ministry and has proven herself particularly adept at facing unexpected challenges.
Ashley’s two great successes for us so far have been the 2014 Pilgrimage to Italy - which was an unmitigated triumph - and the reworking of the parish bulletin - which recently won a national award for excellence in design. Ashley has also been instrumental in making possible our upcoming trip to Washington, D.C., for the March for Life with our St. Mary’s high schoolers. She has lent her skills to the SMS Football & Basketball Programs and continues to play a significant role in the ordinary design decisions (logos, exterior signage, etc) that lend an air of professionalism to the work that we do here. In a typical week, Ashley spends most of Monday compiling and finalizing the bulletin. She then gets to work on myriad projects ranging from organizing travel details to researching mission opportunities to evaluating requests and proposals sent to the office to designing Christmas Ornaments to negotiating with difficult vendors.
Ashley’s talent in graphic design is also important because perception in our modern world matters. When we present ourselves to the public with a cheaply designed newspaper ad or an out of date stationary or a bland website or weak social media, we turn away people who may well end up as Catholics. But when we provide a top notch bulletin, eye catching ads, truly beautiful logos and images and a sense of cohesion between all those things, we are communicating that we are up to date and that our Church is something modern people should consider. We are evangelizing. Of course, there’s much more than perception because we have the Sacraments! Still, Ashley’s work is an essential part of evangelizing the modern world and we’re happy to have her on board.
TRADITIONAL LATIN MASS EXPLAINED On Sunday, Feb 8, after the 5p Mass and again on Wed, Feb 11, during Wednesday Night Catechism, Fr. Ryan will explain the symbols, ceremonies and proper way to attend the Traditional Latin Mass. All are welcome to attend. The presentation will be in English.
PARISH SUPPER & CCD CLASS 2/4 Our next Parish Supper, Wed. Night Adult Catechism & CCD night will be Wednesday, Feb. 4th, at St. Mary’s. We’ll have food for free in the Cafeteria provided by the Basilican Choir 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!
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 8a.
SEDER DINNER There will be a Lenten Passover meal (a Seder Dinner) for the CCD Students and for the entire parish on Wed, March 4th, at 6pm in the St. Mary's Gym. The meal is an adaptation of the traditional Jewish feast in which Jesus established the Holy Eucharist. All are heartily encouraged to attend!
TOWN HALL MEETING For the past several months, plans have been created and adapted to restore the old Rectory to its historic beauty and to make repairs inside and out to the various buildings surrounding it. Further plans are being developed to repair and extend the capacity of the Historic Catholic Cemetery on Fifth Street. A town hall meeting to discuss these plans and solicit feedback will take place on Thurs, Feb 5th, at 6p in the Parish Hall. All interested parties - Parishioners or otherwise - are welcomed to attend.
- Tue, 2/3, SVdP Meeting in Hall, 6:30p
- Wed, 2/4, Parish Supper, CCD, & Wed. Night Adult Catechism, 5-7:30p @ St. Mary’s
- Thu, 2/5, Town Hall Meeting, 6p in Parish Hall
- Fri, 2/6, First Friday
- Sat, 2/7, First Saturday
- Sun, 2/8, Fr. Ryan explains the TLM, after 5p Mass
- Tue, 2/10, Pastoral Council Meeting, 6p
- Tue, 2/10, KC1357 Meeting, 6:45p
- Wed, 2/11, CCD & Wed. Night Adult Catechism, 6-7:30p @ St. Mary’s
- Mon-Tues, 2/16-2/17, MBIC Office & SMS Closed, Mardi Gras holiday
- Tues, 2/17, CDA Meeting, 6p
- Wed, 2/18, Ash Wednesday, 6:30a & 6p Mass @ MBIC
- Wed, 2/18, SMS All-School Mass, 9a
- Wed, 2/18, CCD students should attend 6p Mass @ MBIC
- Fri, 2/20, Fr. Cunningham’s 50th Anniversary Mass, 11a @ MBIC
- Fri, 2/20, Way of the Cross, 5:15p @ MBIC
- Mon, 2/23, Basilican Feast Day: St. Peter’s Chair, 6:30a & 6p Indulgenced Mass
- Tue, 2/24, Confession, 5-6p @ MBIC
- Tue, 2/24, SVdP Meeting in Hall, 6:30p
- Wed, 2/25, CCD & NO Wed. Night Adult Catechism, 6-7:30p @ St. Mary’s
- Thu, 2/26, Stroke Scan Screening in Hall, 10a
- Thu, 2/26, KC1357 Social, 6p
- Fri, 2/27, Way of the Cross, 5:15p @ MBIC
- Tue, 3/3, Confession, 5-6p @ MBIC
- Wed, 3/4, Seder Dinner, 6p in SMS Gym
- Fri, 3/6, Way of the Cross, 5:15p @ MBIC
Within the Sanctuary
Sat 1/31 4p Kathleen Hicks, (Lector) • Jimmy Gunter, Nita Maggio, (EMHC-CI) • J.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)
Sun 2/1 9a Roger Cunningham, (Lector) • Stephen Taylor, (EMHC-CI) • James & Alice Barrios, (EMHC-CH) • S.&T.Lirette, A.&C.Lirette, (Altar Boys)
Sun 2/1 11a Gilen Norwood, (Lector) • Jean Gill, (EMHC-CI) • Linda Lee, Patsy Melder, (EMHC-CH) • W.Lee, M.Leone, S.Maggio, (Altar Boys)
Sat 2/7 4p Kathy Bundrick, (Lector) • Carl Henry, Kathleen Hicks, (EMHC-CI) • J.Friedel, D.Bennett, (Altar Boys)
Sun 2/8 9a Rebecca Lavespere, (Lector) • John Vandersypen, (EMHC-CI) • Jeff & Carol Green, (EMHC-CH) • BB.Behrendsen, J.Ingrish, G.Ingrish, (Altar Boys)
Sun 2/8 11a Ed Giering, (Lector) • Cecilia Cook, (EMHC-CI) • Chris & Jennifer Maggio, (EMHC-CH) • S.Maggio, M.Leone, J.Burrell, (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: Mike Bouchie and Cyril G. Mouch, Sr.
- Sun 9a: Pro Populo
- Sun 11a: Shirley Ragland & Casey Simpson
- Sun 5p: Peggy Glascock and Donald R. Gongre
- Mon 6:30a: Gary LeBar, Jr.
- Mon 8a: Donald Gongre
- Tue 6:30a: The Mestayer Family
- Wed 6:30a: Johnnie Mallory & Billy Smith
- Thu 6:30a: Doris & Will Pierson and Elise James
- Fri 6:30a: Martha LaCaze
- Sat 8a: The Barbier Family
Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for this Month are that prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild their lives with dignity. And that, married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.
Please pray for our Recently Deceased: Frances James & Irene Niette
Please pray for our Sick & Suffering: Bob Allen, Lolette Allen, William Lynn Basco, Lauren Bienvenu, Millard Bienvenu, Danny Bostick, Chad Bouchie, Mar-Lou Brasher, Marion Brossette, Flo Brouillette, Bailey Byrd, Sonya Campbell, Carolyn Carter, Marie Charleville, Emilia Cofio, Kim Cunningham, Lela Mae Dalme, Joe Davis, John DeFee, Richard DeVargas, RJ Ducote, Angela Eversall, Tom Foshee, Reba Friday, Paula Gagymad, Kramer Gahagan, Vicki Gahagan, Patsy Gallion, Sophie Gill, Elizabeth Governale, Ross Gwinn, Curt Harrington, Joyce Hayne, Deborah G. Hernandez, Frederick Hickman, Sue Van Hook, Kalita Jones, Michael Kearney, EvaGrace Keyser, Gary Kilgore, Jheanny Ladao, Samuel Lane, Jo Lapeyrouse, Raymond Litton, Jaden Eli Lodridge, Patricia Loftin, Joseph Longo, Lisa Mack, Dominic Majorie, Danny Manuel, Jack McCain Jr. Meg Michael, Lacey Mitchum, Mary Moss, Shane Niette, Mary Odom, Judy Risty, Sharon Roach, Wes Rollo, Makaehan Ross, Shirley Roy, Joseph Ryan, Donna Slaughter, Lil Taylor, Clay Thompson, Ren Todtenbier, Brent Trichel,Patricia Vazquez, Julien Vienne, Ruthie J. Wallboughly,Jessica Warner, Glen & Mary Williams, & Marilyn Williams