The Special Collection this weekend is for Our Historic Restoration Fund.
All Souls’ Day Cemetery Blessings • Father will be visiting our local cemeteries on Monday to bless graves. Times given are approximate. Catholic Cemetery: 10:30a; Memory Lawn: 11a, Fern Park: 11:30a. Any who would like to be present are welcome to do so.
Wednesday Night Catechism • This Wed, Nov 4 at 6pm at the St. Mary’s Chapel, Fr. Ryan’s talk will be titled “Patron Saints & Guardian Angels.” He will discuss the entire Catholic understanding of the Communion of Saints as well as the Relics of Saints and Patronage. All are very welcome to attend!
First Friday & First Saturday • The First Friday & Saturday of each month are kept in honor of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament begins on First Friday begins after our 6:30a morning Mass and continues until Benediction at 5:15p. All who are able to commit to an hour this Friday are asked to sign up in the back of the Church. First Saturday Devotions take place immediately after the 8a Mass on Saturday morning. All are Welcome.
Year of Mercy 2016 • Pope Francis has declared a Year of Mercy from Dec 8, 2015 to Dec 8, 2016. During that year, special graces and spiritual activities will abound around the Church and here in Natchitoches. Please pray for all who long for a renewal in God’s Mercy!
Parish Supper • This Wed, Nov 4, the St. Mary’s Pro-Life Group will sponsor our parish supper at the St. Mary’s cafeteria at 5:15p to help fund their trip to Washington, DC and the March for Life in January. CCD and Wednesday Night Catechism will follow as usual at 6p. The meal is free, but donations are welcome. Please invite your Catholic and Non-Catholic friends to join us!
Blessing of Hunters & Sportsmen • This Tuesday, Nov 3 is the feast of St. Hubert, patron of hunters and sportsmen. That feast generally coincides withthe beginning of our major hunting seasons here in North-Central Louisiana. As such, after each Mass this weekend, one of the clergy will pray the Litany of the Saints with any who wish to participate and give the traditional blessing of hunters and sportsmen. The blessing is accompanied by the sprinkling of Holy Water. You need not be Catholic to receive the blessing. As always, please pray for a safe and fruitful hunting season for our many parishioners who are hunters. Please pray, too, for our Officers who work for Wildlife & Fisheries and for Game Wardens this season. May the Holy Spirit keep us safe.
From The Font
“See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God.”
For the Jewish (and the Roman) people, adoption was nothing like it is today. In ancient cultures, it was normal and expected for children and adults alike to be adopted by older or wealthier people for the purposes of inheritance, family lineage or political office. Julius Caesar famous adopted many young men to place them in positions of authority. In the book of Esther, the Jewish leader Mordecai adopts the orphaned Esther as heir to his fame as having protected the King Ahasuerus from aplotted assassination. To be made children of God, then, is more complex that it may, at first, seem.
To be a child of God is to be an heir to God’s promise. By His nature, God is generous and His goodness exudes from Him. To be a child of God is to be the recipient of abundance. St. Paul specifically identifies “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness,” and others. Children of God experience a supernatural fullness.
To be a child of God is to be “configured” to the family life of God. Children of God are necessary changed “from glory into glory.” While the world spins and we are bound to this life - we are not static, but dynamic. Every human being is constantly in a state of change. A child of God experiences that change as a configuration or a deliberate transition from one state of grace to another and then to another. As children of God we must become more like Him.
To be a child of God is to be chosen and charged with family duties and responsibilities. These gifts do not come with a quid-pro-quo, but there is a sense of duty attached. The biggest difference is that duty is merely to love as we have been loved. Children of God serve because they have been loved and their service is the same kind of natural return that we see in children who want to hug and kiss their parents.
To be a child of God is to be a witness. Children of God are always “surrounded by a cloud of witnesses.” For better or worse, every choice is seen as a reflection of God Himself. Christians take on the very name of our savior and every sin or failure seen in us will be attributed to Him. As such, we must be a people who witness and manifest not only virtue, but also repentance, forgiveness and humility. Only in the context of these can people come to see our savior who is “slain and yet lives.”
As the scripture says, the Father’s love - freely bestowed - is what makes us children of God. It is freely given and must be freely accepted. This is the challenge given to us. We must say yes to the Lord and then we must live the life that He promises. We must choose the Lord daily in order to receive His goodness and to discover the depth of our adoption as His children.
Insights from Second Street
Superstition is just a human need to gain control over those parts of nature which seem too big to control in any other way. At some moments through the broad history of the world, superstition has held great sway. At others, it has been a joke and a mockery. In our age, superstition is - oddly - both.
We are a technological people who believe that there is no mystery that can’t be brought under human control. At the same time, we are a people increasingly unable to discipline our bodies and minds against the onslaught of information, ideas and change. As such, we are both pro- and anti-superstition at the same time. We mock ghost hunters and zombie movies and yet we can’t take our eyes away.
The phenomenon of Patron Saints, the Relics of the Saints, Sacramentals (Blessed Rosaries, Medals, Holy Water, etc) have always been seen as slightly superstitious. No doubt, some treat them more as totems than the Divine gifts that they are. In truth, the entire gamut of these superstition-like practices ought to be seen as a conscious gift from the Lord to address the fundamental human need to be able to effect the supernatural.
Holy Water (and other sacramentals) really do have power. Exorcists often use decoy water and real Holy Water to tell if a subject is trying to “fake it.” Stories abound from the lives of the saints about blessed Rosaries scaring away demons. The relics of certain saints have a statistically significant effect upon people with certain illnesses.
So, too, the entire process of canonization is predicated upon the reality that praying for the patronage (prayers) of a certain saint causes real miracles. Every saint needs at least two documented cases where an individual asks that saint specifically and solely for a miracle. Pope St. John Paul II’s miracles were both hearings from serious illnesses and were both connected with his life. One was a polish nun, the other a woman with Parkinson’s Disease.
The potential for abuse mustn’t disqualify somethingas a good and helpful part of the spiritual life. Catholics have traditionally used Holy Water in their homes as a normal part of life. The wearing of scapulars and medals ought not to be an oddity. Devotion to the Relics of Saints (we have St. Therese, patroness of Children here in the parish) can and should be a normal and celebrated part of our parish life. So, too, should the choosing of patron saints - especially as part of our children’s names. Patrons don’t have to be assigned. Any of us can choose to devote ourselves to any patron we’d like. I’ve found myself deeply devoted to Pope St. John Paul. Perhaps Ss. Louis & Zelie Martin - parents of St. Terese the Little Flower - would be good patrons for a married couple or St. Gabriel for someone who works in communications. Soldiers and Police should surely ask St. Martin of Tours and St. Michael the Archangel’s intercession.
Whatever may have been done badly, we are a people in need of a recovery of these gifts of God - not as superstitions, but as the gifts that they are.
From Vatican Council II, Apostolicam Actuositatem, Decree On the Apostolate of the Laity, 1965
In the Church there is a diversity of ministry but a oneness of mission. Christ conferred on the Apostles and their successors the duty of teaching, sanctifying, and ruling in His name and power. But the laity likewise share in the priestly, prophetic, and royal office of Christ and therefore have their own share in the mission of the whole people of God in the Church and in the world.
They exercise the apostolate in fact by their activity directed to the evangelization and sanctification of men and to the penetrating and perfecting of the temporal order through the spirit of the Gospel. In this way, their temporal activity openly bears witness to Christ and promotes the salvation of men. Since the laity, in accordance with their state of life, live in the midst of the world and its concerns, they are called by God to exercise their apostolate in the world like leaven, with the ardor of the spirit of Christ.
The laity derive the right and duty to the apostolate from their union with Christ the head; incorporated into Christ's Mystical Body through Baptism and strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit through Confirmation, they are assigned to the apostolate by the Lord Himself. They are consecrated for the royal priesthood and the holy people (cf. 1 Peter 2:4-10) not only that they may offer spiritual sacrifices in everything they do but also that they may witness to Christ throughout the world. The sacraments, however, especially the most holy Eucharist, communicate and nourish that charity which is the soul of the entire apostolate.
One engages in the apostolate through the faith, hope, and charity which the Holy Spirit diffuses in the hearts of all members of the Church. Indeed, by the precept of charity, which is the Lord's greatest commandment, all the faithful are impelled to promote the glory of God through the coming of His kingdom and to obtain eternal life for all men-that they may know the only true God and Him whom He sent, Jesus Christ (cf. John 17:3). On all Christians therefore is laid the preeminent responsibility of working to make the divine message of salvation known and accepted by all men throughout the world.
Intentions & Dedications
For the week of November 1st
- Sat 4p Mike Bouchie, Judy Risty, Shirley Slimer, A. B. Chenault
- Sat 5:30p Leola Walmsley
- Sun 9a Buddy Masson
- Sun 11a Shirley Ragland, Johnny Batten, Judy Risty, James Lasyone
- Sun 5p Pro Populo
- Mon 6:30a Becky Masson
- Mon 8a Grant Ingram
- Tue 6:30a Mary Jean Thomas
- Wed 6:30a Jim Mutscheller
- Thu 6:30a Francis Michael
- Fri 6:30a Janis Abraham
- Sat 8a Grant Ingram
- Sat 4p Donna Doll, Johnny Defee, Red & Sadie Thomas
- Sat 5:30p Helen Wickenheiser & Caroline Schatz
- Sun 9a Billy Benefield, Sr., Nathan Ezernack, Martha LaCaze
- Sun 11a Pro Populo
- Sun 5p The Humphries, Mestayer & Barbier Families
Our Sick & Recently Deceased
Raymond Litton, RIP
Lolette Allen, Teresa Arafa, Maudie Baranowski, William Lynn Basco, Cletus Bauer, Ryan Branch, Chad Bouchie, Mary-Lou Brasher, Marion Brossette, Flo Brouillette, Darlene Bynog, Bailey Byrd, Carolyn Carter, Marie Charleville, Emilia Cofio, Peggy Cooper, Kim Cunningham, Lela Mae Dalme, Joe Davis, Jayce Estep, Angela Eversall, Tom Foshee, Reba Friday, Paula Gagymad, Kramer Gahagan, Vicki Gahagan, Patsy Gallion, Anne Giering, Sophie Gill, Jeff Green, Ross Gwinn, Tammy Hall, Andy Harrington, Curt Harrington, Joyce Hayne, Deborah G. Hernandez, Sue Van Hook, Kalita Jones, Michael Kearney, EvaGrace Keyser, Gary Kilgore, Angelette LaCour, John LaCour, Samuel Lane, Jaden Eli Lodridge, Patricia Loftin, Joseph Longo, Irene Lynche, Brittany MacBrown, Lisa Mack, Dominic Majorie, Barbara Manshack, Danny Manuel, Jack McCain Jr., Meg Michael, Lacey Mitchum, Gary Murphy, Shane Niette, Mary Odom, Sue Prudhomme, Sharon Roach, Tucker Roe, Wes Rollo, Makaehan Ross, Shirley Roy, Donna Slaughter, Meredith St. Andre, Lil Taylor, Clay Thompson, Mariano Timotio, Ren Todtenbier, Brent Trichel, Patricia Vazquez, Julien Vienne, Ruthie J. Wallboughly, Jessica Warner, Charlene White, Glen & Mary Williams, Marilyn Williams, Laura Young, & Melinda Zolzer
Within the Sanctuary
- Sat & Sun 10/31 & 11/1
- 4p Lector K. Bundrick; EMHC Nita Maggio, J. Lapeyrouse; Servers The Thibodaux Family
- 9a Lector J. Ackel; EMHC E. Bacon; Servers R. & R. Cunningham, M. McCart
- 11a Lector J. P. Williams; EMHC P. Melder; Servers W.Lee, A. & J. Parker
- Sat & Sun 11/7 & 11/8
- 4p Lector L. Johnson; EMHC K. Hicks, C. Henry; Servers D. Bennett, J. Friedel
- 9a Lector M. King; EMHC J. Green; Servers The Lirette Family
- 11a Lector K. Bundrick; EMHC J. Maggio; Servers C. Fisher, S. Maggio, M. Leone