The 2015 Red Mass • The so-called Red Mass, is typically celebrated at the beginning of the “legal year” to invoke the Holy Spirit upon those working in the legal profession. The tradition began in the High Middle Ages when judges attended Holy Mass in their red regalia. The Mass of the Holy Spirit called for the priest to wear red vestments and so the name Red Mass was given to the event. For many years, Immaculate Conceptions has paired with other local communities to celebrate the beginning of the legal year in this fashion. The Red Mass this year will be celebrated on Friday, October 23 at 10am. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.
The Feast of St Luke, Patron of Doctors • Saturday, October 17 is the Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist who is the patron of Doctors and Medical Professionals. St. Luke wrote the Gospel which bears his name and the Book of the Acts of the Apostles. St. Luke is also the patron of Historians and Researchers.
Protect Our Children • If you know of anyone in this parish potentially harmingor endangering our children, call (318) 445-1427 or visit DioceseAlex.org/Safe-Environment. Documentation, policies and procedures are available from the office or at St. Mary’s School. Periodic training seminars are also available, call the office for more information. All volunteers are asked and required to be trained and to keep a weather eye out for any risks to our kids. Our kids deserve our very best - please help us give them that!
Wednesday Night Catechism • This Wed, Oct 14 at 6pm at the St. Mary’s Chapel, Fr. Ryan’s talk will be titled “What is Excommunication and Why Does the Church Punish?” He will discuss the various kinds of penalties that the Church levies against clergy and laity and the purposes of those levies.
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 begin to pray now for those planning activities. If you have ideas or are interested in helping out, please let us know at the office. Thanks!
Lay-Led Events • Thanks to all of our enthusiastic parishioners who are taking the call of Vatican II to lay leadership seriously! On Monday evenings, our Bible Study group meets in the Rectory at 6p. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul meets twice monthly on Tuesday evening. On Wednesdays, our Rosary Group meets in the Church at 10:30a. The GK Chesterton Society meets on Thursdays in the Rectory. The Knights of Columbus #1357 and the Catholic Daughters Court Regina Pacis meet with their membership monthly as does our 9a Mass Choir. The Traditional Latin Mass Society of Natchitoches hosts a monthly supper after Mass on the third Sunday of each month. Thank you to all who make these events happen!
From The Font
“Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him,’You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’”
John Calvin, grandfather of modern “Bible Christians” argued vehemently that faith and works are somehow opposed to one another and that any emphasis on the works of man is somehow a dis-emphasis on faith. This is absurd logic, but his legacy is firmly fixed in our minds today. We tend to put all our eggs in the basket of “faith in the heart” and to be highly skeptical of any thinking that gives any real value to “works.” But today’s Gospel calls us out on that error. (This gospel isn’t alone in that call.)
To store up “treasure in heaven,” we must manifest and express our faith not only in our heart, but in our choices. These choices or works have “merit” when they are done 1) for the right intention and 2) in the state of grace. So I can’t store up treasure in heaven (“merit”) if I do a good thing for a bad reason. Neither can I store up treasure in heaven if I am in a state of sin (that is, I am aware of an unconfessed serious or “mortal” sin).
If, however, I am in a state of grace and make a choice as an expression of my love for God and my faith in Him, then that choice - great or small - is a treasure that will be waiting for me in heaven. St. Therese, the Little Flower, praised little works done with great love as the most effective way of storing up these heavenly treasures. Even something as mundane as preparing a meal for one’s family done with great love bears great reward and substantial merit. That may store up more treasure in heaven than a significant gift to the poor made from one’s excess or from guilt. So too, a small gift of one’s time given in love is worth far more than some act of service done for lesser reasons.
For example, fasting is an act of faith and greatly meritorious. Fasting done in secret and without requirement is a great treasure in heaven. Fasting done with the hope of shedding a few pounds, even if done primarily for spiritual reasons is less valuable.
The work of storing up treasure in heaven is not about earning salvation, it’s about expressing love for God and about increasing our capacity to serve the Lord in whatever ways He may choose to call us. In the same way that a parent wants to prepare a great life for his or her child, we store up treasure in heaven because we love God and because these treasures are pleasing to Him. We don’t serve God because of the retirement plan - we serve Him because we love Him. And we love Him because He has first loved us and has forgiven our sins and has chosen us to be the recipients of goodness that we can never hope to deserve!
Insights from Second Street
Author Joseph Woodard wrote this observation:
The need to re-evangelize the West seems obvious. But what makes that really new? Well, at first blush: the Church must reach neither brutal, honest barbarians, nor the despairing slaves of tyranny—that would be the old evangelization—but rather the comfortable consumers of post-Christian Europe and North America. These sophisticates see themselves as escaping a childhood superstition, like chickenpox, so they now carry all the rationalist antibodies needed to resist infection in their adulthood. Despite suffering the pathologies of a collapsing civilization (drug abuse, promiscuity, sexual obsession, family breakdown, infertility, depopulation, psychotic violence, infanticide, suicide and euthanasia), clear-sighted Post-moderns believe that “progress” has brought them to the verge of a sunny highland meadow (blossoming with these very pathologies), or painless nihilism, or both.
Like many modern Catholic authors, Woodard is trying to find a way to articulate the root of the problems which bely our cultural implosion. He hopes that in finding the root, he will be able to propose a solution like a doctor would propose a prescription to a patient. I personally believe Woodard has a fine grasp on the problems in our culture. But the deeper root doesn’t require eloquent words or brilliant insight. The problem is sin. It’s our human nature which has fallen into sin and which bears the permanent damage of Adam & Eve’s terrible, no good, really bad decision to eat that fruit.
Thankfully, the solution, like the cause, requires no brilliant analysis. Jesus spoke it clear as day. “Be perfect as your heavenly father is perfect!” What we need for the new evangelization is saints! We need saints at every level of life. We need ordinary people who know, love and serve God and who have the guts to share that passion with the people they meet. We need Catholics who confess often - at least monthly. We need Catholics to stop receiving Holy Communion unworthily. We need Catholics to get fed up with easy living and to get passionate about growing in the knowledge and love of God. We need Catholics who will hold their pastor’s feet to the fire if his sermons are heavy on sap and light on spiritual food. We need Catholics who are offended by poor liturgy and who believe that the same Church that converted the world over and over again for the past 2000 years can and will do it again. We need Catholics to “make some noise” as Pope Francis said.
The New Evangelization is new only in that it has to speak the language of the modern world. The teachings of Jesus haven’t changed. Our culture is a mess - but it’s no worse that the Romans or the Dark Age barbarians or the Mongol armies or the Renaissance Aesthetes or the French Revolutionaries or the viciously anti-Catholic American colonials. All that is required is that we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the Leader and perfecter of our Faith (C.f. Heb 12) and that we see the world for what it is. Beyond that, the Lord will take care of the rest. If we devote ourselves to the Lord and reject the lies of the world - we will find ourselves among those chosen by God to bring about great change and great redemption and there’s nothing new about that!
#24 The word of God draws each of us into a conversation with the Lord: the God who speaks teaches us how to speak to him. Here we naturally think of the Book of Psalms, where God gives us words to speak to him, to place our lives before him, and thus to make life itself a path to God. In the Psalms we find expressed every possible human feeling set masterfully in the sight of God; joy and pain, distress and hope, fear and trepidation: here all find expression. Along with the Psalms we think too of the many other passages of sacred Scripture which express our turning to God in intercessory prayer (cf. Ex 33:12-16), in exultant songs of victory (cf. Ex 15) or in sorrow at the difficulties experienced in carrying out our mission (cf. Jer 20:7-18). In this way our word to God becomes God’s word, thus confirming the dialogical nature of all Christian revelation, and our whole existence becomes a dialogue with the God who speaks and listens, who calls us and gives direction to our lives. Here the word of God reveals that our entire life is under the divine call.
#25 “‘The obedience of faith’ (Rom 16:26; cf. Rom 1:5; 2 Cor 10:5-6) must be our response to God who reveals. By faith one freely commits oneself entirely to God, making ‘the full submission of intellect and will to God who reveals’ and willingly assenting to the revelation given by God”. In these words the Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum (Vatican II) gave precise expression to the stance which we must have with regard to God. The proper human response to the God who speaks is faith. Here we see clearly that “in order to accept revelation, man must open his mind and heart to the working of the Holy Spirit who enables him to understand the word of God present in the sacred Scriptures”. It is the preaching of the divine word, in fact, which gives rise to faith, whereby we give our heartfelt assent to the truth which has been revealed to us and we commit ourselves entirely to Christ: “faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes from the word of Christ” (Rom 10:17). The whole history of salvation progressively demonstrates this profound bond between the word of God and the faith which arises from an encounter with Christ. Faith thus takes shape as an encounter with a person to whom we entrust our whole life. Christ Jesus remains present today in history, in his body which is the Church; for this reason our act of faith is at once both personal and ecclesial.
— From Verbum Domini(On the Word of God in the Life & Mission of the Church), Pope Benedict XVI
Intentions & Dedications
For the week of October 11th
- Sat 4p Red & Sadie Thomas & NL Vercher
- Sat 5:30p Jackie R. Flynt
- Sun 9a Billy Benefield, Sr., Latief Ackel, Ross Gwinn & Grant Ingram
- Sun 5p The Humphries, Mestayer & Barbier Families
- Mon 6:30a Jimmy Griffen
- Mon 8a The Men of the Parish
- Tue 6:30a Brian Stuart
- Wed 6:30a Harry Gongre, Jr.
- Thu 6:30a Ethel Mouch
- Fri 6:30a Mr. & Mrs. Allen Wiltz, Sr.
- Sat 8a Sister Mary Roland
- Sat 4p Mike Bouchie, Alma Abraham, & Gary LaBar, Jr.
- Sat 5:30p Raymond Arthur
- Sun 9a Donald Gongre, Nathan Ezernack & John Bacon
- Sun 11a Grant Ingram
- Sun 5p Pro Populo
Our Sick & Recently Deceased
Lolette Allen, Teresa Arafat, Flay Rose Balthazar, Maudie Baranowski, William Lynn Basco, Cletus Bauer, 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, John DeFee, RJ Ducote, 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, Jheanny Ladao, Samuel Lane, Raymond Litton, 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, Wes Rollo, Makaehan Ross, Shirley Roy, Joseph Ryan, 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
4p Lector K. Bundrick; EMHC M. & J. Yankowski; Servers D. & M. Thibodaux
9a Lector E. Bacon; EMHC E. Odom; Servers C. Cunningham, J.H. & G.B. Ingrish
11a Lector G. Norwood; EMHC J. Gill; Servers J. Burrell, W. Lee, S. Maggio
4p Lector L. Thompson; EMHC M. & J. Yankowski; Servers Thibodaux
9a Lector J. Cunningham, Sr.; EMHC J. Cunningham; Servers C. Cunningham, P. & M. Vienne
11a Lector E. Giering; EMHC L. Lee; Servers W. Lee, C. Fisher, J. Burrell